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.
Las Vegas Humans Ready To Strike Over Robots
'A worker replaced by a nubot... had to be compensated.'
You'll Regrow That Limb, One Day
'... forcing the energy transfer which allowed him to regrow his lost fingers.'
Elon Musk Seeks To Create 1941 Heinlein Speedster
'The car surged and lifted, clearing its top by a negligible margin.'
Somnox Sleep Robot - Your Sleepytime Cuddlebot
Science fiction authors are serious about sleep, too.
Real-Life Macau or Ghost In The Shell
Art imitates life imitates art.
Has Climate Change Already Been Solved By Aliens?
'I had explained," said Nessus, "that our civilisation was dying in its own waste heat.'
First 3D Printed Human Corneas From Stem Cells
Just what we need! Lots of spare parts.
VirtualHome: Teaching Robots To Do Chores Around The House
'Just what did I want Flexible Frank to do? - any work a human being does around a house.'
Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI) Workshop
SF writers have thought about this since the 19th century.
Nanorobots Roam Your Bloodstream, Cleaning It
Too bad they won't have lasers, though...
Galini 3D Printed Sleeping Pod Tiny Houses
'The houses are prefabricated units...'
MIT Boffins Create Psychopath AI On Purpose
There's a lesson in this for neural net AI engineers everywhere.
Skin Electronics 3D Printed
'June's body is a tracery of lambent lines, like some arcane capillary circuitry...'
Artificial Sensory Neurons For Prosthetics, Robots
Great for humans and robots!
China Uses Artificial Intelligence To Grade Student Papers
Looks like the City Fathers are starting to take over China's education system.
Electronic Tongues Will Rule The Kitchen
'Install taste buds in the end of one tentacle...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories