Johns Hopkins APL, Facebook’s Building 8 Partner to Develop ‘Silent Speech’ Tech

Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory has partnered with Facebook‘s Building 8 research and development group to create a “silent speech” technology designed to help users type 100 words per minute using neural signals.

APL said Wednesday it will apply its experience from an existing neural prosthetics program for wounded service members to support the new project.

Johns Hopkins University and APL joined 15 universities in a Facebook-sponsored academic research agreement in December 2016 to help the social media company launch research projects in an accelerated time frame.

APL Director Ralph Semmel said the silent speech project builds on APL’s ongoing efforts to bring neurally controlled prosthetics technologies, developed under the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency‘s Revolutionizing Prosthetics program, into other domains.

Semmel added the agreement with Facebook will help APL build on its brain-machine interface work and further integrate the organization’s experience in neuroscience with optical imaging.

Project work is underway within APL’s national health mission area, which works to deliver systems intended to address complex healthcare challenges.

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