I get the feeling that DARPA, the American military research agency, only ever select their research projects from sci-fi comics.
Wired reports that their latest multi-million dollar project is to create an EEG-based ‘telepathy’ communication system for the battlefield solder:
Forget the battlefield radios, the combat PDAs or even infantry hand signals. When the soldiers of the future want to communicate, they‚Äôll read each other‚Äôs minds.
At least, that‚Äôs the hope of researchers at the Pentagon‚Äôs mad-science division Darpa. The agency‚Äôs budget for the next fiscal year includes $4 million to start up a program called Silent Talk. The goal is to ‚Äúallow user-to-user communication on the battlefield without the use of vocalized speech through analysis of neural signals.‚Äù That‚Äôs on top of the $4 million the Army handed out last year to the University of California to investigate the potential for computer-mediated telepathy.
Before being vocalized, speech exists as word-specific neural signals in the mind. Darpa wants to develop technology that would detect these signals of ‚Äúpre-speech,‚Äù analyze them, and then transmit the statement to an intended interlocutor. Darpa plans to use EEG to read the brain waves. It‚Äôs a technique they‚Äôre also testing in a project to devise mind-reading binoculars that alert soldiers to threats faster the conscious mind can process them.
It’s all getting a bit Rogue Trooper isn’t it?
Link to Wired on DARPA barmyness.