AI helps a bilingual patient communicate again

ALSO: Challenging chatbots to a "reverse Turing test"

Read time: under 4 minutes

Welcome back, Superhuman

The field of “neuroprosthetics” — which figures out ways to restore brain function with technology — has been around since the 1960s. But in that timeframe, scientists haven’t been able to decode someone’s thoughts across multiple languages…until now.

Today’s Insights

  • Why AI searches are still works in progress

  • Prompts for data privacy

  • AI can help bilingual stroke survivors communicate

  • 5 new AI tools to boost your productivity

  • Everything else you should know today

  • AI-Generated Images: Superhero screen time


Why AI Overviews aren’t so reliable

Source: Mashable

It can be hard to pick up on satire and exaggerations through a computer screen. Without more context — and your prior experiences — it’d be easy to mistake a joke for the real thing. The world’s biggest search engine is finding that out the hard way as its new AI-generated ‘Overview’ section struggles to differentiate between what’s meant to be taken seriously and what’s not.

What sorts of information has the Overview feature allegedly shared?

  • It told someone to apply glue to their pizza to prevent the cheese from sliding off

  • It recommended a particular smoothie recipe because it was “my kids’ favorite”

  • It instructed someone to suck venom out of a rattlesnake bite, which can be dangerous

  • It passed along supposed advice from UC Berkeley geologists to eat “at least one small rock” per day for health reasons

This is nothing new: Hallucinations — when a model confidently shares incorrect information — are something that every AI company deals with, and there’s a longstanding debate over how much they can really be controlled. The difference here, critics say, is that users can’t easily opt out of getting these AI-generated answers like they can with other search platforms.

Rethinking licensing deals: Many struggling media companies and platforms have turned to partnerships that allow AI companies to use their material for training purposes in exchange for compensation. But there’s no guarantee that the information isn’t biased or incorrect: That glue-topped pizza recommendation from earlier? It turns out it likely came from a joke Reddit post from a user named “f—smith” — i.e. probably not the most reliable source.

Keep in mind: Some users are poking and prodding until they get an off-the-wall answer. Most people probably won’t come across these types of responses unless they go hunting for them. Ironically, when users do surface misinformation, it helps the company identify and fix those problems — offering some hope that its accuracy might improve in the coming weeks and months.


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How to analyze your data using interactive tables in ChatGPT

  • Go to ChatGPT and select GPT-4o as your model.

  • Upload your data file to ChatGPT (do not enter any sensitive information into ChatGPT)

  • Now click on the expand button to explore your data.

  • Click on a specific column and type your prompt - ChatGPT will understand that you are referring to the selected column.

  • Write in your prompt for that specific column, for instance: “What’s the total?”

  • ChatGPT will give you the total of that column.

  • You can also create new tables within ChatGPT.

  • Describe what you want to calculate and GPT-4o will create a table with the new values.


Data Privacy Specialist

Prompt: Act like a data privacy specialist. Summarize the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requirements for a small business. Then, come up with a detailed plan and comprehensive privacy policy for a small business to follow to remain compliant.

You can adapt the prompt to your specific needs.


Bring your applications to life with Deepgram Aura, a lightning-fast text-to-speech API for conversational AI.

Developers can generate real-time, natural-sounding conversations for various use cases, from AI agents to media workflows.

Aura checks all the boxes:

  • Lightning-fast: less than 250 ms latency

  • High quality: natural tone, rhythm, and emotion

  • Scalable: Cost-effective for high-throughput applications


AI helped restore a patient’s bilingual abilities

Source: Getty Images

Scientists have already managed to help patients translate their thought patterns into text — a technological advancement that’s been life-changing for stroke victims who might otherwise struggle to communicate with loved ones.

But researchers at the University of California, San Francisco realized they’d left out an important demographic: Those who speak at least two languages, roughly half of the world’s population. Earlier this month, they announced they’d built the first-ever brain implant that can decode thoughts in both Spanish and English using AI.

How does it work? The subject of the study, referred to as Pancho, survived a stroke but became paralyzed when he was 20. He could make sounds but wasn’t able to form full words and sentences. In 2019, the team installed a chip on Pancho’s cortex and began collecting data about how it lit up when he formed different words with his mouth. In order to decode Pancho’s thoughts, the neural network learned in much the same way as the language centers of the brain, eventually letting him communicate in real time.

But it wasn’t a perfect solution: The module could only translate into English, even though Pancho’s native language is Spanish. So the team set out to train the interface again to see if it could switch between both languages. That allowed Pancho to communicate in a way that felt more natural to him. “Our long-term goal has never been just about replacing words, but about restoring connection for people,” neurosurgeon Edward Chang told Nature.

Why it’s important: To decode Pancho’s Spanish-language thoughts, the researchers tapped into the same region that he used to cultivate his English-language skills. That suggests we rely on the same parts of our brain to learn multiple languages. The scientists want to eventually open up the field of “neuroprosthesis” to help more patients restore their ability to communicate.


5 AI Tools to Supercharge Your Productivity

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 Outtloud: Convert your document into natural-sounding, high-fidelity AI voices.

 Iki: Extract knowledge from any source, pdf, URL, or video, then ask AI to research or analyze that data.

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Everything else you need to know today

Source: Nvidia

  • Underdog No More: Nvidia shares soared by 6% on Tuesday, reaching a record-high valuation that puts it just short of Apple.

  • The Wait is Over: OpenAI announced that all ChatGPT free users should now have access to browse, vision, data analysis, and other tools exclusive to GPT-4o.

  • Made in China: China has launched a new $47.5 billion chip fund in its latest effort to develop AI-focused semiconductors domestically.

  • Joining Forces: In a first-of-its-kind agreement, accounting firm PwC will start selling OpenAI’s ChatGPT Enterprise to other companies. The deal also makes PwC OpenAI’s largest customer.

  • Programming Polyglot: French AI startup Mistral is launching its own coding assistant that was trained on more than 80 programming languages.

😄 One Fun Thing: Watch a Berlin-based VR developer try out a “reverse Turing Test” to see whether a group of AIs he’d programmed to resemble different historical figures can identify him as a human.

🍎 Brain Food: Researchers recently discovered that AI platforms can’t pick numbers totally at random. Instead, they have “favorite” numbers that they choose more often than others.


Call me, beep me

Source: u/LongjumpingDrag4 on Reddit

Superman: comic book cover, superman, bored, typing on phone, slice of life, profile shot, from the side, superman on top of city lounging, on top of a sky scraper, dusk, in the style of Dan Abnett --ar 16:9 --stylize 300

Supergirl: illustration of supergirl, bored, typing on phone, slice of life, profile shot, from the side, superman on top of city lounging, on top of a sky scraper, overcast, in the style of Dan Abnett --ar 3:4 --stylize 300

Batman: comic book cover, a profile shot of Batman typing on his phone, bored, alone, loneliness, slice of life, profile shot, from the side, perched on a gargoyle, at night, in the style of Dan Abnett --ar 3:4 --stylize 300

And so on.

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Until next time!

Zain & the Superhuman AI team

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