DiscoveryNews says what I was just thinking. I mean, they’ve got a machine that can do that:
The first “words” detected from the subject’s brain were three vowel sounds, but the speed with which the speech thought was transmitted into audible sound was about 50 milliseconds — the same amount of time it typically takes for naturally occurring speech.
The embedded electrode amplifies neural signals and converts them into FM radio waves which are then transmitted wirelessly across the subject’s scalp to two coils on his head that serve as receiving antennas.
The signals are then routed into a system that digitizes, sorts and decodes them. The results are fed into a program that synthesizes speech which runs on desktop or laptop computer.
“The most significant thing is that this shows it would be possible for someone who is paralyzed to speak in real-time rather than going through a painful typing process,” Guenther said. “This communication is very important because these people are completely locked out from the rest of the world.”