Remember that action movie called “The Universal Soldier” where the army used neural implants in order to revive dead marines? It would seem that the US Army is currently involved in similar affairs. The Army wants to develop cybernetic soldiers, using high-tech neural processors.
DARPA or the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Army’s wingman when it comes to high-tech weapons, had just announced that it has created a new defense program called NESD. One would ask what the mandate of this new defense program is.
According to DARPA and to the US Army, NESD, the first program of its kind, is aimed at creating the perfect interface between the human brain and a supercomputer. DARPA intends to bridge the gap between the human brain and the computer via computer chips, small enough to fit into the narrow confines of the brain, but powerful enough to handle the biological signals from millions of neurons.
The new approach in creating the perfect interface between human and computer has any number of military application. For instance, soldiers outfitted with such a computer chip could easily relay back to HQ significant data about the enemy’s position. Moreover, soldiers receiving this implant could receive intel directly on the field, without needing any other communication device.
The Army wants to develop cybernetic soldier and the first step to achieving this goal is to create a powerful computer chip capable of handling biological information.
Phillip Alveda, the manager of the NESD program made a few statements regarding the ongoing projects. The computer scientists declared that the ultimate goal of the program is to transform biological signals into digital signals.
Presently, there is a computer capable of doing this thing, but it lack in accuracy. According to the scientists, the best human-computer interface available can handle biological information from several thousand neurons, via 100 channel. But the results are often vague, filled with inadvertences and white noise.
In jokingly manner, Alveda also explained how challenging is to make a computer understand human thought. The scientists pointed out that our best interface created so far is like two supercomputers who are coerced into talking each other using a dial-up modem.
DARPA is in for quite a challenge because, in order to achieve the perfect link between the human brain and a supercomputer, every field of study must chip in. Alveda pointed out that additional research in the field of low-power components, neuroscience, photonics and biology must be performed in order to achieve this goal.
Until then, NESD is searching for potential investors. For this purpose, DARPA will arrange a meeting between the 2nd and the 3rd of February in Arlington. Their ultimate goal is to raise enough funds in order to get the program under way.