Scientists Use AI to Reconstruct Images from Brain Activity

Russell Kidson
Mar 6, 2023
Updated • Mar 6, 2023
Misc
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The idea of an artificial intelligence capable of interpreting your imagination, translating mental imagery into real-world depictions, may seem reminiscent of a sci-fi novel; however, recent research indicates that this concept has become a reality.

Scientists Use AI to Reconstruct Images from Brain Activity

Related: The AI race is on

As per a recently published paper, researchers have achieved the ability to construct remarkably precise and detailed images from brain activity, utilizing the widely used Stable Diffusion image generation model, as outlined in a December publication. In contrast to earlier endeavors, the authors noted that no specialized training or fine-tuning of the AI models was necessary to produce these images.

According to the researchers hailing from the Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences at Osaka University, their method involved creating an initial projection of latent representation, which serves as a model for the image's data, from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) signals. Subsequently, the researchers introduced noise to this model through the diffusion process. Finally, text representations from fMRI signals within the higher visual cortex were decoded and employed as input to generate the ultimate reconstructed image.

As per the researchers' report, while a handful of earlier studies had achieved high-resolution reconstructions of images, they had done so only after training and fine-tuning generative models. This approach was hampered by the complexity of training these models, which can pose significant challenges, particularly given the scarcity of samples available in neuroscience.

To the best of the researchers' knowledge, prior to this study, no other researchers had endeavored to use diffusion models for visual reconstruction. The researchers regarded this study as a means to glimpse into the internal workings of diffusion models, adding that it was the first-ever to provide a biological interpretation of the model from a quantitative perspective. For instance, the researchers created a diagram demonstrating the correlation between stimuli and noise levels in the brain, with higher-level stimuli resulting in higher noise levels and higher resolution images. Another diagram showed the involvement of different neural networks in the brain and how they denoise and reconstruct images.

The researchers noted that their findings suggest that image information is compressed within the bottleneck layer during the initial stages of the reverse diffusion process. As the denoising proceeds, a functional separation among U-Net layers emerges within the visual cortex, with the first layer typically representing fine-scale details in early visual areas, while the bottleneck layer corresponds to higher-order information in more ventral and semantic areas.

Previously, we have witnessed other instances of brainwaves and brain activity being utilized to produce images. For example, in 2014, a Shanghai-based artist named Jody Xiong employed EEG biosensors to connect sixteen individuals with disabilities to balloons of paint, which they would burst using their thoughts to create their own paintings. In another EEG-based artwork, artist Lia Chavez created an installation that generated sounds and light works based on the electrical impulses in the brain. Viewers would wear EEG headsets, and the signals transmitted would be reflected through color and sound via an A/V system.

With the progression of generative AI, more and more researchers have been exploring the ways in which AI models can interact with the human brain. In a January 2022 study, researchers at Radboud University in the Netherlands trained a generative AI network, a precursor of Stable Diffusion, on fMRI data from 1,050 unique faces to produce actual images from brain imaging results. The study demonstrated that the AI was able to deliver unmatched stimulus reconstruction. The latest study, published in December, demonstrated that current diffusion models can now achieve high-resolution visual reconstruction.

New Research: Using AI to Reconstruct Images from Brain Activity

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Comments

  1. Seeprime said on September 8, 2023 at 4:12 pm
    Reply

    Missing from the “story”: Ukraine’s agreement to never use Starlink for military purposes. This is why.

    Ghacks quality is AI driven and very poor these days since AI is really artificial stupidity.

    1. Karl said on September 12, 2023 at 9:10 pm
      Reply

      “Elon Musk biographer Walter Isaacson forced to ‘clarify’ book’s account of Starlink incident in Ukraine War

      “To clarify on the Starlink issue: the Ukrainians THOUGHT coverage was enabled all the way to Crimea, but it was not. They asked Musk to enable it for their drone sub attack on the Russian fleet. Musk did not enable it, because he thought, probably correctly, that would cause a major war.”
      https://nypost.com/2023/09/11/elon-musk-biographer-walter-isaacson-corrects-detail-about-starlink-in-ukraine/

      1. Karl said on September 14, 2023 at 5:58 pm
        Reply

        I posted above comment to:
        https://www.ghacks.net/2023/09/08/elon-musk-turned-off-starlink-during-ukranian-offence/

        Not to the following article about Geforce where I currently also can see it published:
        https://www.ghacks.net/2023/08/29/how-to-fix-geforce-experience-error-code-0x0003/

  2. Anonymous said on September 11, 2023 at 10:09 pm
    Reply

    Well, using Brave, I can see Llama 2 being decent, but it is still not great?
    All these AI stuff seems more like a ‘toy’ than anything special, I mean, it is good for some stuff like translations or asking quick questions but not for asking anything important.

    The problem is Brave made it mostly for summarizing websites and all that, but all these Big tech controlled stuff, won’t summarize articles it doesn’t agree with, so it is also useless in many situations where you just want it to give you a quick summarization, and then it starts throwing you little ‘speeches’ about how it doesn’t agree with it and then it never summarizes anything, but give you all the 30 paragraphs reasons why the article is wrong, like if I am asking it what it thinks.

    SO all this AI is mostly a toy, but Facebook with all the power they have will be able to get so much data from people, it can ‘train’ or better say, write algorithms that will get better with time.

    But It is not intelligence, it is really not intelligence all these AI technology.

  3. Tom Hawack said on September 14, 2023 at 2:11 pm
    Reply

    Article Title: Tech leaders meet to discuss regulation of AI
    Article URL: [https://www.ghacks.net/2023/09/14/artificial-intelligence-regulation-tech-leaders/]

    The eternal problematic of regulating, here applied to AI. Should regulations (interventionism) have interfered in the course of mankind ever since Adam and Eve where would we be now? Should spirituality, morality, ethics never have interfered where would we be now? I truly have always believed that the only possible consensus between ethics and freedom is that of individuals’ own consciousness.

    Off-topic : Musk’s beard looks like a wound, AI-Human hand-shake is a quite nice pic :)

    1. Karl said on September 14, 2023 at 5:55 pm
      Reply

      Haha, oh dear, Tom.
      I thought that the comments system issue where comments shows up under a totally different article was fixed. But seeing your comment here, the “error” is clearly still active. Hopefully it is sorted as soon as possible.

      1. Tom Hawack said on September 14, 2023 at 6:40 pm
        Reply

        Article Title: Tech leaders meet to discuss regulation of AI
        Article URL: [https://www.ghacks.net/2023/09/14/artificial-intelligence-regulation-tech-leaders/]

        Hi Karl :) Well, let’s remain positive and see the good sides : one’s comment appearing within different articles (the one it was written form and for, another unrelated one) brings ubiquity to that comment : say it once and it’s published twice, double your pleasure and double your fun (“with double-mint, double-mint gum” and old ad!). Let’s forget the complications and inherited misunderstandings it leads to. Not sure the fun is worth the complications though. Which is why, with a few others here, I include Article Title & URL with comment, to ease a bit the pain.

        This said, I’m trying to find a logic key which would explain the mic-mac. One thing is sure : comments appearing twice keep the same comment number.

        For instance my comment to which you replied just above is originally :

        [https://www.ghacks.net/2023/09/14/artificial-intelligence-regulation-tech-leaders/#comment-4573676]

        It then got duplicated to :

        [https://www.ghacks.net/2023/08/29/how-to-fix-geforce-experience-error-code-0x0003/#comment-4573676]

        Same comment number, which let’s me imagine comments are defined by their number as before but now dissociated in a way from their full path : that’s where something is broken, as i see it.

        First amused me, then bothered, annoyed (I took some holidays to lower the pressure), then triggered curiosity.
        I’m putting our best detectives on the affair, stay tuned.

      2. Karl said on September 16, 2023 at 8:58 am
        Reply

        Hehe, yes indeed, staying positive is what we should do. Good comes for those who wait, as the old saying goes. Hopefully true for this as well.

        Interesting that the comments number stays the same, I noted that one thing is added to the duplicated comment in the URL, an error code, the following: “error-code-0x0003”.

        Not useful for us, but hopefully for the developers (if there are any?), that perhaps will be able to sort this comments error out. Or our detectives, I hope they work hard on this as we speak ;).

        Cheers and have a great weekend!

      3. Karl said on September 16, 2023 at 9:18 am
        Reply

        Whoops, my bad. I just now realized that the error I saw in your example URL (error-code-0x0003) was part of the linked article title and generated by Geforce! Oh dear! Why did I try to make it more confusing than it already is lol!

