The article said: ‘On one hand, it can judge how party members have accepted thought and political education.
‘On the other hand, it will provide real data for thought and political education so it can be improved and enriched.’
The AI tech will solidify ‘confidence and determination’ of Communist Party members ‘to be grateful to the party, listen to the party and follow the party’.
Hefei Comprehensive National Science Centre has reportedly encouraged 43 Communist Party members, who are also on the research team, to test the tech.
A video published with the article, which has also been deleted, showed a researcher entering a kiosk, sitting in front of a screen and looking at articles promoting party policy and achievements.
‘The kiosk can see the researcher’s expressions, possibly via surveillance cameras,’ Tang says.
It’s unclear if the brainwave-reading technology is situated in the kiosk, or how the whole system would be rolled out to monitor the millions of Communist Party members in the country.
But it appears that reading people’s brain waves is not new to China – back in 2018, the South China Morning Post reported that brain-scanning technology was being used on factory workers in Hangzhou.
This involved using brain-reading helmets to read a worker’s emotions, and artificial intelligence algorithms to detect emotional spikes such as depression, anxiety or rage.
Pictured is China’s President Xi Jinping following his speech after a ceremony to inaugurate Hong Kong’s new leader and government on July 1, 2022
China’s ruling Communist Party, led by President Xi Jinping, allegedly believes ‘thought and political education’ are essential to party loyalty.
The party already has an ‘indoctrination app’ for its members called ‘Xuexi Qiangguo’ or ‘Study to make China strong’.
The app forces its 96.77 million members to earn points by reading articles, watching videos and answering quizzes on Communist heroes.
It tracks the amount of time users spend browsing inspirational quotes from President Jinping and watching short videos of his speeches and travels.
Members are able to redeem their scores for gifts such as pastries and tablets, AFP previously reported.
Meanwhile, China’s government has come under increasing scrutiny for high-tech surveillance, from facial recognition-enabled security cameras to apps used by police to extract personal information from smartphones at checkpoints.
The ‘Study Xi’ app tracks the amount of time users spend browsing inspirational quotes and following his speeches and travels
China is famous for tracking its citizens using the latest technology – notably a Black Mirror-like social rating system to restore morality’ and blacklist ‘untrustworthy’ citizens.
Last year, it was revealed China has also developed an AI prosecutor that can charge people with crimes with more than 97 per cent accuracy.
This system, which was ‘trained’ using 17,000 real life cases from 2015 to 2020, is able to identify and press charges for the eight most common crimes in Shanghai.
These are ‘provoking trouble’ – a term used to stifle dissent in China – credit card fraud, gambling crimes, dangerous driving, theft, fraud, intentional injury and obstructing official duties.
BEING BLACKLISTED BY CHINA’S SOCIAL CREDIT SYSTEM ‘WORSE THAN JAIL’
A man who has been penalised by China‘s social credit system said it’s worse than going to jail.
The man, identified as David Kong, told South China Morning Post in 2019 that he was banned from taking the high-speed train because he was officially declared a ‘deadbeat’ by authorities.
This group of 3.6 million ‘discredited individuals’, who earned poor ratings mostly for refusing to pay their debts, are disqualified from spending on ‘luxuries’ including renting a flat, travelling on a plane or on a fast train in China.
‘It’s even worse than doing time because at least there’s a limit to a prison sentence,’ Kong told South China Morning Post.
‘Being on the list means that as long as you can’t clear your debts in full, your name will always be there.’
Kong was declared a ‘discredited individual’ in 2015 after his book publishing business failed. He said he had borrowed 1.6 million yuan (£180,000) and could not pay it back.
The social credit system rates citizens based on their daily behaviour, and this could range from their bank credit to their social media activities.
With a tagline of ‘once discredited, everywhere restricted’, it vows to punish ‘untrustworthy’ citizens in as many ways as possible.
Train passengers could face travel bans if they endanger railway safety, smoke on high-speed trains, sell on tickets, produce fake tickets, dodge tickets and occupy unassigned seats, according to People’s Daily.
Air passengers could be banned from future flights for behaviours including spreading rumours about terror attacks, breaking into runways, assaulting the crew and causing disruption on flights.
you are seriously blind, deaf and stupid if you deny the existence of mindcontrol and target individuals- CHINA
In late 2021, the US government sanctioned several Chinese entities for their involvement in the creation of biotechnology that includes “purported brain-control weaponry.”
As an aspiring superpower, the Chinese Communist Party has doggedly pursued economic, technological, and military supremacy, often through illegal or questionable means.
The US Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security now says the Chinese Academy of Military Medical Sciences and 11 of its research institutions have been involved in the research and support of biotechnology, including brain-control weaponry, that the Chinese military intends to use to gain a battlefield advantage.
Human-rights abuses and national security
In a notice to the Federal Register published in December, the Commerce Department added 34 China-based entities to its blacklist, accusing them of “acting contrary to the foreign policy or national security interests of the United States.”
“The scientific pursuit of biotechnology and medical innovation can save lives. Unfortunately, the PRC is choosing to use these technologies to pursue control over its people and its repression of members of ethnic and religious minority groups,” Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said in a press release.
The US Commerce Department put the Chinese firms, laboratories, research centers, and academic institutions on the Entity List, which is designed to sanction individuals, organizations, and companies that pose or might pose a risk to US national security or foreign policy.
In addition to the Chinese entities, the department sanctioned entities in Turkey, Malaysia, and Georgia for “diverting or attempting to divert” US material to Iranian military programs.
The department sanctioned five Chinese medical and technology companies and institutions for their support of China’s military modernization efforts and five others for acquiring or trying to acquire US-made items that would reinforce the People’s Liberation Army.
The decision to sanction the Chinese entities follows evidence that their research, products, or services have a military application and are being used or will be used to support the Chinese Communist Party’s human-rights abuses.
The international community has repeatedly criticized Beijing for its genocidal policies against the Uighurs in Xinjiang. The US has accused the Chinese Communist Party of crimes against humanity for its targeting and prosecuting the Uighur minority.
“We cannot allow US commodities, technologies, and software that support medical science and biotechnical innovation to be diverted toward uses contrary to US national security,” Raimondo said, adding that the US “will continue to stand strong” against efforts “to turn tools that can help humanity prosper into implements that threaten global security and stability.”
At the heart of the sanctions is the Chinese Communist Party’s ongoing attempt to create weapons that would facilitate “cognitive control operations.”
The Chinese military correctly asserts that advancing technologies are rapidly changing the nature of warfare. Beijing wants to have a modern mechanized military that is interconnected and can share information rapidly and smoothly, while integrating advanced capabilities to analyze vast troves of data and offer its forces a cognitive advantage.
As a result, Beijing has adjusted its military modernization priorities to include “intelligentized” capabilities alongside the mechanization and informatization of its forces.
According to the Pentagon’s most recent report on the Chinese military, Beijing has been exploring “next-generation operational concepts for intelligentized warfare, such as attrition warfare by intelligent swarms, cross-domain mobile warfare, AI-based space confrontation, and cognitive control operations.”
Cognitive control operations, using so-called brain-control weapons, would suit an autocratic regime that seeks physical and digital oversight of populations under its control, and they would have domestic and foreign applications.
Translated Chinese military reports obtained by The Washington Times suggest Beijing is looking to create weapons that could subdue enemy forces and reduce the amount of force needed to defeat them. Such weapons would disorient or confuse enemy forces, making them easy game for Chinese troops.
The Pentagon’s report said that the Chinese military has continued its campaign to become a global innovation power by mastering advanced technologies, which aligns with previous Chinese Communist Party statements about the “intelligentization” of future warfare by using emerging and disruptive technologies, including artificial intelligence, quantum, biomedical, autonomous systems, and cloud computing.
“These sectors produce technologies that may determine whether America remains the world’s leading superpower or is eclipsed by strategic competitors in the next few years,” the agency said.
Stavros Atlamazoglou is a defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate.
Executive Summary ……………………………………………………………………………………4 Introduction ……………………………………………………………………………………………….5 The advent of Cognitive Warfare ……………………………………………………………….6 From Information Warfare to Cognitive Warfare …………………………………………….6 Hacking the individual ………………………………………………………………………………………….7 Trust is the target …………………………………………………………………………………………………..8 Cognitive Warfare, a participatory propaganda ………………………………………………8 Behavioural economy ……………………………………………………………………………………………9 Cyber psychology …………………………………………………………………………………………………11 The centrality of the human brain ……………………………………………………………..12 Understanding the brain is a key challenge for the future …………………………..12 The vulnerabilities of the human brain ……………………………………………………………..13 The role of emotions …………………………………………………………………………………………….15 The battle for attention ………………………………………………………………………………………..15 Long-term impacts of technology on the brain ………………………………………………16 The promises of neurosciences…………………………………………………………………………. 17 The militarisation of brain science …………………………………………………………….19 Progress and Viability of Neuroscience and Technology (NeuroS/T) …………19 Military and Intelligence Use of NeuroS/T ……………………………………………………….20 Direct Weaponisation of NeuroS/T ……………………………………………………………………21 Neurodata ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………22 The neurobioeconomy …………………………………………………………………………………………23 Towards a new operational domain …………………………………………………………..25 Russian and Chinese Cognitive Warfare Definition……………………………………….. 26 It’s about Humans …………………………………………………………………………………………………28 Recommendations for NATO ………………………………………………………………………………32 Definition of the Human Domain ………………………………………………………………………32 Impact on Warfare Development ……………………………………………………………………….34 Conclusion ………………………………………………………………………………………………….36 Bibliography and Sources …………………………………………………………………………..37 Annex 1 ………………………………………………………………………………………………………38 Nation State Case Study 1: The weaponisation of neurosciences in China …38 Annex 2 ………………………………………………………………………………………………………41 Nation State Case Study 2: The Russian National Technology Initiative ………41
As written in the Warfighting 2040 Paper, the nature of warfare has changed. The majority of current conflicts remain below the threshold of the traditionally accepted definition of warfare, but new forms of warfare have emerged such as Cognitive Warfare (CW), while the human mind is now being considered as a new domain of war. With the increasing role of technology and information overload, individual cognitive abilities will no longer be sufficient to ensure an informed and timely decision-making, leading to the new concept of Cognitive Warfare, which has become a recurring term in military termi- nology in recent years. Cognitive Warfare causes an insidious challenge. It disrupts the ordinary understandings and reactions to events in a gradual and subtle way, but with significant harmful effects over time. Cognitive warfare has universal reach, from the individual to states and multinational organi-sations. It feeds on the techniques of disinformation and propaganda aimed at psychologically exhausting the receptors of information. Everyone contributes to it, to varying degrees, consciously or sub consciously and it provides invaluable knowledge on society, especially open societies, such as those in the West. This knowledge can then be easily weaponised. It offers NATO’s adversaries a means of bypassing the traditional battlefield with significant strategic results, which may be utilised to radically transform Western societies. The instruments of information warfare, along with the addition of “neuro-weapons” adds to future technological perspectives, suggesting that the cognitive field will be one of tomorrow’s battlefields. This perspective is further strengthened in by the rapid advances of NBICs (Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, Information Technology and Cognitive Sciences) and the understanding of the brain. NATO’s adversaries are already investing heavily in these new technologies. NATO needs to anticipate advances in these technologies by raising the awareness on the true potential of CW. Whatever the nature and object of warfare, it always comes down to a clash of human wills, and therefore what defines victory will be the ability to impose a desired behaviour on a chosen audience. Actions undertaken in the five domains – air, land, sea, space and cyber – are all executed in order to have an effect on the human domain. It is therefore time for NATO to recognise the renewed importance of the sixth operational domain, namely the Human Domain. Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 4 of 45 Introduction Individual and organisational cognitive capabilities will be of paramount importance because of the speed and volume of information available in the modern battlespace. If modern technology holds the promise of improving human cognitive performance, it also holds the seeds of serious threats for military organisations. Because organisations are made up of human beings, human limitations and preferences ultimately affect organisational behaviour and decision-making processes. Military organisations are subject to the problem of limited rationality, but this constraint is often overlooked in practice .
1 In an environment permeated with technology and overloaded with information, managing the cognitive abilities within military organisations will be key, while developing capabilities to harm the cognitive abilities of opponents will be a necessity. In other words, NATO will need to get the ability to safeguard her decision-making process and disrupt the adversary’s one. This study intends to respond to the three following questions: • Improve awareness on Cognitive Warfare, including a better understanding of the risks and opportunities of new Cognitive / Human Mind technologies; • Provide ‘out-of-the-box’ insight on Cognitive Warfare; • And to provide strategic level arguments to SACT as to recommend, or not, Cognitive / Human Mind as an Operational Domain. Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 5 of 45 The advent of Cognitive Warfare From Information Warfare to Cognitive Warfare Information warfare (IW) is the most related, and, thus, the most easily conflated, type of warfare with regards to cognitive warfare. However, there are key distinctions that make cognitive warfare unique enough to be addressed under its own jurisdiction. As a concept, IW was first coined and developed under US Military doctrine, and has subsequently been adopted in different forms by several nations. As former US Navy Commander Stuart Green described it as, “Information operations, the closest
2 existing American doctrinal concept for cognitive warfare, consists of five ‘core capabilities’, or elements. These include electronic warfare, computer network operations, PsyOps, military deception, and operational security.” Succinctly, Information Warfare aims at controlling the flow of information. Information warfare has been designed primarily to support objectives defined by the traditional mission of military organisations – namely, to produce lethal kinetic effects on the battlefield. It was not designed to achieve lasting political successes. As defined by Clint Watts, cognitive Warfare opposes the capacities to know and to produce, it actively thwarts knowledge. Cognitive sciences cover all the sciences that concern knowledge and its processes (psychology, linguistics, neurobiology, logic and more).
3 Cognitive Warfare degrades the capacity to know, produce or thwart knowledge. Cognitive sciences cover all the sciences that concern knowledge and its processes (psychology, linguistics, neurobiology, logic and more). Cognitive Warfare is therefore the way of using knowledge for a conflicting purpose. In its broadest sense, cognitive warfare is not limited to the military or institutional world. Since the early 1990s, this capability has tended to be applied to the political, economic, cultural and societal fields. Any user of modern information technologies is a potential target. It targets the whole of a nation’s human capital. Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 6 of 45 “Conflicts will increasingly depend on/and revolve around, information and communications— (…) Indeed, both cyberwar and netwar are modes of conflict that are largely about “knowledge”—about who knows what, when, where, and why, and about how secure a society” John Arquilla and David Ronfeldt The Advent of Netwar, RAND, 1996
“Big Data allows us to develop fabulous calculation and analysis performances, but what makes it possible to respond to a situation is reason and reason is what enables to take a decision in what is not calculable, otherwise we only confirm the state of affairs.” Bernard Stiegler The most striking shift of this practice from the military, to the civilian, world is the perva siveness of CW activities across everyday life that sit outside the normal peace-crisis-conflict construct (with harmful effects). Even if a cognitive war could be conducted to complement to a military conflict, it can also be conducted alone, without any link to an engagement of the armed forces. Moreover, cognitive warfare is potentially endless since there can be no peace treaty or surrender for this type of conflict. Evidence now exists that shows new CW tools & techniques target military personnel directly , not only with classical information weapons but also with a constantly growing and rapidly evolving arsenal of neuro-weapons, targeting the brain. It is important to recognise various nations’ dedicated endeavours to develop non-kinetic operations, that target the Human with effects at every level – from the individual level, up to the socio-political level. Hacking the individual The revolution in information technology has enabled cognitive manipulations of a new kind, on an unprecedented and highly elaborate scale. All this happens at much lower cost than in the past, when it was necessary to create effects and impact through non-virtual actions in the physical realm. Thus, in a continuous process, classical military capabilities do not counter cognitive warfare. Despite the military having difficulty in recognising the reality and effectiveness of the phenomena associated with cognitive warfare, the relevance of kinetic and resource-intensive means of warfare is nonetheless diminishing. Social engineering always starts with a deep dive into the human environment of the target. The goal is to understand the psychology of the targeted people. This phase is more important than any other as it allows not only the precise targeting of the right people but also to anticipate reactions, and to develop empathy. Understanding the human environment is the key to building the trust that will ultimately lead to the desired results. Humans are an easy target since theyall contribute by providing information on themselves, making the adversaries’ sockpuppets more powerful.
4 In any case NATO’s adversaries focus on identifying the Alliance’s centres of gravity and vulnerabilities. They have long identified that the main vulnerability is the human. It is easy to find these centres of gravity in open societies because they are reflected in the study of human and social sciences such as political science, history, geography, biology, philosophy, voting systems, public administration, international politics, international relations, religious studies, education, sociology, arts and culture… Cognitive Warfare is a war of ideologies that strives to erode the trust that underpins every society. Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 7 of 45 “Social engineering is the art and science of getting people to comply to your wishes. It is not a way of mind control, it will not allow you to get people to perform tasks wildly outside of their normal behaviour and it isfar from foolproof” Harl, People Hacking, 1997 Trust is the target Cognitive warfare pursues the objective of undermining trust (public trust in electoral processes, trust in institutions, allies, politicians…). , therefore the individual becomes the
5 weapon, while the goal is not to attack what individuals think but rather the way they think .
6 It has the potential to unravel the entire social contract that underpins societies. It is natural to trust the senses, to believe what is seen and read. But the democratisation of automated tools and techniques using AI, no longer requiring a technological background, enables anyone to distort information and to further undermine trust in open societies. The use of fake news, deep fakes, Trojan horses, and digital avatars will create new suspicions which anyone can exploit. It is easier and cheaper for adversaries to undermine trust in our own systems than to attack our power grids, factories or military compounds. Hence, it is likely that in the near future there will be more attacks, from a growing and much more diverse number of potential players with a greater risk for escalation or miscalculation. The characteristics of cyberspace (lack of regulation, difficulties and associated risks of attribution of attacks in particular) mean that new actors, either state or non-state, are to be expected .
7 As the example of COVID-19 shows, the massive amount of texts on the subject, including deliberately biased texts (example is the Lancet study on chloroquine) created an information and knowledge overload which, in turn, generates both a loss of credibility and a need for closure. Therefore the ability for humans to question, normally, any data/information presented is hampered, with a tendency to fall back on biases to the detriment of unfettered decision making. It applies to trust among individuals as well as groups, political alliances and societies. “Trust, in particular among allies, is a targeted vulnerability. As any international institution does, NATO relies on trust between its partners. Trust is based not only on respecting some explicit and tangible agreements, but also on ‘invisible contracts,’ on sharing values, which is not easy when such a proportion of allied nations have been fighting each other for centuries. This has left wounds and scars creating a cognitive/information landscape that our adversaries study with great care. Their objective is to identify the ‘Cognitive Centers of Gravity’ of the Alliance, which they will target with ‘info-weapons’.”
8 Cognitive Warfare, a participatory propaganda
9 In many ways, cognitive warfare can be compared to propaganda, which can be defined as “a set of methods employed by an organised group that wants to bring about the active or passive participation in its actions of a mass of individuals, psychologically unified through psychological manipulations and incorporated in an organisation.”
10 Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 8 of 45 The purpose of propaganda is not to “program” minds, but to influence attitudes and behaviours by getting people to adopt the right attitude, which may consist of doing certain things or, often, stopping doing them. Cognitive Warfare is methodically exploited as a component of a global strategy by adversaries aimed at weakening, interfering and destabilising targeted populations, institutions and states, in order to influence their choices, to undermine the autonomy of their decisions and the sovereignty of their institutions. Such campaigns combine both real and distorted information (misinformation), exaggerated facts and fabricated news (disinformation). Disinformation preys on the cognitive vulnerabilities of its targets by taking advantage of pre-existing anxieties or beliefs that predispose them to accept false information. This requires the aggressor to have an acute understanding of the socio-political dynamics at play and to know exactly when and how to penetrate to best exploit these vulnerabilities. Cognitive Warfare exploits the innate vulnerabilities of the human mind because of the way it is designed to process information, which have always been exploited in warfare, of course. However, due to the speed and pervasiveness of technology and information, the human mind is no longer able to process the flow of information. Where CW differs from propaganda is in the fact that everyone participates, mostly inadvertently, to information processing and knowledge formation in an unprecedented way. This is a subtle but significant change. While individuals were passively submitted to propaganda, they now actively contribute to it. The exploitation of human cognition has become a massive industry. And it is expected that emerging artificial intelligence (AI) tools will soon provide propagandists radically enhanced capabilities to manipulate human minds and change human behaviour .
11 Behavioural economy “Capitalism is undergoing a radical mutation. What many describe as the ‘data economy’ is in fact better understood as a ‘behavioural economics’”. Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 9 of 45 “New tools and techniques, combined with the changing technological and information foundations of modern societies, are creating an unprecedented capacity to conduct virtual societal warfare.” Michael J. Mazarr “Modern propaganda is based on scientific analyses of psychology and sociology. Step by step, the propagandist builds his techniques on the basis of his knowledge of man, his tendencies, his desires, his needs, his psychic mechanisms, his conditioning — and as much on social psychology as on depth psychology.” Jacques Ellul, Propaganda, 1962 Behavioural economics (BE) is defined as a method of economic analysis that applies psychological insights into human behaviour to explain economic decision-making. As research into decision-making shows, behaviour becomes increasingly computational, BE is at the crossroad between hard science and soft science .
12 Operationally, this means massive and methodical use of behavioural data and the development of methods to aggressively seek out new data sources. With the vast amount of (behavioural) data that everyone generates mostly without our consent and awareness, further manipulation is easily achievable. The large digital economy companies have developed new data capture methods, allowing the inference of personal information that users may not necessarily intend to disclose. The excess data has become the basis for new prediction markets called targeted advertising. “Here is the origin of surveillance capitalism in an unprecedented and lucrative brew: behavioural surplus, data science, material infrastructure, computational power, algorithmic systems, and automated platforms”, claims Soshanna Zuboff .
13 In democratic societies, advertising has quickly become as important as research. It has finally become the cornerstone of a new type of business that depends on large-scale online monitoring. The target is the human being in the broadest sense and it is easy to divert the data obtained from just commercial purposes, as the Cambridge Analytica (CA) scandal demonstrated. Thus, the lack of regulation of the digital space – the so-called “data swamp”- does not only benefit the digital-age regimes, which “can exert remarkable control over not just computer networks and human bodies, but the minds of their citizens as well” .
14 It can also be utilised for malign purposes as the example of the CA scandal has shown. CA digital model outlined how to combine personal data with machine learning for political ends by profiling individual voters in order to target them with personalised political advertisements. Using the most advanced survey and psychometrics techniques, Cambridge Analytica was actually able to collect a vast amount of individuals’ data that helped them understand through economics, demographics, social and behavioural information what each of them thought. It literally provided the company a window into the minds of people. The gigantic collection of data organised via digital technologies is today primarily used to define and anticipate human behaviour. Behavioural knowledge is a strategic asset. “Behavioural economics adapts psychology research to economic models, thus creating more accurate representations of human interactions.”
15 “Cambridge Analytica has demonstrated how it’s possible […] to leverage tools to build a scaled-down version of the massive surveillance and manipulation machines”
16 Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 10 of 45 “Technology is going on unabatedand will continue to go on unabated. […] Because technology is going so fast and because people don’t understand it, there was always going to be a Cambridge Analytica.” Julian Wheatland Ex-Chief Operating Officer of Cambridge Analytica As shown by the example of Cambridge Analytica, one can weaponise such knowledge and develop appropriate offensive and defensive capabilities, paving the way for virtual societal warfare. A systematic use of BE methods applied to the military could lead to better under
17 – standing of how individuals and groups behave and think, eventually leading to a wider understanding of the decision-making environment of adversaries. There is a real risk that access to behavioural data utilising the tools and techniques of BE, as shown by the example of Cambridge Analytica, could allow any malicious actor- whether state or non-state- to strategically harm open societies and their instruments of power. Cyberpsychology Assuming that technology affects everyone, studying and understanding human behaviour in relation to technology is vital as the line between cyberspace and the real world is becoming blurry. The exponentially increasing impact of cybernetics, digital technologies, and virtuality can only be gauged when considered through their effects on societies, humans, and their respective behaviours. Cyberpsychology is at the crossroads of two main fields: psychology and cybernetics. All this is relevant to defense and security, and to all areas that matter to NATO as it prepares for transformation. Centered on the clarification of the mechanisms of thought and on the conceptions, uses and limits of cybernetic systems, cyberpsychology is a key issue in the vast field of Cognitive Sciences. The evolution of AI introduces new words, new concepts, but also new theories that encompass a study of the natural functioning of humans and of the machines they have built and which, today, are fully integrated in their natural environment (anthropo-technical). Tomorrow’s human beings will have to invent a psychology of their relation to machines. But the challenge is to develop also a psychology of machines, artificial intelligent software or hybrid robots. Cyber psychology is a complex scientific field that encompasses all psychological phenomena associated with, or affected by relevant evolving technologies. Cyber psychology examines the way humans and machines impact each other, and explores how the relationship between humans and AI will change human interactions and inter-machine communication .
Paradoxically, the development of information technology and its use for manipulative purposes in particular highlights the increasingly predominant role of the brain. The brain is the most complex part of the human body. This organ is the seat of intelligence, the interpreter of the senses, the initiator of body movements, the controller of behaviour and the centre of decisions. Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 11 of 45 The centrality of the human brain . For centuries, scientists and philosophers have been fascinated by the brain, but until recently they considered the brain to be almost incomprehensible. Today, however, the brain is beginning to reveal its secrets. Scientists have learned more about the brain in the past decade than in any previous century, thanks to the accelerating pace of research in the neurological and behavioural sciences and the development of new research techniques. For the military, it represents the last frontier in science, in that it could bring a decisive advantage in tomorrow’s wars. Understanding the brain is a key challenge for the future Substantial advances have been made in recent decades in understanding how the brain functions. While our decisionmaking processes remain centered on Human in particular with its capacity to orient (OODA loop), fed by data, analysis and visualisations, the inability of human to process, fuse and analyse the profusion of data in a timely manner calls for humans to team with AI machines to compete with AI machines. In order to keep a balance between the human and the machine in the decision-making process, it becomes necessary to be aware of human limitations and vulnerabilities. It all starts with understanding our cognition processes and the way our brain’s function. Over the past two decades, cognitive science and neuroscience have taken a new step in the analysis and understanding of the human brain, and have opened up new perspectives in terms of brain research, if not indeed of a hybridisation, then of human and artificial intelligence. They have mainly made a major contribution to the study of the diversity of neuro-psychic mechanisms facilitating learning and, as a result, have, for example, challenged the intuition of “multiple intelligences”. No one today can any longer ignore the fact that the brain is both the seat of emotions the interactive mechanisms of memorisation, information processing, problem solving and decision-making. Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 12 of 45 Cognitive Science Discipline associating psychology, sociology, linguistics, artificial intelligence and neurosciences, and having for object the explicitation of the mechanisms of thought and information processing mobilised for the acquisition, conservation, use and transmission of knowledge. Neuroscience Trans-disciplinary scientific discipline associating biology, mathematics, computer science, etc., with the aim of studying the organisation and functioning of the nervous system, from the point of view of both its structure and its functioning, from the molecular scale down to the level of the organs. The vulnerabilities of the human brain “In the cognitive war, it’s more important than ever to know thyself.”
19 Humans have developed adaptations to cope with cognitive limitations allowing more effcient processing of information. Unfortunately, these same shortcuts introduce distortions in our thinking and communication, making communication efforts ineffective and subject to manipulation by adversaries seeking to mislead or confuse. These cognitive biases can lead to inaccurate judgments and poor decision making that could trigger an unintended escalation or prevent the timely identification of threats. Understanding the sources and types of cognitive biases can help reduce misunderstandings and inform the development of better strategies to respond to opponents’ attempts to use these biases to their advantage.
In particular, the brain:
is unable to distinct whether particular information is right or wrong;
Is led to take shortcuts in determining the trustworthiness of messages in case of information overload;
is led to believe statements or messages that its already heard as true, even though these may be false;
accepts statements as true, if backed by evidence, with no regards to the authenticity of the that evidence. Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 13 of 45 Those are, among many others, the cognitive bias, defined as a systematic pattern of deviation from norm or rationality in judgment.
20 There are many different cognitive biases inherently stemming from the human brain. Most
21 of them are relevant to the information environment. Probably the most common and most damaging cognitive bias is the confirmation bias. This is the effect that leads people to look for evidence that confirms what they already think or suspect, to regard facts and ideas they encounter as further confirmation, and to dismiss or ignore any evidence that seems to support another point of view. In other words, “people see what they want to see” .
22 Cognitive biases effect everyone, from soldiers on the ground to staff officers, and to a greater extent than everyone admits. It is not only important to recognise it in ourselves, but to study the biases of adversaries to understand how they behave and interact. As stated by Robert P. Kozloski, “The importance of truly “knowing yourself” cannot be understated. Advances in computing technology, particularly machine learning, provide the military with the opportunity to know itself like never before. Collecting and analysing the data Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 14 of 45 generated in virtual environments will enable military organisations to understand the cognitive performance of individuals.”
23 Ultimately, operational advantages in cognitive warfare will first come from the improvement of understanding of military cognitive abilities and limitations. The role of emotions In the digital realm, what allows the digital industries and their customers (and notably advertisers) to distinguish individuals in the crowd, to refine personalisation and behavioural analysis, are emotions. Every social media platform, every website is designed to be addictive and to trigger some emotional bursts, trapping the brain in a cycle of posts. The speed, emotional intensity, and echo-chamber qualities of social media content cause those exposed to it to experience more extreme reactions. Social media is particularly well suited to worsening political and social polarisation because of their ability to disseminate violent images and scary rumours very quickly and intensely. “The more the anger spreads, the more Internet users are susceptible to becoming a troll.”
24 At the political and strategic level, it would be wrong to underestimate the impact of emotions. Dominique Moïsi showed in his book “The Geopolitics of Emotion” , how emotions –
25 hope, fear and humiliation – were shaping the world and international relations with the echo-chamber effect of the social media. For example, it seems important to integrate into theoretical studies on terrorist phenomena the role of emotions leading to a violent and/or a terrorist path. By limiting cognitive abilities, emotions also play a role in decision-making, performance, and overall well-being, and it’s impossible to stop people from experiencing them. “In the face of violence, the very first obstacle you will have to face will not be your abuser, but your own reactions.”
26 The battle for attention Never have knowledge and information been so accessible, so abundant, and so shareable. Gaining attention means not only building a privileged relationship with our interlocutors to better communicate and persuade, but it also means preventing competitors from getting that attention, be it political, economic, social or even in our personal life. This battlefield is global via the internet. With no beginning and no end, this conquest knows no respite, punctuated by notifications from our smartphones, anywhere, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Coined in 1996 by Professor B.J. Fogg from Stanford University, “captology” is defined as the science of using “computers as technologies of persuasion”.
27 Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 15 of 45 “We are competing with sleep” Reed Hastings CEO of Netflix The time has therefore come to adopt the rules of this “attention economy”, to master the technologies related to “captology”, to understand how these challenges are completely new. Indeed, this battle is not limited to screens and design, it also takes place in brains, especially in the way they are misled. It is also a question of understanding why, in the age of social networks, some “fake news”, conspiracy theories or “alternative facts”, seduce and convince, while at the same time rendering their victims inaudible. Attention on the contrary is a limited and increasingly scarce resource. It cannot be shared: it can be conquered and kept. The battle for attention is now at work, involving companies, states and citizens. The issues at stake now go far beyond the framework of pedagogy, ethics and screen addiction. The consumption environment, especially marketing, is leading the way. Marketers have long understood that the seat of attention and decision making is the brain and as such have long sought to understand, anticipate its choices and influence it. This approach naturally applies just as well to military affairs and adversaries have already understood this. Long-term impacts of technology on the brain As Dr. James Giordano claims, “the brain will the battlefield of the 21st century”.
28 And when it comes to shaping the brain, the technological environment plays a key role. The brain has only one chance to develop. Damage to the brain is very often irreversible. Understanding and protecting our brains from external aggression, of all kinds, will be one of the major challenges of the future. According to the neuroscientist Maryanne Wolf, humans were not meant to read and the invention of printing changed the shape of our brains . It took years, if not centuries, to assess
29 the consequences – social, political or sociological for example – of the invention of printing. It will likely take longer before understanding accurately the long-term consequences of the digital age but one thing everyone agrees on is that the human brain is changing today faster than ever before with the pervasiveness of digital technology. There is a growing amount of research that explores how technology affects the brain. Studies show that exposure to technology shapes the cognitive processes and the ability to take in information. One of the major findings is the advent of a society of ‘cognitive offloaders’, meaning that no one memorises important information any longer. Instead, the brain tends to remember the location where they retrieved when it is next required. With information and visual overload, the brain tends to scan information and pick out what appears to be important with no regard to the rest. One of the evolutions already noticed is the loss of critical thinking directly related to screen reading and the increasing inability to read a real book. The way information is processed affects brain development, leading to neglect of the sophisticated thought processes. Brains will thus be different tomorrow. It is therefore highly probable that our brains will be radically Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 16 of 45 transformed in an extremely short period, but it is also likely that this change will come at the expense of more sophisticated, more complex thinking processes necessary for critical analysis. In an era where memory is outsourced to Google, GPS, calendar alerts and calculators, it will necessarily produce a generalised loss of knowledge that is not just memory, but rather motor memory. In other words, a long-term process of disabling connections in your brain
is ongoing. It will present both vulnerabilities and opportunities. However, there is also plenty of research showing the benefits of technology on our cognitive functions. For example, a Princeton University study found that expert video gamers have a
31 higher ability to process data, to make decisions faster or even to achieve simultaneous multitasks in comparison to non-gamers. There is a general consensus among neuroscientists that a reasoned use of information technology (and particularly games) is beneficial to the brain. By further blurring the line between the real and the virtual, the development of technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) or Mixed Reality (MR) has the potential to transform the brain’s abilities even more radically . Behaviours in virtual environments
32 can continue to influence real behaviour long after exiting VR.
33 Yet, virtual environments offer the opportunity to efficiently complement live training since it can provide cognitive experience that a live exercise cannot replicate. While there are concerns and research on how digital media are harming developing minds, it is still difficult to predict how the technology will affect and change the brain, but with the ubiquity of IT, it will become increasingly crucial to carefully detect and anticipate the impacts of information technology on the brain and to adapt the use of information technology. In the long-term, there is little doubt that Information Technologies will transform the brain, thus providing more opportunities to learn and to apprehend the cyber environment but also vulnerabilities that will require closely monitoring in order to counter and defend against them and how to best exploit them. The promises of neurosciences “Social neuroscience holds the promise of understanding people’s thoughts, emotions and intentions through the mere observation of their biology.”
34 Should scientists be able to establish a close and precise correspondence between biological functions on the one hand and social cognitions and behaviours on the other hand, neuroscientific methods could have tremendous applications for many disciplines and for our society in general. It includes decision-making, exchanges, physical and mental health care, prevention, jurisprudence, and more. This highlights how far neurosciences occupies a growing place in medical and scientific research. More than just a discipline, they articulate a set of fields related to the knowledge of the brain and nervous system and question the complex relationships between man and his Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 17 of 45 environment and fellow human beings. From biomedical research to cognitive sciences, the actors, approaches and organisations that structure neuroscience are diverse. Often convergent, they can also be competitive. While the discoveries and challenges of the neurosciences are relatively well known, this field raises both hope and concern. In a disorganised and, at times, ill-informed way, “neuroscience” seems to be everywhere. Integrated, sometimes indiscriminately, in many debates, they are mobilised around the issues of society and public health, education, aging, and nourish the hopes of an augmented man.
Today, the manipulation of our perception, thoughts and behaviours is taking place on previously unimaginable scales of time, space and intentionality. That, precisely, is the source of one of the greatest vulnerabilities that every individual must learn to deal with. Many actors are likely to exploit these vulnerabilities, while the evolution of technology for producing and disseminating information is increasingly fast. At the same time, as the cost of technology steadily drops, more actors enter the scene. As the technology evolves, so do the vulnerabilities. Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 18 of 45 The militarisation of brain science Scientists around the world are asking the question of how to free humanity from the limitations of the body. The line between healing and augmentation becomes blurred. In addition, the logical progression of research is to achieve a perfect human being through new technological standards. In the wake of the U.S. Brain Initiative initiated in 2014, all the major powers (EU/China/ Russia) have launched their own brain research programs with substantial fundings. China sees the brain “as the HQ of the Human body and precisely attacking the HQ is one of the most effective strategies for determining victory or defeat on the battlefield” .
35 The revolution in NBIC (Nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology, and cognitive science) including advances in genomics, has the potential for dual-use technology development. A wide range of military applications such as improving the performance of soldiers, developing new weapons such as directed energy weapons are already discussed. Progress and Viability of Neuroscience and Technology (NeuroS/T) Neuroscience employs a variety of methods and technologies to evaluate and influence neurologic substrates and processes of cognition, emotion, and behaviour. In general, brain science can be either basic or applied research. Basic research focuses upon obtaining knowledge and furthering understanding of structures and functions of the nervous system on a variety of levels by employing methods of the physical and natural sciences. Applied research seeks to develop translational approaches that can be directly utilised to understand and modify the physiology, psychology, and/or pathology of target organisms, including humans. Neuroscientific methods and technologies (neuroS/T) can be further categorised as those used to assess, and those used to affect the structures and functions of the nervous system, although these categories and actions are not mutually exclusive. For example, the use of certain drugs, toxins, and probes to elucidate functions of various sites of the central and peripheral nervous system can also affect neural activity. NeuroS/T is broadly considered a natural and/or life science and there is implicit and explicit intent, if not expectation to develop and employ tools and outcomes of research in clinical medicine. Neuroscientific techniques, technologies, and information could be used for medical as well as non-medical (educational, occupational, lifestyle, military, etc.) purposes .
36 It is questionable whether the uses, performance enablements, and resulting capabilities could (or should) be used in intelligence and/or diplomatic operations to mitigate and subvert aggression, violence, and conflict. Of more focal concern are uses of research findings and products to directly facilitate the performance of combatants, the integration of human-machine interfaces to optimise combat capabilities of semi-autonomous vehicles (e.g., drones), and development of biological and chemical weapons (i.e., neuroweapons). Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 19 of 45 Some NATO Nations have already acknowledged that neuroscientific techniques and technologies have high potential for operational use in a variety of security, defense and intelligence enterprises, while recognising the need to address the current and short-term ethical, legal and social issues generated by such use .
37 Military and Intelligence Use of NeuroS/T The use of neuroS/T for military and intelligence purposes is realistic, and represents a clear and present concern. In 2014, a US report asserted that neuroscience and technology had matured considerably and were being increasingly considered, and in some cases evaluated for operational use in security, intelligence, and defense operations. More broadly, the iterativerecognition of the viability of neuroscience and technology in these agenda reflects the paceand breadth of developments in the field. Although a number of nations have pursued, andare currently pursuing neuroscientific research and development for military purposes, perhaps the most proactive efforts in this regard have been conducted by the United States Department of Defense; with most notable and rapidly maturing research and development conducted by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA). To be sure, many DARPA projects are explicitly directed toward advancing neuropsychiatric treatments and interventions that will improve both military and civilian medicine. Yet, it is important to note the prominent ongoing –and expanding – efforts in this domain by NATO European and trans-Pacific strategic competitor nations. As the 2008 National Research Council report stated, “… for good or for ill, an ability to better
38 – understand the capabilities of the body and brain… could be exploited for gathering intelligence, military operations, information management, public safety and forensics”. To paraphrase Aristotle, every human activity and tool can be regarded as purposed toward somedefinable “good”. However, definitions of “good” may vary, and what is regarded as good for some may present harm to others. The potential for neuroS/T to afford insight, understanding, and capability to affect cognitive, emotional, and behavioural aspects of individuals and groups render the brain sciences particularly attractive for use in security, intelligence, and military/warfare initiatives. To approach this issue, it is important to establish four fundamental premises. • Firstly, neuroS/T is, and will be increasingly and more widely incorporated into approaches to national security, intelligence gathering and analysis, and aspects of military operations; • Secondly, such capabilities afford considerable power; • Thirdly, many countries are actively developing and subsidising neuro S/T research under dual-use agendas or for direct incorporation into military programs; • Fourthly, these international efforts could lead to a “capabilities race” as nations react to new developments by attempting to counter and/or improve upon one another’s discoveries. Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 20 of 45 This type of escalation represents a realistic possibility with potential to affect international security. Such “brinksmanship” must be acknowledged as a potential impediment to attempts to develop analyses and guidelines (that inform or prompt policies) that seek to constrain or restrict these avenues of research and development. Neuroscientific techniques and technologies that are being utilised for military efforts include:
Neural systems modelling and human/brain-machine interactive networks in intelligence, training and operational systems;
Neuroscientific and neurotechnological approaches to optimising performance and resilience in combat and military support personnel;
Direct weaponisation of neuroscience and neurotechnology. Of note is that each and all may contribute to establishing a role for brain science on the 21st century battlescape. Direct Weaponisation of NeuroS/T The formal definition of a weapon as “a means of contending against others” can be extended to include any implement “…used to injure, defeat, or destroy”. Both definitions apply to products of neuroS/T research that can be employed in military/warfare scenarios. The objectives for neuroweapons in warfare may be achieved by augmenting or degrading functions of the nervous system, so as to affect cognitive, emotional and/or motor activity and capability (e.g., perception, judgment, morale, pain tolerance, or physical abilities and stamina) necessary for combat. Many technologies can be used to produce these effects, and there is demonstrated utility for neuroweapons in both conventional and irregular warfare scenarios. At present, outcomes and products of computational neuroscience and neuropharmacologic research could be used for more indirect applications, such as enabling human efforts by simulating, interacting with, and optimising brain functions, and the classification and detection of human cognitive, emotional, and motivational states to augment intelligence or counterintelligence tactics. Human/brain-machine interfacing neurotechnologies capable of optimising data assimilation and interpretation systems by mediating access to – and manipulation of – signal detection, processing, and/or integration are being explored for their potential to delimit “human weak links” in the intelligence chain. The weaponised use of neuroscientific tools and products is not new. Historically, such weapons which include nerve gas and various drugs, pharmacologic stimulants (e.g., amphetamines), sedatives, sensory stimuli, have been applied as neuroweapons to incapacitate the enemy, and even sleep deprivation and distribution of emotionally provocative information in psychological operations (i.e., PSYOPS) could rightly be regarded as forms of weaponised applications of neuroscientific and neurocognitive research. Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 21 of 45 Products of neuroscientific and neurotechnological research can be utilised to affect 1) memory, learning, and cognitive speed; 2) wake-sleep cycles, fatigue and alertness; 3) impulse control; 4) mood, anxiety, and self-perception; 5) decision-making; 6) trust and empathy; 7) and movement and performance (e.g., speed, strength, stamina, motor learning, etc.). In military/warfare settings, modifying these functions can be utilised to mitigate aggression and foster cognitions and emotions of affiliation or passivity; induce morbidity, disability or suffering; and “neutralise” potential opponents or incur mortality. Neurodata The combination of multiple disciplines (e.g., the physical, social, and computational sciences), and intentional “technique and technology sharing” have been critical to rapid and numerous discoveries and developments in the brain sciences. This process, advanced integrative scientific convergence (AISC), can be seen as a paradigm for de-siloing disciplines toward fostering innovative use of diverse and complementary knowledge-, skill-, and tool-sets to both de-limit existing approaches to problem resolution; and to develop novel means ofexploring and furthering the boundaries of understanding and capability. Essential to theAISC approach in neuroscience is the use of computational (i.e., big data) methods and advancements to enable deepened insight and more sophisticated intervention to the structureand function(s) of the brain, and by extension, human cognition, emotion, and behaviour .
