The Pentagon’s research agency,DARPA is set to spend $62 million on developing an implantable microchip,that will allow the human brain to directly communicate with computer systems.DARPA’s program director for the project says the implant is seeking to “open the channel between the human brain and modern electronics.”
In January, DARPA announced it plans to spend up to $62 million on the project, which is part of its Neural Engineering System Design program.
A statement from DARPA said it will enable “data-transfer bandwidth between the human brain and the digital world, feeding digital auditory or visual information into the brain.”
DARPA sees the implant as providing a foundation for new therapies that could help people with deficits in sight or hearing by “feeding digital auditory or visual information into the brain.The research agency claims the project is not intended for military purposes, yet experts believe it will have many military applications. While it could potentially restore senses to injured veterans, it could also be used to heighten the senses of perfectly healthy soldiers.
Either way, DARPA is seeking to perfect the cyborg– an individual with both organic and mechanical body parts.
The potential cyborg connection wasn’t lost on CNN who reported:
The U.S. military is currently developing a battery-powered exoskeleton, the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit, to provide superior protection from enemy fire and in-helmet technologies that boost the user’s communications ability and vision.In theory, the proposed neural implant would allow the military member operating the suit to more effectively control the armored exoskeleton while deployed in combat
If this device could be used to heighten the awareness of an individual’s surroundings, could it also be manipulated to present a misleading perspective on what is happening around the implanted person?
Could a soldier be manipulated into believing something was happening due to a certain message being transmitted to the implant, when in actual fact something entirely different was occurring in reality?
However, Steven Pinker, a cognitive scientist from Harvard, is sceptical that the device could ever work:
“We have little to no idea how exactly the brain codes complex information” “My guess is that it’s a waste of taxpayer dollars.”
Despite these concerns, DARPA is pressing ahead with the project.
Do you think we are now a step closer to cyborg super soldiers, or just wasting $62 million?
Via: 21st Century Wire