Super Soldiers of the Future May Read Minds

May 15, 2009

(ChattahBox)—A curious new project appearing in the 2010 Department of Defense Budget for the clandestine military research agency, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency or DARPA, is receiving attention for its bizarre exploration into the realm of science fiction.

The project, cryptically entitled “Silent Talk” received $4 million to study ways to enable future soldiers to communicate with each other telepathically, while on the battlefield.

Scientists at DARPA intend to develop ways for soldiers to communicate with each other without using vocalized speech, using neuroscience methods. In other words, read each other’s minds. The military scientists plan to use EEG technology to read and interpret a soldier’s brain waves the moment before speech is vocalized.

Scientists have discovered in previous research that the human brain displays speech as neural signals, which could be translated, delivered and potentially understood to a receiving brain. Once the scientists discover a way to decipher the brain’s speech neural signals, they plan to develop a computer program to allow telepathic communication.

Crazy as it sounds, DARPA sponsored University studies have already achieved success transmitting neural signals to a paralyzed monkey’s brain allowing the primates to move their limbs. This type of research is usually referred to as synthetic telepathy.

Commercial EEG headsets even exist that allow the manipulation of virtual objects by thought alone.

This type of research is par for the course for DARPA, a DOD research agency that is known for its cabal of brilliant scientific minds working on “mad scientist” type projects for the military. DARPA was first created back in 1958, to give the U.S. a technological competitive edge, in response to the Russians besting the U.S. in the race to space, by its launch of Sputnik.

Since its creation, DARPA has developed major technological advancements, including computer networking and hypertext computer language.

If its new “Silent Talk” program succeeds, the military plans to “construct a fieldable pre-prototype that would decode the signal and transmit over a limited range.” Before the military reaches that point however, it first must devise a way to translate a person’s EEG patterns into individual words and then determine if those patterns can be generalized.

The more ambitious military scientists researching the military applications of neuroscience, believe that someday soldiers can use neuroscience to turn the enemy into robots, obeying our commands.

Perhaps in future versions of the popular video game, “Metal Gear Solid,” super soldier, Solid Snake will be equipped with the new mind reading technology on his next mission to rescue the head of DARPA from enemy agents. In fact, in a blending of fantasy into reality, future U.S. soldiers may very well resemble the fictional video game character.



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