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Scientists are able to predict what song a bird will sing

The zebra finch's vocalizations are similar to human speech, making it a favorite study subject for scientists. Photo: Gil Dekel / Creative Commons

A team of scientists at the University of California, San Diego, have built an interface that can peek into a bird's brain and predict the song it is going to sing "a fraction of a second before it does so," per MIT Technology Review's Antonio Regalado.

Why it matters: The discovery marks the first successful prototype of "a decoder of complex, natural communication signals from neural activity," the team said. They suggest a similar approach could be used to create a way for people to send texts, tweets, and more solely with their minds — an ambition of tech titans like Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg.