History boasts no shortage of trigger-happy war mongers. Though many were able to resist the physical act of non-stop trigger-pulling (some were not), I’d venture to guess their minds were even more rampant with thoughts of annihilation.
Perhaps a scary thought, considering a recent report published by the Royal Society that highlights the military’s interest in neuroscience, particularly the potential for “neural interface systems” (NIS) that could control weapons with the human mind.
The report identifies two two types of neural interfaces: those that “input into” the brain’s neural systems and those that keep track of neural activity to predict “motor intentions.” The NIS technologies mentioned in the report include EEG and electrical implants. The report also referenced the Brain Gate system that allows paralyzed people to operate an on-screen cursor by imagining the motion.
“NIS such as BrainGate could also be used to allow long-range control of motion,” the report explains.
“Electrode arrays implanted in the nervous system could provide a connection between the nervous system of an able-bodied individual and a specific hardware or software system. Since the human brain can process images, such as targets, much faster than the subject is consciously aware of, a neurally interfaced weapons systems could provide significant advantages over other system control methods in terms of speed and accuracy.”
Both U.S. and U.K. government agencies are reportedly funding programs to further research these neuroscience applications.