Enhanced Warfighters: Risk, Ethics, and Policy

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posted on Jan, 2 2013 @ 12:20 PM
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It's just insane what our government is investing so much money into. I mean they are really trying to create the ultimate killing machine. A soldier who can eat grass, sleep two hours a day, run like a dog, feel no pain, control computers with their brains, and have a tongue work like a sonar.

While I think it pretty cool to be able to do these things for fun, I doubt these soldiers will make good roommates when they get back from whatever deployment they were on.

I think we should start looking for John Connor before this guy finds him first.



Below is some of the madness, and a lot more here


Similar to the Hollywood movie of the same name, DARPA’s Avatar program seeks to “develop interfaces and algorithms to enable a soldier to effectively partner with a semi-autonomous bi-pedal machine and allow it to act as the soldier's surrogate” [DARPA 2012a, 123]. Relatedly, DARPA’s Bits to Behavior via Brains (B3) program is investigating how virtual-world activities impact real-world neural mechanisms [DARPA 2012a, 45].



Memory: Where DARPA’s Human Assisted Neural Devices program seeks to strengthen and restore memories [DARPA 2012a, 50], other research aims to produce drugs and treatments that can erase memories, e.g., horrific ones that cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) [Lehrer 2012].



Learning that surpasses results from traditional methods may perhaps count as an enhancement, especially new techniques that exploit advances in neuroscience and cognitive psychology. This is the goal of several research programs at DARPA, such as: Neurotechnology for Intelli-gence Analysts, Accelerated Learning, Education Dominance, Augmented Cogni-tion, and Training Superiority programs



Q-Sight is a flight helmet that enhances situational awareness as well as control of the aircraft, including targeting through eye movements [BAE 2012b]. Some projects seek to enable communication through thought alone, such as the brain-computer interface work—or “synthetic telepathy”—funded by the US Army Re-search Office, in collaboration with University of California at Irvine, Carnegie Mellon University, and University of



DARPA’s Functional Materials pro-gram aims to develop telescoping contact lenses [DARPA 2012a, 156]. We already mentioned DARPA’s CT2WS, as well as the Google’s Project Glass; the latter is not funded or related to military applications, but it may have dual-use applicationsDARPA’s Functional Materials pro-gram aims to develop telescoping contact lenses [DARPA 2012a, 156]. We already mentioned DARPA’s CT2WS, as well as the Google’s Project Glass; the latter is not funded or related to military applications, but it may have dual-use applications



Chemical sensors are increasingly important, since they can detect explosives and other materials. DARPA’s RealNose project, for instance, seeks to mimic a dog’s sense of smell (olfactory system) for “greater sensitivity to a wide range of new and old chemical agents and will serve to protect troops and infrastructure” [DARPA 2012h].



Insofar as smell is closely related to taste, enhancements to the olfactory system (smell) could be considered as enhance-ments to the gustatory system (taste). “Electronic tongues” can identify flavors, bitterness, spiciness, saltiness, sweetness, and other tastes. Moreover, the US military is interested in using the human tongue to sense or “see” the surrounding environment, as sonars can, for 360-degree “vision” even at night



Relatedly, US and UK scientists are researching genetic and cellular (mitochon-drial) enhancements to enable soldiers to run for long distances and to survive longer without food, e.g., as Alaskan sled dogs are able [Alexander 2010]. As a substitute for human food, DARPA’s Crystalline Cellulose Conversion to Glucose (C3G) program could someday enable warfighters to eat otherwise indigestible materials, such as grass [DARPA 2012i].  Sleep: Besides the basic need for foo



Unintended killings of noncombatants—or “collateral damage”—may be permissible, but not their deliberate targeting; but to the extent that biological weapons today target anyone, they also target everyone. (If they don’t target anyone in particular but still kill people, then immediately they would seem to be indiscriminate.) However, a future biological weapon, e.g., a virus that attacks only blue-eyed people or a certain DNA signature [Hessel et al. 2012], may be discriminate and therefore would not violate this principle



We previously mentioned the possibility of creating a “berserker” drug, as well as a warfighter so enhanced that s/he no longer resembles a human being, such as a creature with four muscular arms, fangs, fur, and other animal-like features. If this sounds far-fetched, we need only look at the history of warfare to see that intimidating adversaries is a usual part of warfare. From fierce Viking helmets, to samu-rai armor designed to resemble demons, to tigers and sharks painted onto warplanes, to ominous names for drones such as “Predator” and “Reaper”, scaring adversaries can demoralize and make them easier to defeat. This suggests that it may not be so irrational nor inconsistent with customary practices to design enhancements to be inhuman and therefore perhaps inhumane.
edit on 2-1-2013 by whatsecret because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 2 2013 @ 05:04 PM
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We've been on this path for a long time it seems. Its very interesting to think of all the advances they make over at DARPA but the ramifications of possessing such technology is still uncertain.



posted on Jan, 2 2013 @ 05:20 PM
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I wouldnt pay much attention, the way I read this report personally is that its part true part psyop.

During world war 2 us Brits said we ate carrots which helped our pilots to see in the dark, giving them some kind of advanced night vision. A pure psyop, but it certainly wasnt true.
edit on 2-1-2013 by TheMindWar because: Typo
edit on 2-1-2013 by TheMindWar because: Typo



posted on Jan, 2 2013 @ 05:24 PM
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Originally posted by TheMindWar
I wouldnt pay much attention, the way I read this report personally is that its part true part psyop.

During world war 2 us Brits said we ate carrots which helped oir pilots to see in the dark, giving them some kind of advanced night vision. A pure psyop, but it certainly wasnt true.
edit on 2-1-2013 by TheMindWar because: Typo


Are you saying DARPA is not working on these projects?



posted on Jan, 6 2013 @ 03:13 PM
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this strikes me as a lot of the same conclusions as that dude on ancient aliens comes to. there's a kernel of truth, and from that all kinds of things are extrapolated all kinds of wild and outlandish explanations for it, and then go with the most far-fetched one possible. are these things possible? sure they are. DARPA researches all kinds of things that never go anywhere, though. so who really knows what the end-game is for these things?





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