most governmental agencies around the world are doing undisclosed research in this sector of mind control while keeping their secrets out of the public's view. The following looks at the direction some of the research currently underway is taking that the public has access to seeing.
DARPA’s New Project Is Investing Millions in Brain-Machine Interface Tech
By Shelly Fan - Jun 05, 2019
https://singularityhub.com/2019/06/05/d ... face-tech/
When Elon Musk and DARPA both hop aboard the cyborg hypetrain, you know brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) are about to achieve the impossible.
BMIs, already the stuff of science fiction, facilitate crosstalk between biological wetware with external computers, turning human users into literal cyborgs. Yet mind-controlled robotic arms, microelectrode “nerve patches”, or “memory Band-Aids” are still purely experimental medical treatments for those with nervous system impairments.
With the Next-Generation Nonsurgical Neurotechnology (N3) program, DARPA is looking to expand BMIs to the military. This month, the project tapped six academic teams to engineer radically different BMIs to hook up machines to the brains of able-bodied soldiers. The goal is to ditch surgery altogether—while minimizing any biological interventions—to link up brain and machine.
Rather than microelectrodes, which are currently surgically inserted into the brain to hijack neural communication, the project is looking to acoustic signals, electromagnetic waves, nanotechnology, genetically-enhanced neurons, and infrared beams for their next-gen BMIs.
It’s a radical departure from current protocol, with potentially thrilling—or devastating—impact. Wireless BMIs could dramatically boost bodily functions of veterans with neural damage or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or allow a single soldier to control swarms of AI-enabled drones with his or her mind. Or, similar to the Black Mirror episode Men Against Fire, it could cloud the perception of soldiers, distancing them from the emotional guilt of warfare.
The four-year N3 program focuses on two main aspects: noninvasive and “minutely” invasive neural interfaces to both read and write into the brain.
Because noninvasive technologies sit on the scalp, their sensors and stimulators will likely measure entire networks of neurons, such as those controlling movement. These systems could then allow soldiers to remotely pilot robots in the field—drones, rescue bots, or carriers like Boston Dynamics’ BigDog. The system could even boost multitasking prowess—mind-controlling multiple weapons at once—similar to how able-bodied humans can operate a third robotic arm in addition to their own two.
In contrast, minutely invasive technologies allow scientists to deliver nanotransducers without surgery: for example, an injection of a virus carrying light-sensitive sensors, or other chemical, biotech, or self-assembled nanobots that can reach individual neurons and control their activity independently without damaging sensitive tissue. The proposed use for these technologies isn’t yet well-specified, but as animal experiments have shown, controlling the activity of single neurons at multiple points is sufficient to program artificial memories of fear, desire, and experiences directly into the brain.
“A neural interface that enables fast, effective, and intuitive hands-free interaction with military systems by able-bodied warfighters is the ultimate program goal,” DARPA wrote in its funding brief, released early last year.
The only technologies that will be considered must have a viable path toward eventual use in healthy human subjects.
DARPA’s stated goal is to hook up at least 16 sites in the brain with the BMI, with a lag of less than 50 milliseconds—on the scale of average human visual perception. That’s crazy high resolution for devices sitting outside the brain, both in space and time. Brain tissue, blood vessels, and the scalp and skull are all barriers that scatter and dissipate neural signals. All six teams will need to figure out the least computationally-intensive ways to fish out relevant brain signals from background noise, and triangulate them to the appropriate brain region to decipher intent.
“DARPA is preparing for a future in which a combination of unmanned systems, AI, and cyber operations may cause conflicts to play out on timelines that are too short for humans to effectively manage with current technology alone,” said Al Emondi, the N3 program manager.
The use of BCIs for the military is echoed in the following articles:
US military thinks soldiers are ready to control machines with their minds
by TRISTAN GREENE
https://thenextweb.com/artificial-intel ... eir-minds/
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), a think tank for the Pentagon, hosted a three day symposium in celebration of its 60th anniversary this week. Highlights from the event included discussion of some of the most astounding projects the agency is currently working on. And of those, one in particular caught our eye: The N3, or Next Generation Nonsurgical Neurotechnology, program.
We love DARPA because its job is to come up with wacky futuristic ideas and then see which ones the brass wants to pursue. And the N3 program is everything you hope for in a (not at all) secret military research project.
The N3 program seeks to build a brain computer interface (BCI) that doesn’t require surgery or any invasive procedures. Basically they want to come up with a way to take existing external BCIs and make them fit for combat duty. Current BCI technology, mostly designed to assist the disabled, is entirely unsuited for field deployment.
The US Military Is Working on Tech That Could Turn Soldiers Into Cyborgs
PETER DOCKRILL 22 JAN 2016
https://www.sciencealert.com/the-us-mil ... ital-world
The US military has announced it will be developing an implantable neural interface that can bridge the divide between the human mind and computers.
The Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) says that the interface, which it envisions as a bio-compatible device measuring no larger than 1 cubic centimetre, 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 ambitious scheme, called the Neural Engineering System Design (NESD) program, seeks to boost the abilities of existing brain interfaces that can link 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."
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".
In order to achieve its goal, DARPA says new advancements will need to be made across several fields including neuroscience, synthetic biology, and low-power electronics. There's also the software side of the equation, with new neuro-computation techniques required 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.
To make this possible, DARPA is reaching out to researchers and companies around the world for their assistance in creating these kinds of technologies
Here is another example of some of the work being done:
Battelle-Led Team Wins DARPA Award to Develop Injectable, Bi-Directional Brain Computer Interface
May 20, 2019
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/battelle ... 00201.html
Battelle has for years successfully demonstrated brain-computer interface (BCI) projects—just look at NeuroLife®, which has enabled a quadriplegic man to move his hand again using his thoughts. Now, the government’s forward-thinking Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded a contract to a Battelle-led team that pushes researchers into the realm of what was once considered science fiction.
Imagine this: A soldier puts on a helmet and uses his or her thoughts alone to control multiple unmanned vehicles or a bomb disposal robot. That’s the basis for this effort for DARPA’s Next-Generation Non-Surgical Neurotechnology (N3) program. The N3 program seeks development of high-performance, bi-directional brain-machine interfaces for able-bodied service members. Most of the current BCI research, including Battelle’s NeuroLife technology, focuses on helping people with disabilities who must undergo invasive implant procedures, including brain surgery, to enable a BCI that can restore lost function. For the next BCI leap, in which the technology can be used by healthy military service members, it’s imperative to find lower-risk and less-invasive options.
With regards to Elon Musk's business venture, Neuralink, I suspect more businesses other than just the military will get involved in BCIs. The following article reveals the role Facebook is starting to play with this technology.
Should Facebook still be working on a mind-reading device?
by TRISTAN GREENE — Mar 29, 2018
https://thenextweb.com/facebook/2018/03 ... ng-device/
Would you wear a piece of hardware that could read your thoughts and send them to a computer? The answer to that question, in light of current events, may be different depending on who is making the product.
It sounds pretty cool, in theory: you slide on some sort of headset device, lean back in your favorite recliner, think about sending a Facebook message, and it’s sent. Simple. Seconds later, you hear a chime, and think about reading a reply – which promptly pops up on the nearest screen in your visual field.
That, allegedly, is the future Facebook’s mysterious Building 8 division is working toward. But, surely, there’s no way it’s still considering such an ambitious project now. Right? Not after the giant Cambridge Analytica data scandal.
Actually, turns out they are. A representative for Facebook told TNW, “I can tell you we’re still working on the project but don’t have anything new to share.”