Thursday, May 14, 2009

DARPA Wants Synthetic Telepathy

Forget the battlefield radios, the combat PDAs or even infantry hand signals. When the soldiers of the future want to communicate, they’ll read each other’s minds.

At least, that’s the hope of researchers at the Pentagon’s mad-science division Darpa. The agency’s budget for the next fiscal year includes $4 million to start up a program called Silent Talk. The goal is to “allow user-to-user communication on the battlefield without the use of vocalized speech through analysis of neural signals.” That’s 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 “pre-speech,” analyze them, and then transmit the statement to an intended interlocutor. Darpa plans to use EEG to read the brain waves. It’s a technique they’re also testing in a project to devise mind-reading binoculars that alert soldiers to threats faster the conscious mind can process them.

The project has three major goals, according to Darpa. First, try to map a person’s EEG patterns to his or her individual words. Then, see if those patterns are generalizable — if everyone has similar patterns. Last, “construct a fieldable pre-prototype that would decode the signal and transmit over a limited range.”

Wow. Think about the possibilities!


Zach said...

You know, DARPA built Metal Gear REX. Well, that's not quite right. They funded Metal Gear REX, which was built by ArmsTech.

Noel Maurer said...

I doubt this will work.

I also hope it won't work.

Parady said...

Nothing new there , Military always do weird stuff all in the name of war."how to kill people with efficiency" surely a waste of time and resource that doesn't help humanity much...

Will Baird said...

I doubt this will work.I give it a 25% chance.

I also hope it won't work.Why? This one is going to be BIG if it works. MMI is coming and damned soon. If not for us, then our kids for sure, Noel. They already have freakin monkeys controlling robot arms through an "MMI".

They've also hooked up the blind to cameras to give them experimental sight. Why not pre-vocalizations as well?


You're a funny guy.

Parady said...

I mean before we used it for civilian use , the military will use it to do their "thing(war)" and that's the waste of time/money.

OH well , I guess that's how things works ,like the internet.major sci-fi things like that will pass through the military before getting in our hands

sorry for my English , pretty bad to express idea since its not my native language

Will Baird said...

Actually, most tech doesn't pass through the military first. They do specific needs of their own and that often spins out, but most of the time, especially since the early 90s, its been the other way: civ tech has been percolating into the military.