US Army Believes They Can Develop Mindreading Technology
Pretty soon, we will see yesterday’s science fiction become the real world today. This is certainly the first thought that came to my mind when learning about the United States Army's recent intentions.
Since technology is growing exponentially, the U.S. Army doesn’t want to be left out. And since they protect our society and livelihood, we should probably support that.
Aggressive goals for the US Army
Their most recent objective is to dive deep into the land of neuroscience research. They believe that doing so could create a mindreading system for future soldiers to use on the battlefield for communication purposes.
I know, when you first hear about this plan, it draws a chuckle and seems to be awfully far-fetched. But if you step back a second, this is more plausible than we might think. There have been various studies that indicate a potential for such a thing.
The military believes that its researchers can eventually decipher the brain signals generated by the human mind. Thus, they are committing to this experimental project and its potential for warfare in the future.
We can’t lose sight of the fact that many of our technologies originated during wartime. The radar is a prime example of that.
Research funding committed
To get this research going, the Army Research Office (ARO) has invested $6.25 million in this project for the next five years. Perhaps we could be well on our way to seeing a real live cyborg on the battlefield.
But in reality, this mindreading technology could take a few decades to create, but the Army is quite serious about its development. Currently, ARO neuroscientists claimed that they have already discovered how to parse and decode neural signals from the human brain that orchestrate behavior.
Sorting out brain signals
While singling out such signals is not really mindreading, it is a breakthrough in identifying the purpose and meaning of specific brain noise that will allow computers to begin interpreting them.
“Here we’re not only measuring signals, but we’re interpreting them,” stated Hamid Krim, who is the ARO program manager. “You can read anything you want; doesn’t mean that you understand it. The next step after that is to be able to understand it. The next step after that is to break it down into words so that … you can synthesize in a sense like you learn your vocabulary and your alphabet, then you can compose.”
“At the end of the day, that is the original intent mainly: to have the computer actually being in a full-duplex communication mode with the brain.” Krim further added.
By employing complex mathematics and a special algorithm, ARO researchers labeled which brain signals are directing motion or associated activities, and was able to separate them from other behavior-irrelevant messages.
The scientists' objective is to create a system where high-level computers deliver replies to soldiers' brains when they seek countermeasures for dangerous and life-threatening situations. Emotional brain signals such as anxiety, stress, and fatigue are not easily recognized, so having a human-machine interface might greatly enhance survival chances on the battlefield.
Of course, the next step of a mindreading military system would be crafting silent communication between soldiers.
“In a theater, you can have two people talking to each other without even whispering a word,” Krim emphasized. “So you and I are out there in the theater, and we have to talk about something that we’re confronting. I basically talked to my computer — your computer can be in your pocket, it can be your mobile phone or whatever — and that computer talks to your teammate’s computer. And then his or her computer is going to talk to your teammate.”
Andrew Eversden. (November 25, 2020). Could soldiers silently communicate using brain signals in the future? https://www.c4isrnet.com/battlefield-tech/it-networks/2020/11/25/could-soldiers-silently-communicate-using-brain-signals-in-the-future/.
Geekologie.com. (February 1, 2013). First Video Of A Thought Being Formed In The Brain. https://geekologie.com/2013/02/first-video-of-a-thought-being-formed-in.php.