Cyborg soldiers have long been considered as nothing more than science fiction, but according to the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the synthesis of human brain with a high-powered computer chip cold create the ultimate warrior.
According to knowledgeable sources, DARPA’s new Neural Engineering System Design (NESD) research program is designed to massively increase brain neuron interaction from tens of thousands in prior versions to multiple millions at a time.
Based on public DARPA documents, the new deeper brain-machine interface under development in NESD will provide a neural connection to “open the channel between the human brain and modern electronics.”
Statement from NESD director
“Today’s best brain-computer interface systems are like two supercomputers trying to talk to each other using an old 300-baud modem [from the 1970’s],” NESD program manager Phillip Alvelda explained in a recent interview. “Imagine what will become possible when we upgrade our tools to really open the channel between the human brain and modern electronics.”
More on DARPA’s cyborg soldiers program
The US military research agency recently announced its plans to eventually create a chip under one cubic centimeter that can be directly implanted in the brain. The microchip would be able to operate as a neural interface through a process of converting electrochemical signals sent by neurons in the brain into traditional digital signals.
A few potential applications of this neural interface technology include boosting the cyborg soldier’s hearing or vision by providing additional digital auditory or visual information into the brain. However, keep in mind that the DARPA proposal noted that that multiple breakthroughs in neuroscience, synthetic biology, low-power electronics and device manufacturing must made before the cyborg soldiers can become reality.
Although it appears that the first applications of the new neural interface technology is likely to be military, these technologies almost always eventually filter down and become commercially available.
Also of interest, DARPA has been involved in the development of many key technologies that have become commonplace today, including GPS, speech translation and even the internet.