        Original comment:
        https://www.ghacks.net/2023/09/08/elon-musk-turned-off-starlink-during-ukranian-offence/#comment-4573788

        Duplicate:
        https://www.ghacks.net/2023/09/14/iphone-12-radiation-levels-are-too-high/#comment-4573788

      4. Tom Hawack said on September 16, 2023 at 9:20 am
        Reply

        Article Title: Tech leaders meet to discuss regulation of AI
        Article URL: [https://www.ghacks.net/2023/09/14/artificial-intelligence-regulation-tech-leaders/]

        @Karl, you write,

        “I noted that one thing is added to the duplicated comment in the URL, an error code, the following: “error-code-0x0003”.”

        I haven’t noticed that up to now but indeed brings an element to those who are actually trying to resolve the issue.
        I do hope that Softonic engineers are working on fixing this issue, which may be more complicated than we can imagine. Anything to do with databases can become a nightmare, especially when the database remains accessed while being repaired, so to say.

        P.S. My comment about remaining positive was, in this context, sarcastic. Your literal interpretation could mean you are, factually, more inclined to positiveness than I am myself : maybe a lesson of life for me :)

        Have a nice, happy, sunny weekend as well :)

      5. 💾 said on September 16, 2023 at 12:35 pm
        Reply

        Correct: AI is certainly overhyped, it’s also advertised by some shady individuals. It’s can also be misused to write poor quality articles or fake your homework.

        https://wordpress.com/support/post-vs-page/
        https://wordpress.com/support/restore/

        16 September 2023, this website is still experiencing issues with posts erroneously appearing in the wrong threads. There are even duplicates of the exact same post ID within the same page in some places.

      6. 💾 said on September 16, 2023 at 8:41 pm
        Reply

        Clerical error “[It] can also be misused …” you just can’t get the staff nowadays.

        Obviously [#comment-4573795] was originally posted within [/2023/09/14/artificial-intelligence-regulation-tech-leaders/]. However, it has appeared misplaced within several threads.

        Including the following:
        [/2023/09/15/redmi-note-13-specs-release-date-and-more/]
        [/2023/08/29/how-to-fix-geforce-experience-error-code-0x0003]

  4. Anonymous said on September 14, 2023 at 3:39 pm
    Reply

    “How much radiation is dangerous?
    Ionizing radiation, such as X-rays and gamma rays, is more energetic and potentially harmful. Exposure to doses greater than 1,000 millisieverts (mSv) in a short period can increase the risk of immediate health effects.
    Above about 100 mSv, the risk of long-term health effects, such as cancer, increases with the dose.”

    This ban is about NON-ionizing radiation limits, because there is too much radio wave power from the iphone. This has nothing to do with the much more dangerous ionizing radiations like X-rays, that are obviously not emitted at all by mobile phones. I invite you to correct your article.

  5. Anonymous said on September 17, 2023 at 5:03 pm
    Reply

    “Aaro.mil makes history as the first official UFO website”

    I wonder if it’s just smelly crowdsourcing for the spotting of chinese balloons or whatever paranoia they’re trying to instigate, or if they are also intentionally trying to look stupid enough to look for alien spaceships, for whatever reason. Maybe trying to look cute, instead of among the worst butchers of history ?

  6. Anonymous said on September 17, 2023 at 9:12 pm
    Reply

    “The tech titan’s defense”
    “Whether he provides a clear explanation or justifies his actions”
    “the moral compass”

    You take it for granted that this company should agree being a military communications provider on a war zone, and so directly so that his network would be used to control armed drones charged with explosives rushing to their targets.

    You don’t need to repeat here everything you read in the mainstream press without thinking twice about it. You’re not just pointing interestingly that his company is more involved in the war that one may think at first and that this power is worrying, you’re also declaring your own support for a side in an imperialist killfest, blaming him for not participating enough in the bloodshed.

    Now your article is unclear on how this company could be aware that its network is used for such military actions at a given time, which has implications of its own.

    Reading other sources on that quickly, it seems that the company was: explicitly asked ; to extend its network geographically ; for a military attack ; at a time when there was no war but with the purpose of triggering it, if I understood well. You have to be joking if you’re crying about that not happening at that time. But today you have your war, be happy.

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