The Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has given green signal to a project that, if successful, will allow for soldiers with enhanced cognitive and sensory abilities. In simpler terms, we are about to enter the era of cyborg soldiers if DARPA’s project is a success.
The primary goal of this project is military technology’s development, however, if successful it would also help in civilian applications in future. The neural interface between the computers and human mind can allow for more feasible and practical solutions for those who suffer from hearing and vision problems.
As per DARPA, the project being called Neural Engineering System Design (NESD) is seeking to come up with an implantable bio-compatible device that can work as a translator and is capable of converting between the ‘electrochemical language used by neurons in the brain and the ones and zeros that constitute the language of information technology’. DARPA speculates that investments of up to $60 million will be made in the project over the next 4 years.
In order to make this implant feasible though, DARPA has clearly stated that it ‘will require integrated breakthroughs across numerous disciplines including neuroscience, synthetic biology, low-power electronics, photonics, medical device packaging and manufacturing, systems engineering, and clinical testing.’
The agency hasn’t set a date for this human-machine interface to be available, however, it has already hired a number of experts in the aforementioned fields, thus helping in creation with the creation of cyborg soldiers.