39 Such capacities in both computational and brain sciences have implications for biosecurity and defense initiatives. Several neurotechnologies can be employed kinetically (i.e., providing means to injure, defeat, or destroy adversaries) or non-kinetically (i.e., providing “means of contending against others,” especially in disruptive ways) engagements. While many types of neuroS/T have been addressed in and by extant forums, treaties, conventions, and laws, other newer techniques and technologies – inclusive of neurodata – have not. In this context, the term “neurodata” refers to the accumulation of large volumes of information; handling of large scale and often diverse informational sets; and new methods of data visualisation, assimilation, comparison, syntheses, and analyses. Such information can be used to: • more finely elucidate the structure and function of human brain; • and develop data repositories that can serve as descriptive or predictive metrics for neuropsychiatric disorders. Purloining and/or modifying such information could affect military and intelligence readiness, force conservation, and mission capability, and thus national security. Manipulation of both civilian and military neurodata would affect the type of medical care that is (or is not) Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 22 of 45 provided, could influence the ways that individuals are socially regarded and treated, and in these ways disrupt public health and incur socio-economic change. As the current COVID-19 pandemic has revealed, public – and institutional public health – responses to novel pathogens are highly variable at best, chaotic at worst, and indubitablycostly (on many levels) in either case. To be sure, such extant gaps in public health and safetyinfrastructures and functions could be exploited by employing “precision pathologies” (capable of selectively affecting specific targets such as individuals, communities;, domestic animals, livestock, etc.) and an aggressive program of misinformation to incur disruptive effects on social, economic, political, and military scales that would threaten national stability andsecurity. Recent elucidation of the Chinese government’s Overseas Key Individuals Database(OKIDB), which, via collaboration with a corporate entity, Shenzhen Zhenua Data Technology, has amassed data to afford “insights into foreign political, military, and diplomatic figures…containing information on more than 2 million people…and tens of thousands whohold prominent public positions…” that could be engaged by “Beijing’s army of cyberhackers”. Digital biosecurity – a term that describes the intersection of computational systems and biological information and how to effectively prevent or mitigate current and emerging risk arising at this intersection – becomes ever more important and required. The convergence of neurobiology and computational capabilities, while facilitating beneficial advances in brain research and its translational applications, creates a vulnerable strategic asset that will besought by adversaries to advance their own goals for neuroscience. Hacking of biological data within the academic, industry, and the health care systems has already occurred – and neurodata are embedded within all of these domains. Thus, it is likely that there will be more direct attempts at harnessing neurodata to gain leverageable informational, social, legal, and military capability and power advantage(s), as several countries that are currently strategically competitive with the U.S. and its allies invest heavily in both neuro- and cyber-scientific research programs and infrastructure. The growing fortitude of these states’ quantitative and economic presence in these fields can – and is intended to – shift international leadership, hegemony, and influence ethical, technical, commercial and politico-military norms and standards of research and use. For example, Russian leadership has declared interest in the employment of “genetic passports” such that those in the military who display genetic indications of high cognitive performance can be directed to particularmilitary tasks. The neurobioeconomy Advancements in neuroS/T have contributed to much growth in the neuro-bioeconomy. With neurological disorders being the second leading cause of death worldwide (with approximately 9 million deaths; constituting 16.5% of global fatalities), several countries have initiated programs in brain research and innovation. These initiatives aim to: Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 23 of 45 1) advance understanding of substrates and mechanisms of neuropsychiatric disorders; 2) improve knowledge of processes of cognition, emotion, and behaviour; 3) and augment the methods for studying, assessing, and affecting the brain and its functions. New research efforts incorporate best practices for interdisciplinary approaches that can utilise advances in computer science, robotics, and artificial intelligence to fortify the scope and pace of neuroscientific capabilities and products. Such research efforts are strong drivers of innovation and development, both by organising larger research goals, and by shaping neuroS/T research to meet defined economic, public health, and security agendas. Rapid advances in brain science represent an emerging domain that state and non-state actors can leverage in warfare. While not all brain sciences engender security concerns, predominant authority and influence in global biomedical, bioengineering, wellness/lifestyle, and defense markets enable a considerable exercise of power. It is equally important to note that such power can be exercised both non-kinetic and kinetic operational domains, and several countries have identified neuroS/T as viable, of value, and of utility in their warfare programs. While extant treaties (e.g., the BTWC and CWC40) and laws have addressed particular products of the brain sciences (e.g., chemicals, biological agents, and toxins), other forms of neuroS/T, (e.g., neurotechnologies and neuroinformatics) remain outside these conventions’ focus, scope, and governance. Technology can influence, if not shape the norms and conduct of warfare, and the future battlefield will depend not only upon achieving “biological dominance”, but achieving “mental/cognitive dominance” and “intelligence dominance” as well. It will be ever more difficult to regulate and restrict military and security applications of neuroS/T without established standards and proper international oversight of research and potential use-in-practice.
* * *. * In sum, it is not a question of whether neuro S/T will be utilised in military, intelligence, and political operations, but rather when, how, to what extent, and perhaps most importantly, if NATO nations will be prepared to address, meet, counter, or prevent these risks and threats. In this light (and based upon the information presented) it is, and will be increasingly important to address the complex issues generated by the brain sciences’ influence upon global biosecurity and the near-term future scope and conduct of both non-kinetic and kinetic military and intelligence operations.41 Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 24 of 45 Towards a new operational domain The advent of the concept of “cognitive warfare” (CW) brings a third major combat dimension to the modern battlefield: to the physical and informational dimensions is now added a cognitive dimension. It creates a new space of competition, beyond the land, maritime, air, cybernetic and spatial domains, which adversaries have already integrated. In a world permeated with technology, warfare in the cognitive domain mobilises a wider range of battle spaces than the physical and informational dimensions can do. Its very essence is to seize control of human beings (civilian as well as military), organisations, nations, butalso of ideas, psychology, especially behavioural, thoughts, as well as the environment. In addition, rapid advances in brain science, as part of a broadly defined cognitive warfare, have
the potential to greatly expand traditional conflicts and produce effects at lower cost. Through the joint action it exerts on the 3 dimensions (physical, informational and cognitive), cognitive warfare embodies the idea of combat without fighting dear to Sun Tzu (“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting”). It therefore requires the mobilisation of a much broader knowledge. Future conflicts will likely occur amongst the people digitally first and physically thereafter in proximity to hubs of political and economic power.
42 The study of the cognitive domain, thus centred on the human being, constitutes a new major challenge that is indispensable to any strategy relating to the combat power generation of the future. Cognition is our “thinking machine”. The function of cognition is to perceive, to pay attention, to memorise, to reason, to produce movements, to express oneself, to decide. To act on cognition means to act on the human being. Therefore, defining a cognitive domain would be too restrictive; a human domain would therefore be more appropriate. While actions taken in the five domains are executed in order to have an effect on the human domain , cognitive warfare’s objective is to make everyone a weapon.
43 To turn the situation around, NATO must strive to define in a very broad sense and must have a clear awareness of the meanings and advances of international actors providing NATO with specific strategic security and broader challenges in the field of cognitive warfare. Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 25 of 45 Russian and Chinese Cognitive Warfare Definition Russian Reflexive Control In 2012, Vladimir Karyakin added: “The advent of information and network technologies, coupled with advances in psychology regarding the study of human behaviour and the control of people’s motivations, make it possible to exert a specified effect on large social groups but [also] to also reshape the consciousness of entire peoples.”
44 Russian CW falls under the definition of the Reflexive Control Doctrine. It is an integrated operation that compels an adversary decision maker to act in favour of Russia by altering their perception of the world .
45 This goes beyond “pure deception” because it uses multiple inputs to the decision maker using both true and false information, ultimately aiming to make the target feel that the decision to change their behaviour was their own:
The Reflexive Control is ultimately aimed at the target’s decision making.
The information transmitted must be directed towards a decision or position.
The information must be adapted to the logic, culture, psychology and emotions of the target. The reflexive control has been turned into a broader concept taking into account the opportunities offered by new IT technologies called ‘Perception Management’. It is about controlling perception and not managing perception. The Russian CW is based on an in-depth understanding of human targets thanks to the study of sociology, history, psychology, etc. of the target and the extensive use of information technology. As shown in Ukraine, Russia used her in-depth knowledge as a precursor and gained a strategic advantage before the physical conflict. Russia has prioritised Cognitive Warfare as a precursor to the military phase.
Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 26 of 45 China Cognitive Warfare Domain China has adopted an even broader definition of CW that includes the systematic utilisation of cognitive science and biotechnology to achieve the “mind superiority.” China has defined the Cognitive Domain of Operations as the battlefield for conducting ideological penetration (…) aiming at destroying troop morale and cohesion, as well as forming or deconstructing operational capabilities” It encompasses six technologies, divided across two categories (Cognition, which includes technologies that affect someone’s ability to think and function; and subliminal cognition that covers technologies that target a person’s underlying emotions, knowledge, willpower and beliefs). In particular, “Chinese innovation is poised to pursue synergies among brain science, artificial intelligence (AI), and biotechnology that may have far-reaching implications for its future military power and aggregate national competitiveness.”
46 The goal of cognitive operations is to achieve the “mind superiority” by using information to influence an adversary’s cognitive functions, spanning from peacetime public opinion to wartime decision-making.
47 Chinese strategists predict that the pace and complexity of operations will increase dramatically, as the form or character of warfare continues to evolve. As a result, People’s Liberation Army (PLA) strategists are concerned about the intense cognitive challenges that future commanders will face, especially considering the importance of optimising coordination and human-machine fusion or integration. These trends have necessarily increased the PLA’s interest in the military relevance not only of artificial intelligence, but also of brain science and new directions in interdisciplinary biological technologies, ranging from biosensing and biomaterials to human enhancement options. The shift from computerisation to intelligentisation is seen as requiring the improvement of human cognitive performance to keep pace with the complexity of warfare” .
48 As part of its Cognitive Domain of Operations, China has defined “Military Brain Science (MBS) as a cutting-edge innovative science that uses potential military application as the guidance. It can bring a series of fundamental changes to the concept of combat and combat methods, creating a whole new “brain war” combat style and redefining the battlefield.”49 The pursuit of advances in the field of MBS is likely to provide cutting edge advances to China.The development of MBS by China benefits from a multidisciplinary approach between human sciences, medicine, anthropology, psychology etc. and also benefits from “civil” advances in the field, civilian research benefiting military research by design. Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 27 of 45 “The sphere of operations will be expanded from the physical domain and the information domain to the domain of consciousness, the human brain will become a new combat space.” He Fuchu, “The Future Direction of the New Global Revolution in Military Affairs. It’s about Humans A cognitive attack is not a threat that can be countered in the air, on land, at sea, in cyberspace, or in space. Rather, it may well be happening in any or all of these domains, for onesimple reason: humans are the contested domain. As previously demonstrated, the human is very often the main vulnerability and it should be acknowledged in order to protect NATO’s human capital but also to be able to benefit from our adversaries’s vulnerabilities. “Cognition is natively included in the Human Domain, thus a cognitive domain would be too restrictive”, claimed August Cole and Hervé Le Guyader in “NATO’s 6th domain” and: “…the Human Domain is the one defining us as individuals and structuring our societies. It has its own specific complexity compared to other domains, because of the large number of sciences it’s based upon (…) and these are those our adversaries are focusing on to identify our centres of gravity, our vulnerabilities.” .
