The US government has announced plans to implant tiny computers the size of a silver dollar into Americans’ brains so they can communicate telepathically, download thoughts, and connect to the internet.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) handed out $65 million to six research teams, which have been given a four year timeframe to develop the disturbing new technology.
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These implants could also allow us to operate machinery with our minds, treat brain injuries and let societies of the future send WhatsApp messages using the power of thought.
NY Post reports: Scientists are expected to weave together a vast network of “neurograins” that can be worn as implants on top of the cerebral cortex or even embedded in it.
Packed with sensors, the implants will detect how the brain processes and decodes spoken language so it can be interpreted and understood by computers.
Some teams will be focused on improving sight while others will concentrate on hearing and speech.
It’ll be no small task to design the brain-reading devices.
DARPA said the “high resolution” implants must record signals from 1 million neurons at any given time.
The headset — or implant — must be able to receive signals as well as transmit them and squeeze everything inside a device no larger than a silver dollar.
DARPA’s Neural Engineering System Design (NESD) arm will fund five academic research groups and one small San Jose-based company to achieve this.
Founding NESD manager Phillip Alvelda said: “By increasing the capacity of advanced neural interfaces to engage more than 1 million neurons in parallel, NESD aims to enable rich two-way communication with the brain at a scale that will help deepen our understanding of that organ’s underlying biology, complexity and function.”
It’s unclear how the brain implants will be tested.
But DARPA might not be the first to make telepathy a reality.
Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg claim to be working on similar technology.
Zuckerberg has admitted that Facebook is secretly developing a mind-reading brain “interface” designed to allow humans to communicate telepathically.
He later refused to deny whether this will be used to improve the way in which brands can sell their products on the social network, which is funded purely by massive advertising campaigns.
Fellow billionaire Musk recently founded Neuralink, a firm which will develop “neural lace” capable of downloading thoughts and connecting our minds to the internet.
He hopes humans will be able to “download thoughts” and possibly even treat disorders such as epilepsy and depression using the tech.