US military is working on tech that could turn soldiers into cyborgs

Soon United States will have cyborgs fighting for its military instead of human soldiers

The prospects of a ‘Terminator’ type future could soon be a reality with ‘Big Brother’ United States having cyborgs in its army instead of human soldiers. US military has announced it will be developing an implantable neural interface that can bridge the divide between the human mind and computers.

The new program plans to achieve dramatically enhanced data-transfer connections between the brain and the digital world, falls under the wing of President Obama’s BRAIN Initiative (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies). In layman terms US military is working on a technology that can develop cyborgs to fight for it instead of humans.

The US Military is working with  Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) on the project. DARPA says that that the interface will be a bio-compatible device measuring no larger than 1 cubic centimetre. Once it is in place, the interface would act as a translator that converts between the “electrochemical language used by neurons in the brain and the ones and zeros that constitute the language of information technology”.

The complex and ambitious plan that DARPA is working is on is called the Neural Engineering System Design (NESD) program.

NESD will develop such technology similar to a modem, necessary to communicate between human mind and machine. Current devices consist of about 100 channels, but DARPA intends to develop a system that can communicate with up to 1 million neurons at a time.

“Today’s best brain-computer interface systems are like two supercomputers trying to talk to each other using an old 300-baud modem,” said project manager Phillip Alvelda. “Imagine what will become possible when we upgrade our tools to really open the channel between the human brain and modern electronics.”

The DARPA scientists feel that once this superfast communication interface between the humans and machines is developed, they could be on track to develop real cyborg soldiers as envisioned in movies like Terminator or Universal Soldier.

The communication interface would also open the technology for alternative uses like health, research, space exploration etc. According to DARPA, the device could provide a foundation for new health therapies, digitally compensating for “deficits in sight or hearing by feeding digital auditory or visual information into the brain at a resolution and experiential quality far higher than is possible with current technology”.

However, DARPA’s interface is still at a pre-planning stage because it will need advancements in across several fields including neuroscience, synthetic biology, and low-power electronics. The interface will also require a super software that can compile neuro-computation techniques that can accurately transcode and compress high-definition sensory information between digital hardware and the brain on the fly, and all without significant losses in fidelity.

As of now DARPA is reaching out to researchers, scientists and companies in different fields and countries around the world to work out a feasibility report. If it manages to converge various fields as required for the interface, we could soon see Cyborgs patrolling the war zones of Iraq, Syria and other troubled spots in the world.

To get details about DARPA’s BRAIN Initiative,check out their page here.

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