The US Army is funding research into silent communication via brain signals

midian182

Posts: 6,681   +59
Staff member
Forward-looking: Imagine if soldiers could communicate with each other through thought alone, using only their brainwaves. The US Army is pouring millions into research that could make the frankly terrifying scenario a reality, and the first breakthrough has already been made.

As reported by C4isrnet, the US Army Research Office has put up $6.25 million in funding for the project over the next five years. It is being led by researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles; the University of California, Berkeley; Duke University; and New York University, along with several from the UK.

The research has already been successful in separating brain signals that influence action or behavior from other brain signals. By using an algorithm and complex mathematics, the team could identify which brain signals were related to behavior and remove them from those that were classed as irrelevant.

By identifying these brain signals, it could lead to the creation of a machine able to interpret them and provide feedback, allowing a soldier to take corrective action before something happens. Hamid Krim, a program manager for the Army Research Office, gave the example of stress and fatigue signals that are given out by the brain before someone realizes they are stressed or tired. The technology could let soldiers know they need a break ahead of time.

The other potential application for the research is for silent, fast communication. By just thinking about an action, it could be interpreted by a computer and relayed to a teammate or a commander. “So you and I are out there in the theater and we have to [...] talk about something that we’re confronting,” explained Krim. “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.”

Tests on separating brain waves have already been carried out on monkeys, but don’t expect to see the technology populating battlefields for a few more decades.

Image credit: Getmilitaryphotos

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Endymio

Posts: 1,334   +1,216
The US Army is pouring millions into research that could make the frankly terrifying scenario a reality
I see we're still not separating the commentary from the news reporting. In any case, this really shouldn't be "terrifying" to anyone alive today. In a couple decades, we might see this interpreting a soldier's motion centers, and even then after only extensive training on a person-by-person basis. Reading a random person's thoughts on the fly? In fifty years, perhaps.
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 3,933   +3,005
Forget about the military... the real money is in SPORTS! Imagine how awesome this would be for the NFL!
 
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yRaz

Posts: 3,607   +3,528
This is just a conspiracy to make people wearing tinfoil hats look stupid
 

VitalyT

Posts: 5,499   +5,102
Where did they find brain in the army though? Check for the most famous oxymorons, you will find that "army intelligence" pretty much tops the list.
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,334   +1,216
Where did they find brain in the army though? Check for the most famous oxymorons, you will find that "army intelligence" pretty much tops the list.
You realize that's an old army joke, directed not against the army at large, but at the intelligence divisions.
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,334   +1,216
In twenty years, it won't matter because if we hadn't managed to end war by then, we'll probably be extinct anyway.
That was a common sentiment after WWI, and even more so during the Cold War years. We're still around today, and we're still not extinct.

Let us assume it has happened, how will you make the "firewall" which will stop me from controlling your brain? The article clearly mentions "signals that influence action or behavior"
That reference is to signals originating within the brain. This is about interpreting those signals, not controlling them.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 1,159   +1,296
TechSpot Elite
That was a common sentiment after WWI, and even more so during the Cold War years. We're still around today, and we're still not extinct.
That is a false equivalency if I've ever seen one. How many countries had the H-Bomb in WWI? On any given day, we could wipe all life from the surface of the Earth. That was not a possibility at the end of WWI (or WWII for that matter). The power of our nuclear arsenals is so vast that it's only a matter of time before the wrong person gets control of some of it and decides to bring about the biblical Armageddon.

Two relatively primitive atomic bombs were so horrific that they made the "never surrender" Japanese surrender. Those two incredibly powerful weapons look like toys compared to the "small-yield" cruise missile-delivered nukes measured in kilotons today, let alone the big multi-megaton ICBM-delivered nukes that can wipe out a city the size of Hong Kong in mere seconds.

At the end of WWI, they hadn't the slightest idea about the horrors that humanity is capable of. We probably still don't. One day, we'll have weapons that make the Tsar Bomba look like Fat Man and that idea is just plain depressing. Here we already have the Pentagon wasting taxpayer money on reading brain waves. That's one step closer to complete mind control which I'm sure is their ultimate goal.
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,334   +1,216
That is a false equivalency if I've ever seen one. How many countries had the H-Bomb in WWI? On any given day, we could wipe all life from the surface of the Earth.
Firstly, I wasn't asserting an equivalency: read more carefully. The belief in the apocalyptic potential of war was common after WWI, and increased substantially during the Cold War year, as I pointed out. This is indisputable fact.

Secondly, we don't have "H-Bombs" even today . All modern strategic and tactical nuclear weapons are boosted-fission devices. Weapons like Tsar Bomba and Ivy Mike were showpiece devices, were never meant to be included in actual arsenals, and were far too large and weighty to be delivered by missile anyway.

Thirdly, and, despite what you learned from Hollywood films, we don't have anywhere near nuclear weapons to "wipe all life" from the planet. Not even if we had ten times as many.

Two relatively primitive atomic bombs were so horrific that they made the "never surrender" Japanese surrender. Those two incredibly powerful weapons look like toys compared to the "small-yield" cruise missile-delivered nukes measured in kilotons today, let alone the big multi-megaton ICBM-delivered nukes
To correct a few more misconceptions, cruise missiles and ICBMs carry warheads of essentially the same yield (200-500kt is standard). ICBMs simply carry more of them, in a MIRV configuration. Also, the destructive radius of a nuclear weapon rises very slowly, as the cube root of the yield. This means that our modern weapons (which have about 20X the yield of the ~15kt weapons used on Japan) have only about 3X the blast radius.
 

Neatfeatguy

Posts: 269   +363
Serg....What are you trying to tell me? That I can dodge bullets?

No, private. I’m trying to tell you that when you’re ready, you won’t have to.
 

Bullwinkle M

Posts: 454   +350
This is just a conspiracy to make people wearing tinfoil hats look stupid

That's too funny

But seriously, the problem with this is twofold

1. we can already read minds

and

2. People lie to you in their heads just like they lie to you when speaking to thwart such capability

Just ask Donald Trump

It's easy
 

loki1944

Posts: 527   +360
After the resounding success of the NLOS, Crusader, B.A.T., and XM8 programs; I have great faith in this succeeding.