The US Army Research Office has reportedly made an important breakthrough in an effort to develop machine-assisted battlefield telepathy.
Researchers have isolated brain signals involving physical motion from signals that don’t involve movement.
The seemingly small step by Army-funded researchers at the University of Southern California allows the military to more finely parse the remaining brain signals for potential use in non-verbal machine-facilitated communication.
Hamid Krim, a program manager for the Army Research Office, told the tech publication C4ISRNET that “the next step after that is to break it down into into words so that … you can synthesize in a sense, like you learn your vocabulary and your alphabet, then you are able to compose.”
Krim said prior studies determined that the brain emits stress and fatigue signals before a person realizes they are experiencing either. The latest research was performed on monkeys.
Krim said that the research is intended for mind-reading among compatriots wearing advanced technology, rather than offensive telepathy involving reading the minds of enemy fighters.
“In a theater, you can have two people talking to each other without … even whispering a word. So you and I are out there in the theater and we have to … talk about something that we’re confronting,” Krim said.
“I basically talked to my computer — your computer can be in your pocket, it can be your mobile phone or whatever — and that computer talks to … your teammate’s computer. And then his or her computer is going to talk to your teammate.”
The Army has budgeted $6.25 million over five years for the research. It’s a relatively small amount of money. The annual National Defense Authorization Act expected to pass the House on Tuesday costs roughly $740 billion.