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6 Jun, 2019 14:07

Mind-controlled drones? Pentagon hopes to test telepathy tech on humans within 4 years

Mind-controlled drones? Pentagon hopes to test telepathy tech on humans within 4 years

The Pentagon agency tasked with developing new technology for the US military says it’s just a few short years away from beginning human tests of a headset that gives its wearer telepathic powers.

Professor Jacob Robinson of Rice University, the research team coordinator at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), told the Express that the brain-computer interface (BCI) would be capable of telepathically commanding “active cyber defense systems” as well as “swarms of unmanned vehicles.”

The researcher noted that the technology would remove the “communication latency” between the mind and the body.

There is a delay between my thought and the movement of the muscles required to interface with the external world. So, the idea is if we can communicate from the brain to the external world without having to move a muscle then we could have a much faster communication with external devices.

DARPA hopes to begin testing the futuristic tech on humans within the next four years. A major hurdle, according to Robinson, is receiving approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The professor stressed that the headset wouldn’t just be for military use.

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“Following the clinical trials, we can imagine consumer products being developed, involving a traditional transition and those development times could range between ten and twenty years,” he stated.

Robinson acknowledged that there is always “additional concern” when the US government develops technologies which have the potential to be misused, but insisted that there are rules in place to make sure his research does not violate ethical standards.

“For neural technology in particular there is a set of guidelines the community is developing, called neural-ethical standards. And as we develop this technology, we are in constant contact with ethicists [on] how to protect this technology from misuse.”

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Developing mind-control technology has become a central focus for DARPA. The Pentagon announced in February that it was accepting proposals for “next-generation neurotechnology” to help bolster its pre-existing neural interface research.

The agency has invested heavily in brain technologies since 2013 when it unveiled its BRAIN (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) initiative, consisting of several programs dedicated to making “revolutionary” advancements in neuroscience.

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