Brain-Machine Connectivity

Highly Advanced Neural Interface to Integrate Humans and Machines
The concept of a neural interface linking the human brain with technology is futuristic, ambitious and controversial research.  But the US Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency - DARPA - is leading the way.  A highly advanced neuro-technology program is underway to create unprecedented brain-machine connections. It's a 4 year, top level project to develop ubiquitous, noninvasive neuro-technology to integrate humans and machines.

Neural Interface for Military: N-3
It's called the N-3 Program.  The genesis of it is 21st century war fighting.  There's a compelling need for combat units to quickly process and transmit vital information between cyber systems, unmanned platforms and the human brain.  DARPA's mission is to develop advanced technology to provide the US military with overwhelming technological advantages.  N-3's purpose is to strategically connect the soldier with technology.

N-3: Noninvasive and Safe
DARPA has a storied history of innovation.  It created GPS, Cloud Computing, the Internet, drones and much more.  It has a multidisciplinary team of top researchers and scientists engaged on N-3.  Their goal is to create a safe, portable, neural interface system.  A system that can read from and write to multiple small portions of the brain simultaneously..  The brain-tech communications approaches would be precise and highly effective.

Big Challenges
Many engineering and scientific challenges have to be overcome before deployment.  Foremost, the physics of scattering and wavering of signals as they travel to brain tissue. They obviously need to be right on target.  If that is accomplished, researchers must develop algorithms for coding and decoding neural signals.  Then, animal testing must be performed to determine safety.  And, finally, human volunteer tests.

Ethical and Other Implications
There are clearly ethical, legal and social questions and implications concerning advanced human-machine teaming.  DARPA has brought in legal and ethical experts to independently advise them as N-3 technology matures. DARPA believes it can make significant strides in this 4 year project.  Their   goal is to provide strategic protection to soldiers.  If it works, it will have implications well beyond the battlefield.


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