A group of researchers at Boston University have been working at the Speech Prosthesis Project, a project aimed at being able to read "speech" directly from the brain. Using electrodes implanted in the brain of a paralyzed man, they've been recording pulses in areas of the brain involved in speech. They can use these pulses to drive speech software.
They're still working things out, but they hope to be able to turn these brain pulses into speech so the paralyzed can talk without using their minds. It's a pretty remarkable project, one that promises to make a huge difference in the lives of people "locked in" to their bodies due to paralysis.