Mind-controlled weaponry: A looming worldwide threat?

DARPA, The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is a wing of the United States of America’s Department of Defense tasked with devising, employing, improvising and utilizing state-of-the-art and pioneering technologies for military purposes.

The organization has commissioned to pay researchers to devise ways to promptly read soldiers’ minds (in real time) through implements such as genetic engineering of the human brain, nanotechnology, and infrared radiation.

The ultimate destination of this entire exercise – in – finesse and ambitious experimentation shall be the development of thought-controlled weapons, deployable in the form of hordes of mini-drones that can be dispatched into the sky solely via a single thought

“Imagine someone who’s operating a drone or someone who might be
analyzing a lot of data,”

These are the words said by Jacob Robinson, Assistant Professor of Bioengineering at Rice University stated.  He’s leading one of the participant research teams, probing and pondering upon the challenge.

“There’s this latency, where if I want to communicate with my machine, I have to send a signal from my brain to move my fingers or move my mouth to make a verbal command, and this limits the speed at which I can interact with either a cyber system or physical system. So the thought is maybe we could improve that speed of interaction.”

“When you try to capture brain activity through the skull, it’s hard to know where the signals are coming from and when and where the signals are being generated,” Live Science quoted Robinson as saying. “So the big challenge is, can we push the absolute limits of our resolution, both in space and time?”

Surgical manipulation and liaison of the brain would be too invasive and violate susceptible passages, posing a sizeable risk of intruding with vital processes and channels, in some cases irreversibly. Patch Electrodes were devised in order to circumvent standing this risk but they are of questionable accuracy and poor refinement in the receipt of brain activity signals.

A custom-built “helmet” applies a magnetic field to select neurons, the setting the magnetic core into motion and exerting pressure upon the external shell to produce an electrical signal that triggers to stimulate the neuron. This also works the other way round i.e. electrical impulses from triggering neurons are interpreted into minuscule magnetic fields that are then detected by detectors present in the headpiece.

It broaches obvious but attending long-term concerns and raised ethical considerations regarding lack of incentive to work, over convenience and vulnerability to the whim and arbitrarily. Will our thoughts finally dictate the world’s pace and our moods set its tempo?

Parth Shukla
A freelance writer with subtle experience in the domain and a go-getter attitude along with a high drive for entrepreneurial opportunities.

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