Last year, the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced that it was seeking noninvasive ways “to achieve high levels of brain-system communications without surgery.” The techniques would “allow precise, high-quality connections to specific neurons or groups of neurons.”
The agency wants to create mind-controlled weapons of war, as it (vaguely) explained in two recent press releases.
To achieve this goal, DARPA recently formed a program called Next-Generation Nonsurgical Neurotechnology (N3).
DARPA wants soldiers to be able to control machines with their minds.
According to a press release published on May 20, 2019, the agency has awarded funding to six companies to support N3:
Battelle Memorial Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), Rice University, and Teledyne Scientific are leading multidisciplinary teams to develop high-resolution, bidirectional brain-machine interfaces for use by able-bodied service members. These wearable interfaces could ultimately enable diverse national security applications such as control of active cyber defense systems and swarms of unmanned aerial vehicles, or teaming with computer systems to multitask during complex missions. (source)
When the four-year program was announced last year, in a press release DARPA began by mentioning all of the positive things that brain-machine interfaces are being used for:
Over the past two decades, the international biomedical research community has demonstrated increasingly sophisticated ways to allow a person’s brain to communicate with a device, allowing breakthroughs aimed at improving quality of life, such as access to computers and the internet, and more recently control of a prosthetic limb. DARPA has been at the forefront of this research.
The state of the art in brain-system communications has employed invasive techniques that allow precise, high-quality connections to specific neurons or groups of neurons. These techniques have helped patients with brain injury and other illnesses. (source)
Sounds noble enough…until you get to the next line.
However, these techniques are not appropriate for able-bodied people. DARPA now seeks to achieve high levels of brain-system communications without surgery, in its new program,