Cognitive Enhancement (For Us) Vs. Degradation (For The Enemy)
The USAF has solicited ways and means of enhancing the abilities of our own troops by a variety of means. Not content with merely advantaging our own troops, they also seek to disadvantage the enemy.
Goal is to develop and exploit advances in biotechnology and associated nanotechnologies to enhance performance and situational awareness of the force.
Application and integration of transcriptomics, proteomics and metabonomics, and advanced bioinformatics to identify performance enhancement measures and provide optimal state for mission training conditions and deployed mission performance
Synthetic biology and other aspects of cellular dynamics for systems engineering that capitalize on emerging developments in cognitive, biological, informational and nano sciences.
Development of effective, reliable, and affordable alertness management, performance enhancing and emotional state modulation technologies. Includes non-medical neuroscience and biochemical pathway techniques.
Fans of Frank Herbert's 1965 novel Dune recall sapho juice, favorite of Mentat Assassins like Thufir Hawatt, for cognitive enhancement.
"I've always prided myself on seeing things the way they truly are," Thufir Hawat said. "That's the curse of being a Mentat. You can't stop analyzing your data."
The leathered old face appeared composed in the predawn dimness as he spoke. His sapho-stained lips were drawn into a straight line with radial creases spreading upward.
As I mentioned, the USAF-sponsored research request also seeks to find technologies that can be used to cloud the minds of our enemies, reducing their operational effectiveness.
Conversely, the chemical pathway area could include methods to degrade enemy performance and artificially overwhelm enemy cognitive capabilities.
Fans of Futurama recall the stupid ray, which seems to be a pretty good description of what the USAF is looking for.
(Stupid ray in action from Futurama)
Philip K. Dick was also fascinated by the idea of degrading enemy performance with targeted weapons. Consider the Garbage-Can Banger from his cold-war classic The Zap Gun:
"It's a missile that wide-cracks in the atmosphere... above the popcen - the population center - which it's aimed at. We place the Judas Iscariot IV above New Moscow, set to wide-crack at half a mile, and it rains down minned - miniaturized - h'd, that means homeostatic -"
"...They're about the size of gum wrappers. They drift throughout the city...
Each pellet, fully cammed, begins to emit a sound... a horrid sneering sound. Buzzing... The point is, it keeps you awake... I mean wide-awake. Once the noise of a Garbage-can Banger gets to you, for example... you never sleep again... You can't perform your job. You're no good to anyone, yourself included."
See also this description (with quote and citation, of course) of the Civic Notification Distorter, which accomplishes the same goal, but targets the enemy's information systems.
From Advances in Bioscience for Airmen Performance (.doc) via News.com.au. Thanks to Moira for the tip on this item.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/16/2010)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
Slaughterbot AI KIller Quadcopter Drones
'The real border was defended by... a swarm of quasi-independent aerostats.' - Neal Stephenson, 1995.
Russia Working On Military Exoskeletons
'...you look like a big steel gorilla...' - Robert Heinlein, 1959.
TALOS Exoskeleton Development Proceeding
'Suited up, you look like a big steel gorilla...' - Robert Heinlein, 1959.
Britney Spears And Lynn Minmay - Weapons Of Choice
An attack can take many forms.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Wound Healing With Wearable Nanogenerators
'... forcing the energy transfer which allowed him to ... erase the other internal-external damage.'
Flying Dragon Robot Transforms In Mid-Air
Terrific prototype video.
Negative Matter Fluid Theorized In New Paper
'Of course, being negative matter, when you push it, it comes toward you..'
Grow Structures Upon Planetfall - Myco-Architecture
'They'll also start pulling in gases and liquids from the local atmosphere...'
MXene Hydrogel Skin For Robots Flexes And Senses
'The plastex swam and whirled like boiling toothpaste...'
EXPLORER, The First Total-Body Scanner
'The object is built up of an infinite series of plane layers, at the focus of the ray...'
UK Police AI To Stop Criminals Before They Strike
'... the computing mechanisms that studied and restructured the incoming material.'
Sonitus Audio Interface Positioned Beyond The Noise
'... an instrument having relatively small bit pieces adapted to be gripped between the teeth.'
Volvo's Self-Driving Mining Trucks
'A procession of automatic ore carts was racing over the bleak slag'
Audi Pop.Up Autonomous Electric Flying Car
'The cab was an egg-shaped bubble of light metals and plastics...'
Music Not Impossible (MNI) Vibrotactile Wearable Experience
Don't you want to experience the 'feely' effects?
Chinese Face Recognition Mistakes Bus Ad For Jaywalker
'... the imprint of her image on the telephoto cell.'
A Look Back At Apollo's Emergency Escape Vehicle
'A simple mechanism... it drove the iron ball through space like a ship.'
InMotion Glide 3 Electric Unicycle For The Last Mile
'...gyro-stabilized on a single wheel.'
China's Social Credit System - A Facebook-1984 Mashup
'Prestige, face, mana, repute, glory: the Sirenese word is strakh.'
Musk Declares Tesla Supercharger Capacity Will Double By Next Year
'Recharge the batteries... in almost every town and village...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories