What if computers could decode what people think and dream? Recent studies and advancements in artificial intelligence suggest that soon, computers may be able to do just that. In a 2014 study, Dr. Rajesh Rao, a neuroscientist at the University of Washington, and Dr. Jeff Ojemann, a neurosurgeon at the University of Washington Medical Center, asked seven people with severe epilepsy to watch images on a screen after surgical implantation of electrodes in their temporal lobes (the region of the brain that coordinates sensory input and recognition). Patients with epilepsy were used for the study because they had already had electrodes implanted for doctors to observe the place of origin of seizures within their temporal lobes.
If a scientist flips a coin 10 times and it lands heads-up every time, intuition suggests that the coin is weighted. Indeed, the probability that a fair coin lands heads-up 10 times in a row is (0.5)^10, or about 0.1 percent. It’s a small, but nonetheless non-zero, number. How should the scientist responsibly report these results? Does it suffice to say that the coin is maybe, possibly, probably weighted according to intuition?