DARPA is creating CYBORGS!


#1

“DARPA has awarded contracts to five research organizations and one company that will support the Neural Engineering System Design (NESD) program: Brown University; Columbia University; Fondation Voir et Entendre (The Seeing and Hearing Foundation); John B. Pierce Laboratory; Paradromics, Inc.; and the University of California, Berkeley. These organizations have formed teams to develop the fundamental research and component technologies required to pursue the NESD vision of a high-resolution neural interface and integrate them to create and demonstrate working systems able to support potential future therapies for sensory restoration. Four of the teams will focus on vision and two will focus on aspects of hearing and speech.” DARPA

“You know your weapons, buddy. Any one of these is ideal for home defense. So uh, which will it be?”

Truth is getting waaaay stranger than fiction these days. While this sounds really cool, and wouldn’t you just love to be working on this project team?, I can’t help but worry that with the current Trumpian atmosphere and increased Military autonomy that this is not going to end well…


147-mph biker chase demonstrates latest aerial surveillance tech
#2

Yet another piece of the terrible plan is coming together.


#3

In all seriousness I can’t really knock the idea of research designed to help those who lost limbs and such get better control and sensory feedback from their prosthetics. This could change a lot of lives for the better if it pans out.


#4

Yeah, I know it’s pretty damn awesome. I truly wish that I was an engineer and qualified to work on such an endeavor. The possibilities are endless.

I just have a suspicion that the effort will eventually revisit the concepts of Future Combat Systems, a failed efort by Boeing and others to interconnect military assets as nodes on a network. With this effort humans as nodes on a network is possible…


#5

The Warrior’s bland acronym, MMI, obscures the true horror of
this monstrosity. Its inventors promise a new era of genius, but
meanwhile unscrupulous power brokers use its forcible installation
to violate the sanctity of unwilling human minds. They are
creating their own private army of demons.

—Commissioner Pravin Lal,
“Report on Human Rights”

That said; the tech is likely to be pretty cool; but you can’t exactly trust even benevolently intended computer systems to be secure or behave as intended; and you certainly can’t trust computer systems to be benevolently intended; so it’s hard to see how a lot of the likely use cases are going to avoid going quite poorly.


#6

There is convergence coming from the other direction also, computation being done with organic molecules. That’s partly why I don’t parse social interactions in terms of discrete organisms (which they never truly were anyway) but rather do as networks of interdependent partially autonomous agents. It seems more accurate now, and more future proof as life and computation are mutually re-negotiated over time.


#7

Terminator wasn’t a cyborg.

That’s a cyborg.


#8

Yeah. Perhaps Flossy can help.


#9

So, you see a time when synthetic meat is adapted with implants?


#10

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