Brains at DARPA

The gnomes at the Pentagon are always pushing the limits of science, and these days they're looking into brains. A leading DARPA initiative investigates the possibility of telepathy. I can't say that faster communication between soldiers is the wave of the future. While it'd be useful to be able to communicate well in a squad that was split up, there are probably easier ways to do this. While I'm fairly sure general emotional states could be transmitted, the only one that seems useful militarily is 'danger.' Extracting enough information out of an EEG to allow tactical command seems like a major challenge. For a good look at how a developed system of this type would work, see Scalzi's The Ghost Brigade.

Where I see this coming in handy is in therapy, negotiations, and relationships. If these machines allow better interpersonal emotional understanding, i.e. empathy, they offer a path to peace. By becoming more in tune with our emotions, we can better understand ourselves and each other, reducing tension in this world.

Techer could be new DARPA chief.


  1. I guess they can't get clearance to start putting electrode arrays in people's heads ? I'm fairly certain that current technology, with a few crude hacks, could implement a good link. If they can read a monkey's thoughts to move a robot arm, they can train soldiers to talk over brain chips. Give them an island where the laws don't apply, and some poor people or 'volunteers', and they'll have it done in two years.

  2. Well, the military has a history of testing experimental medical on active duty soldiers. Informed consent is tricky enough, even without the power imbalance between enlisted men and officers. DARPA, as a non-classified agency, is not the best group to run these experiments, but I'm willing to bet that somewhere in the black-ops complex there's a research division willing to run these experiments.