50 The practice of war shows that although physical domain warfare can weaken the military capabilities of the enemy, it cannot achieve all the purposes of war. In the face of new contradictions and problems in ideology, religious belief and national identity, advanced weapons and technologies may be useless and their effects can even create new enemies. It is therefore difficult if not impossible to solve the problem of the cognitive domain by physical domain warfare alone. The importance of the Human Environment The Human Domain is not solely focusing of the military human capital. It encompasses the human capital of a theatre of operations as a whole (civilian populations, ethnic groups, leaders…), but also the concepts closely related to humans such as leadership, organisation, decision-making processes, perceptions and behaviour. Eventually the desired effect should be defined within the Human Domain (aka the desired behaviour we want to achieve: collaboration/ cooperation, competition, conflict). “To win (the future) war, the military must be culturally knowledgeable enough to thrive in an alien environment” .
51 In the 21st century, strategic advantage will come from how to engage with people, understand them, and access political, economic, cultural and social networks to achieve a position of relative advantage that complements the sole military force. These interactions are not reducible to the physical boundaries of land, air, sea, cyber and space, which tend to focus on geography and terrain characteristics. They represent a network of networks that define power and interests in a connected world. The actor that best understands local contexts and builds a network around relationships that harness local capabilities is more likely to win. Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 28 of 45 “Victory will be defined more in terms of capturing the psycho-cultural rather than the geographical high ground. Understanding and empathy will be important weapons of war.” Maj. Gen. Robert H. Scales For the historian Alan Beyerchen, social sciences will be the amplifier of the 21st century’s wars.
52 In the past wars, the problem was that the human factor could not be a significant amplifier simply because its influence was limited and difficult to exploit; humans were considered more as constants than as variables. Certainly, soldiers could be improved through training, selection, psychological adaptation and, more recently, education. But in the end, the human factor was reduced to numbers. The larger the army, the greater the chance of winning the war, although the action of a great strategist could counterbalance this argument. Tomorrow, to have better soldiers and more effective humans will be key. Last, the recent developments in science, all kinds of science, including science related to the human domain, have empowered anyone, whether individuals or committed minorities, with potential devastating power at their disposal. It has created a situation never seen before in the history of mankind , where individuals or small groups may jeopardise the success of 53 military operations. The crucible of Data Sciences and Human Sciences The combination of Social Sciences and System Engineering will be key in helping military analysts to improve the production of intelligence for the sake of decision-making .
54 The Human Domain of Operations refers to the whole human environment, whether friend of foe. In a digital age it is equally important to understand first NATO’s own human strengths and vulnerabilities before the ones of adversaries. Since everyone is much more vulnerable than before everyone needs to acknowledge that one may endanger the security of the overall. Hence, a deep understanding of the adversary’s human capital (i.e. the human environment of the military operation) will be more crucial than ever. “If kinetic power cannot defeat the enemy, (…) psychology and related behavioural and social sciences stand to fill the void.55” “Achieving the strategic outcomes of war will necessarily go through expanding the dialogue around the social sciences of warfare alongside the “physical sciences” of warfare..(…) it will go through understanding, influence or exercise control within the “human domain”.
56 Leveraging social sciences will be central to the development of the Human Domain Plan of Operations. It will support the combat operations by providing potential courses of action for the whole surrounding Human Environment including enemy forces, but also determining key human elements such as the Cognitive center of gravity, the desired behaviour as the end state. Understanding the target’s goals, strengths, and vulnerabilities is paramount to an operation for enduring strategic outcomes. The deeper the understanding of the human environment, the greater will be the freedom of action and relative advantage. Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 29 of 45 Psychology and social sciences have always been essential to warfare, and while warfare is moving away from kinetic operations, they might be the new game changer. Psychology, for instance, can help to understand the personal motives of terrorist groups and the social dynamics that make them so attractive to the (mostly) young men who join their ranks. As an example, the picture below depicts a methodology (called Weber) applied to the study of terrorist groups in Sahel. It combines Social Sciences and System Engineering in order to help predicting the behaviours of terrorist groups. The tool allows the decision-makers to assess the evolution of actors through behavioural patterns according to several criteria and social science parameters, and ultimately to anticipate courses of action.
57 The analysis, turned towards understanding the other in the broad sense (and often nonWestern), cannot do without anthropology. Social and cultural anthropology is a formidable tool for the analyst, the best way to avoid yielding to one of the most common biases of intelligence, ethnocentrism, i.e. the inability to get rid of mental structures and representations of one’s own cultural environment. Cognitive sciences can be leveraged to enhance training at every level, especially in order to improve the ability to make decisions in complex tactical situations. Cognitive sciences can be employed in the creation of highly efficient and flexible training programs that can respond to fast-changing problems. Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 30 of 45 Legal and ethical aspects Legal aspects The development, production and use of Cognitive Technologies for military purposes raise questions as to whether, and to what extent, existing legal instruments apply. That is, how the relevant provisions are to be interpreted and applied in light of the specific technological characteristics and to what extent international law can sufficiently respond to the legal challenges involved with the advent of such technology. It is essential to ensure that international law and accepted norms will be able to take into account the development of cognitive technologies. Specifically, to ensure that such technologies are capable of being used in accordance with applicable law and accepted international norms. NATO, through its various apparatus, should work at establishing a common understanding of how cognitive weapons might be employed to be compliant with the law and accepted international norms. Equally, NATO should consider how the Law of Armed Conflict (LoAC) would apply to the use of cognitive technologies in any armed conflict in order to ensure that any future development has a framework from which to work within. Full compliance with the rules and principles of LoAC is essential. Given the complexity and contextual nature of the potential legal issues raised by Cognitive technologies and techniques, and the constraints associated with this NATO sponsored study, further work will be required to analyse this issue fully. Therefore, it is recommended that such work be conducted by an appropriate body and that NATO Nations collaborate in establishing a set of norms and expectations about the use and development of Cognitive technologies. The immediate focus being how they might be used within extant legal frameworks and the Law of Armed Conflict. Ethics This area of research – human enhancement and cognitive weapons – is likely to be the subject of major ethical and legal challenges, but we cannot afford to be on the back foot when international actors are already developing strategies and capabilities to employ them. There is a need to consider these challenges as there is not only the possibility that these human enhancement technologies are deliberately used for malicious purposes, but there may be implications for the ability of military personnel to respect the law of armed conflict. It is equally important to recognise the potential side effects (such as speech impairment, memory impairment, increased aggression, depression and suicide) of these technologies. For example, if any cognitive enhancement technology were to undermine the capacity of a subject to comply with the law of armed conflict, it would be a source of very serious concern. The development, and use of, cognitive technologies present numerous ethical challenges as well as ethical benefits, such as recovery from Post traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Policy makers should take these challenges seriously as they develop policy about Cognitive Technologies, explore issues in greater depth and determine if other ethical issues may arise as this, and other related, technology develops. Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 31 of 45 Recommendations for NATO The need for cooperation.While the objective of Cognitive Warfare is to harm societies and not only the military, this type of warfare resembles to “shadow wars” and requires a whole-of-government approach to warfare. As previously stated, the modern concept of war is not about weapons but about influence. To shape perceptions and control the narrative during this type of war, battle will have to be fought in the cognitive domain with a whole-of-government approach at the national level. This will require improved coordination between the use of force and the other levers of power across government. This could mean changes to how defence is resourced, equipped, and organised in order to offer military options below the threshold of armed conflict and improve the military contribution to resilience. For NATO, the development of actions in the cognitive domain also requires a sustained cooperation between Allies in order to ensure an overall coherence, to build credibility and to allow a concerted defense. Within the military, expertise on anthropology, ethnography, history, psychology among other areas will be more than ever required to cooperate with the military, in order to derive qualitative insights from quantitative data, as an example. In other words, if the declaration of a new field of combat consecrates the new importance of humans, it is more about rethinking the interaction between the hard sciences and the social sciences. The rise of cognitive technologies has endowed human with superior analysis and accuracy. In order to deliver timely and robust decisions, it will not be a question of relying solely on human cognitive capacities but of cross engineering systems with social sciences (sociology, anthropology, criminology, political science…) in order to face complex and multifaceted situations. The modelisation of human dynamics as part of what is known as Computational Social Science will allow the use of knowledge from social sciences and relating to the behaviour of social entities, whether enemies or allies. By mapping the human environment, strategists and key military leaders will be provided reliable information to decide on the right strategy. Definition of the Human Domain Thus defined by NATO’s major adversaries, the mastery of the field of perceptions is an abstract space where understanding of oneself (strengths and weaknesses), of the other (adversary, enemy, human environment), psychological dimension, intelligence collection, search for ascendancy (influence, taking and conservation of the initiative) and capacity to reduce the will of the adversary are mixed. Within the context of multi-domain operations, the human domain is arguably the most important domain, but it is often the most overlooked. Recent wars have shown the inability to achieve the strategic goals (e.g. in Afghanistan) but also to understand foreign and complex human environments. Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 32 of 45 Cognitive warfare was forced upon the Western liberal democracies by challenging international actors who have strategised to avoid the military confrontation, thus blurring the line between peace and war by targeting the weakest element: humans. CW which includes the increasing use of NBICs for military purposes may provide a sure way of military dominance in a near future. “Military power is of course one essential segment of security. But global security refers to a broad range of threats, risks, policy responses that span political, economic, societal, health (including cognitive health!) and environmental dimensions, none of these being covered by your current domains of operations! Some international actors already use weapons that precisely target these dimensions, while keeping their traditional kinetic arsenal in reserve as long as they possibly can. NATO, if it wishes to survive, has to embrace this continuum and claim as its responsibility, together with its allies to, seamlessly, achieve superiority all across it.”58 Raising awareness among Allies While advances in technology have always resulted in changes in military organisations and doctrines, the rapid advancements in technology, in particular in brain science and NBIC, should force NATO to take action and give a greater consideration to the emergence of the threats that represents Cognitive Warfare. Not all NATO nations have recognised this changing character of conflicts. Declaring the Human as sixth domain of operations is a way to raise awareness among the NATO Nations. NATO should consider further integrating Human situational awareness in the traditional situation awareness processes of the Alliance. Anticipating the trends There is evidence that adversaries have already understood the potential of developing human-related technologies. Declaring the Human Domain as a sixth domain of operations has the potential to reveal possible vulnerabilities, which could otherwise amplify rapidly. It is not too late to face the problem and help keep the dominance in the field of cognition. Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 33 of 45 The Human Domain of operations could tentatively be defined as “the sphere of interest in which strategies and operations can be designed and implemented that, by targeting the cognitive capacities of individuals and/or communities with a set of specific tools and techniques, in particular digital ones, will influence their perception and tamper with their reasoning capacities, hence gaining control of their decision making, perception and behaviour levers in order to achieve desired effects.” Delays in declaring the Human Domain as a domain of operations may lead to fight the last war. Given that the process of declaring a new domain of operations is a lengthy process and given the sensitivity of the topic, NATO needs to be fast in focusing on political/military responses while capacity/threats of our opponents are still low. Finally, ethical problems should be raised. Since there is no agreed international legal framework in the field of neurosciences, NATO may play a role in pushing to establish an international legal framework that meets the NATO Nations’ ethical standards. Accelerating information sharing Accelerated information sharing among Alliance members may help faster integration of interoperability, to assure coherence across multi-domain operations. Information sharing may also assist some nations in catching up in this area. In particular, surveillance of ongoing international activities in brain science, and their potential dual-use in military and intelligence operations should be undertaken and shared between Allies along with identification and quantification of current and near-term risks and threats posed by such enterprises. Establishing DOTMLPFI components upstream The first step is to define the “human domain” in military doctrine and use the definition toconduct a full spectrum of capability development analysis, optimising the military for the most likely 21st century contingencies. Since the Human Domain complements the five others, each capability development should include the specificities of modern threats, including those related to cognitive warfare and, more generally, the sixth domain of operations. The Human Domain is not an end in itself but a means to achieve our strategic objectives and to respond to a type of conflict that the military is not accustomed to dealing with. Dedication of resources for developing and sustaining NATO Nations capabilities to prevent escalation of future risk and threat by: 1) continued surveillance; 2) organisational and systemic preparedness; 3) coherence in any/all entities necessary to remain apace with, and/or ahead of tactical and strategic competitors’ and adversary’s capabilities in this space. Impact on Warfare Development By essence, defining a new domain of operations and all the capabilities and concepts that go along with it, is part of ACT’s mission. Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 34 of 45 ACT should lead a further in-depth study with a focus on: • Advancements on brain science initiatives that may be developed and used for nonkinetic and kinetic engagements. • Different ethical systems that govern neuroscientific research and development. This will mandate a rigorous, more granular, and dialectical approach to negotiate and resolve issues and domains of ethical dissonance in multi- and international biosecurity discourses. • Ongoing review and evaluation of national intellectual property laws, both in relation to international law(s), and in scrutiny of potential commercial veiling of dual-use enterprises. • Identification and quantification of current and near-term risks and threats posed by such enterprise(s) • Better recognizing the use of social and human sciences in relation with “hard” sciences to better understand the human environment (internal and external) • Include the cognitive dimension in every NATO exercises by leveraging new tools and techniques such as immersive technologies Along with those studies, anticipating the first response (such as the creation of a new NATO COE or rethink and adapt the structure by strengthening branches as required) and defining a common agreed taxonomy (Cognitive Dominance/Superiority/Cognitive Center of Gravity etc…) will be key tasks for ACT to help NATO keep the military edge. Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 35 of 45 Conclusion Failing to thwart the cognitive efforts of NATO’s opponents would condemn Western liberal societies to lose the next war without a fight. If NATO fails to build a sustainable and proactive basis for progress in the cognitive domain, it may have no other option than kinetic conflict. Kinetic capabilities may dictate a tactical or operational outcome, but victory in the long run will remain solely dependent on the ability to influence, affect, change or impact the cognitive domain. Because the factors that affect the cognitive domain can be involved in all aspects of human society through the areas of will, concept, psychology and thinking among other, so that particular kind of warfare penetrates into all fields of society. It can be foreseen that the future information warfare will start from the cognitive domain first, to seize the political and diplomatic strategic initiative, but it will also end in the cognitive realm. Preparing for high-intensity warfare remains highly relevant, but international actors providing NATO with specific strategic security challenges have strategised to avoid confronting NATO in kinetic conflicts and chose an indirect form of warfare. Information plays a key role in this indirect form of warfare but the advent of cognitive warfare is different from simple Information Warfare: it is a war through information, the real target being the human mind, and beyond the human per se. Moreover, progresses in NBIC make it possible to extend propaganda and influencing strategies. The sophistication of NBIC-fueled hybrid attacks today represent an unprecedented level of threat inasmuch they target the most vital infrastructure everyone relies on: the human mind . 59 Cognitive warfare may well be the missing element that allows the transition from military victory on the battlefield to lasting political success. The human domain might well be the decisive domain, wherein multi-domain operations achieve the commander’s effect. The five first domains can give tactical and operational victories; only the human domain can achieve the final and full victory. “Recognising the human domain and generating concepts and capabilities to gain advantage therein would be a disruptive innovation.”
Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 36 of 45 “Today’s progresses in nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology and cognitive science (NBIC), boosted by the seemingly unstoppable march of a triumphant troika made of Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and civilisational “digital addiction” have created a much more ominous prospect: an embedded fifth column, where everyone, unbeknownst to him or her, is behaving according to the plans of one of our competitors.” August Cole, Hervé Le Guyader NATO’s 6th Domain Bibliography and Sources Essays August Cole, Hervé Le Guyader, NATO 6th Domain of Operations, September 2020 Dr. James Giordano, Emerging Neuroscience and Technology (NeuroS/T): Current and Near-Term Risks and Threats to NATO Biosecurity, October 2020 Article Nicolas Israël and Sébastien-Yves Laurent, “Analysis Facing Worldwide Jihadist Violence and Conflicts. What to do?” September 2020 Online Collaboration with Johns Hopkins University “Cognitive Biotechnology, Altering the Human Experience”, Sep 2020 “Cognitive Warfare, an attack on truth and thoughts”, Sep 2020 Under the direction of Professor Lawrence Aronhnime Contributors: Alonso Bernal, Cameron Carter, Melanie Kemp, Ujwal Arunkumar Taranath, Klinzman Vaz, Ishpreet Singh, Kathy Cao, Olivia Madreperla Experiments DTEX (Disruptive Technology Experiment) – 7 October 2020 NATO Innovation Hub Disruptive Technology Experiment (DTEX) on disinformation. Under the direction of Girish Sreevatsan Nandakumar (Old Dominion University) Hackathon “Hacking the Mind” Run by Dr. Kristina Soukupova and the Czech Republic Defense and Security Innovation Hub, October 2020. https://www.hackthemind.cz Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 37 of 45 Annex 1 Nation State Case Study 1: The weaponisation of neurosciences in China. As described in the Five-Year Plans (FYPs) and other national strategies, China has identified and acknowledged the technical, economic, medical, military, and political value of the brain sciences, and has initiated efforts to expand its current neuroS/T programs. China utilises broader strategic planning horizons than other nations and attempts to combine efforts from government, academic, and commercial sectors (i.e., the “triple helix”) to accomplish cooperation and centralisation of national agendas. This coordination enables research projects andobjectives to be used for a range of applications and outcomes (e.g., medical, social, military). As noted by Moo Ming Poo, director of China’s Brain Project, China’s growing aging population is contributing to an increasing incidence and prevalence of dementia and other neurological diseases. In their most recent FYP, China addressed economic and productivity concerns fostered by this aging population, with a call to develop medical approaches for neurological disorders and to expand research infrastructure in neuro S/T. This growing academic environment has been leveraged to attract and solicit multi-national collaboration. In this way, China is affecting international neuroS/T through 1) research tourism; 2) control of intellectual property; 3) medical tourism; 4) and influence in global scientific thought. While these strategies are not exclusive to neuroS/T; they may be more opportunistic in the brain sciences because the field isnew, expanding rapidly, and its markets are growing, and being defined by both share- and stake-holder interests. Research tourism involves strategically recruiting renowned, experienced scientists (mostly from Western countries), as well as junior scientists to contribute to and promote the growth, innovation, and prestige of Chinese scientific and technological enterprises. This is apparent by two primary efforts. First, initiatives such as the Thousand Talents Program (launched in 2008) and other programs (e.g., Hundred Person Program, Spring Light Program, Youth Thousand Talents Program, etc.) aim to attract foreign researchers, nurture and sustain domestic talent, and bring back Chinese scientists who have studied or worked abroad. Further, China’s ethical research guidelines are, in some domains, somewhat more permissive than those in the West (e.g., unrestricted human and/or non-human primate experimentation), and the director of China’s Brain Project, Mu-Ming Poo, has stated that this capability to engage research that may not be (ethically) viable elsewhere may (and should) explicitly attract international scientists to conduct research in China. Second, China continues to engage with leading international brain research institutions to foster greater cooperation. These cooperative and collective research efforts enable China to Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 38 of 45 achieve a more even “playing field” in the brain sciences. China leverages intellectual property (IP) policy and law to advance (and veil) neuroS/T and other biotechnologies in several ways. First, via exploitation of their patent process by creating a “patent thicket”. The Chinese patent system focuses on the end-utility of a product (e.g., a specific neurological function in a device), rather than emphasising the initial innovative idea in contrast to the U.S. system. Thisenables Chinese companies and/or institutions to copy or outrightly usurp foreign patents and products. Moreover, Chinese patent laws allow international research products and ideas to be used in China “for the benefit of public health,” or for “a major technological advancement.” Second, the aforementioned coordination of brain science institutions and the corporate sector establishes compulsory licensing under Chinese IP and patent laws. This strategy (i.e., “lawfare”) allows Chinese academic and corporate enterprises to have economic and legal support, while reciprocally enabling China to direct national research agendas and directives through these international neuroS/T collaborations. China enforces its patent and IP rights worldwide, which can create market saturation of significant and innovative products, and could create international dependence upon Chinese neuroS/T. Further, Chinese companies have been heavily investing in knowledge industries, including artificial intelligence enterprises, and academic book and journal partnerships. For example, TenCent established a partnership with Springer Nature to engage in various educational products. This will allow a significant stake in future narratives and dissemination of scientific and technological discoveries. Medical tourism is explicit or implicit attraction and solicitation of international individuals or groups to seek interventions that are either only available, or more affordable in a particular locale. Certainly, China has a presence in this market, and at present, available procedures range from the relatively sublime, such as using deep brain stimulation to treat drug addiction, to the seemingly “science-fictional”, such as the recently proposed body-to-head transplant to be conducted at Harbin Medical University in collaboration with Italian neurosurgeon Sergio Canavero. China can advance and develop areas of neuroS/T in ways that other countries cannot or will not, through homogenising a strong integrated “bench to bedside” capability and use of non-Western ethical guidelines. China may specifically target treatments for diseases that may have a high global impact, and/or could offer procedures that are not available in other countries (for either socio-political or ethical reasons). Such medical tourism could create an international dependence on Chinese markets as individuals become reliant on products and services available only in China, in addition to those that are “made in China” for ubiquitous use elsewhere. China’s growing biomedical industry, ongoing striving for innovation, and expanding manufacturing capabilities have positioned their pharmaceutical and technology companies to prominence in world markets. Such positioning – and the somewhat permissive ethics that enable particular aspects and types of experimentation – may be seductive to international scientists to engage research, and/or commercial biomedical production within China’s sovereign borders. Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 39 of 45 Through these tactics of economic infiltration and saturation, China can create power hierarchies that induce strategically latent “bio-political” effects that influence real and perceived positional dominance of global markets. China is not the only country that has differing ethical codes for governing research. Of note is that Russia has been, and continues to devote resources to neuroS/T, and while not uniformly allied with China, has developed projects and programs that enable the use of neurodata for non-kinetic and/or kinetic applications. Such projects, programs, and operations can be conducted independently and/or collaboratively to exercise purchase over competitors and adversaries so as to achieve greater hegemony and power. Therefore, NATO, and its international allies must 4) recognise the reality of other countries’ science and technological capabilities; 5) evaluate what current and near-term trends portend for global positions, influence, and power; 6) and decide how to address differing ethical and policy views on innovation, research, and product development. Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 40 of 45 Annex 2 Nation State Case Study 2: The Russian National Technology Initiative61 Russian President Vladimir Putin has explicitly stated intent to implement an aggressive modernisation plan via the National Technology Initiative (NTI). Designed to grant an overmatch advantage in both commercial and military domains against Russia’s current and nearterm future key competitors, the NTI has been viewed as somewhat hampered by the nation’s legacy of government control, unchanging economic complexity, bureaucratic inefficiency and overall lack of transparency. However, there are apparent disparities between such assessment of the NTI and its capabilities, and Russia’s continued invention and successful deployment of advanced technologies. Unlike the overt claims and predictions made by China’s scientific and political communities about the development and exercise of neuroS/T to re-balance global power, explication and demonstration(s) of Russian efforts in neuroS/T tend to be subtle, and detailed information about surveillance and extent of such enterprise and activity is, for the most part, restricted to the classified domain. In general, Russian endeavours in this space tend to build upon prior work conducted under the Soviet Union, and while not broad in focus, have gained relative sophistication and capability in particular areas that have high applicability in non-kinetic disruptive engagements. Russia’s employments of weaponised information, and neurotropic agents have remained rather low-key, if not clandestine (and perhaps covert), often entail nation-state or non-state actors as proxies, and are veiled by a successful misinformation campaign to prevent accurate assessment of their existing and developing science and technologies. Military science and technology efforts of the USSR were advanced and sustained primarily due to the extensive military-industrial complex which, by the mid-1970s through 1980s, is estimated to have employed up to twenty percent of the workforce. This enabled the USSR to become a world leader in science and technology, ranked by the U.S. research community as second in the world for clandestine S&T programs (only because the overall Soviet system of research and development (R&D) was exceptionally inefficient, even within the military sector). The collapse of the USSR ended the Soviet military-industrial complex, which resulted in significant decreases in overall spending and state support for R&D programs. Any newly implemented reforms of the post-Soviet state were relatively modest, generating suboptimal R&D results at best. During this time, Russian R&D declined by approximately 60% and aside from the Ministries’ involvement with the military sector, there was a paucity of direct cooperation between Russian R&D institutions and operational S&T enterprises. This limited interaction, was further compounded by a lack of resources, inability to bring new technologyto markets, absent protections for intellectual property, and “brain drain” exodus of talented researchers to nations with more modern, cutting-edged programs with better pay and opportunities for advancement. Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 41 of 45 Recognising the inherent problems with the monoculture of the Russian economic and S&T ecosystems, the Putin government initiated a process of steering Russia toward more lucrative, high-tech enterprises. The NTI is ambitious, with goals to fully realise a series of S&T/ R&D advancements by 2035. The central objective of the NTI is establish “the program for creation of fundamentally new markets and the creation of conditions for global technological leadership of Russia by 2035.” To this end, NTI Experts and the Agency for Strategic Initiatives (ASI) identified nine emerging high-tech markets for prime focus and penetrance, including neuroscience and technology (i.e., what the ASI termed “NeuroNet”). Substantive investment in this market is aimed at overcoming the post-Soviet “resource curse”, by capitalising on the changes in global technology markets – and engagement sectors – to expand both economic and military/intelligence priorities and capabilities. According to the ASI, NeuroNet is focused upon “distributed artificial elements of consciousness and mentality”, withRussia’s prioritisation of neuroS/T being a key factor operative in influence operations directed and global economies and power. Non-kinetic operations represent the most viable intersection and exercise of these commercial, military, and political priorities, capabilities, and foci of global influence and effect(s). Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 42 of 45 Notes Robert P. Kozloski, https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/02/01/knowing_your 1 – self_is_key_in_cognitive_warfare_112992.html, February 2018 Green, Stuart A. “Cognitive Warfare.” The Augean Stables , Joint Military Intelligence College, July 2008, 2 http://www.theaugeanstables.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Green-Cognitive-Warfare.pdf. Clint Watts, (2018 ) Messing with the Enemy, HarperCollins 3 As defined by Wikipedia, a sock puppet or sockpuppet is an online identity used for purposes of deception. It 4 usually refers to the Russian online activism during the US electoral campaign 2016. https://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Sock_puppet_account https://www.belfercenter.org/sites/default/files/2019-11/CognitiveWarfare.pdf 5 Dr Zac Rogers, in Mad Scientist 158, (July 2019), https://madsciblog.tradoc.army.mil/158-in-the-cognitive- 6 war-the-weapon-is-you/ 7 August Cole-Hervé Le Guyader, NATO 6th Domain of Operation, 2020 Ibid. 8 Alicia Wanless, Michael Berk (2017), Participatory Propaganda: The Engagement of Audiences in the Spread of 9 Persuasive Communications: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/329281610_Participatory_Propaganda_The_Engagement_of_Audiences_in_the_Spread_of_Persuasive_Communications 10 Jacques Ellul, (1962) Propaganda, Edition Armand Colin Matt Chessen, The MADCOM Future: How AI will enhance computational propaganda, The Atlantic Council, 11 Sep 2017 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/al_economics 12 Shoshana Zuboff, (2019) The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, Public Affairs 13 Peter W. Singer, Emerson T. Brooking (2018) LikeWar The Weaponisation of Social Media, HMH Edition page 14 95 Victoria Fineberg, (August 2014 ) Behavioural Economics of Cyberspace Operations, Journal of Cyber Security 15 and Information Systems Volume: 2 Shoshana Zuboff, (2019) The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, Public Affairs 16 17 Michael J Mazarr, (July 2020) Survival: Global Politics and Strategy, Virtual Territorial Integrity: The Next International Norm, in Survival: Global Politics and Strategy, IISS 18 Bernard Claverie and Barbara Kowalczuk, Cyberpsychology, Study for the Innovation Hub, July 2018 Dr Zac Rogers, in Mad Scientist 158, (July 2019), https://madsciblog.tradoc.army.mil/158-in-the-cognitive- 19 war-the-weapon-is-you/ Haselton MG, Nettle D, Andrews PW (2005). “The evolution of cognitive bias.”. In Buss DM (ed.). The Handbook 20 of Evolutionary Psychology Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 43 of 45 Wikipedia lists more than 180 different cognitive biases: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_bias 21 Lora Pitman (2019)“The Trojan horse in your Head: Cognitive Threats and how to counter them” ODU Digital 22 Commons Robert P. Kozloski, https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/02/01/knowing_your 23 – self_is_key_in_cognitive_warfare_112992.html, February 2018 Peter W. Singer, Emerson T. Brooking (2018) LikeWar The Weaponisation of Social Media, HMH Edition page 24 165 Dominique Moïsi (2010) The Geopolitics of Emotion, Edition Anchor. 25 26 Christophe Jacquemart (2012), Fusion Froide Edition Fogg, B.J. (2003). Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change What We Think and Do. Morgan Kauf 27 – mann Publishers. 28 https://mwi.usma.edu/mwi-video-brain-battlefield-future-dr-james-giordano/ Maryanne Wolf, (2007)“Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain” HarperCollins 29 Bernard Stiegler, https://www.observatoireb2vdesmemoires.fr/publications/video-minute-memoire-vers- 30 une-utilisation-raisonnee-du-big-data 2019 31 https://pphr.princeton.edu/2017/04/30/are-video-games-really-mindless/ 32“Never has a medium been so potent for beauty and so vulnerable to creepiness. Virtual reality will test us. It will amplify our character more than other media ever have.” Jaron Lanier, (2018) Dawn of the New Everything: Encounters with Reality and Virtual Reality, Picador Edition Philosopher Thomas Metzinger: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2079601-virtual-reality-could-be-an- 33 ethical-minefield-are-we-ready/ Gayannée Kedia, Lasana Harris, Gert-Jan Lelieveld and Lotte van Dillen, (2017) From the Brain to the Field: 34 The Applications of Social Neuroscience to Economics, Health and Law 35 Pr. Li-Jun Hou, Director of People’s Liberation Army 202nd Hospital, (May 2018), Chinese Journal of Traumatology, 36 For more on the definition of “dual use” in neuro S/T, see Dr. James Giordano’s essay October 2020 National Research Council and National Academy of Engineering. 2014. Emerging and Readily Available 37 Technologies and National Security: A Framework for Addressing Ethical, Legal, and Societal Issues. Ibid. 38 39 Giordano J. (2014). Intersections of “big data”, neuroscience and national security: Technical issues and derivative concerns. In: Cabayan H et al. (eds.) A New Information Paradigm? From Genes to “Big Data”, and Instagrams to Persistent Surveillance: Implications for National Security, p. 46-48. Department of Defense; Strategic Multilayer Assessment Group- Joint Staff/J-3/Pentagon Strategic Studies Group. Biological and Chemical Weapons Conventions 40 DeFranco JP, DiEuliis D, Bremseth LR, Snow JJ. Giordano J. (2019). Emerging technologies for disruptive ef 41 – fects in non-kinetic engagements. HDIAC Currents 6(2): 49-54. Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 44 of 45 Parag Khanna, Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilisation (New York Random House, 2016) 42 43 Megan Bell, An Approachable Look at the Human Domain and why we should care (2019), https://othjournal.com/ 2019/06/17/an-approachable-look-at-the-human-domain-and-why-we-should-care/ Vladimir Vasilyevich Karyakin, (2012) “The Era of a New Generation of Warriors—Information and Strategic 44 Warriors— Has Arrived,” Moscow, Russia, Nezavisimaya Gazeta Online, in Russian, April 22, 2011, FBIS SOV GILES, SHERR et SEABOYER (2018), Russian Reflexive Control, Royal Military College of Canada, Defence 45 Research and Development Canada. 46 Elsa B. Kania, Prism Vol.8, N.3, 2019 Nathan Beauchamp-Mustafaga, China Brief, (Sep 2019) https://jamestown.org/program/cognitive-domain- 47 operations-the-plas-new-holistic-concept-for-influence-operations/ Ibid. 48 Hai Jin, Li-Jun Hou, Zheng-Guo Wang, (May 2018 )Military Brain Science – How to influence future wars, 49 Chinese Journal of Traumatology 50 August Cole, Hervé Le Guyader, NATO ’s 6th Domain, September 2020 51 Maj. Gen. Robert H. Scales, (2006), http://armedforcesjournal.com/clausewitz-and-world-war-iv/ 52 Alan Beyerchen, “Clausewitz, Nonlinearity and the Unpredictability of War,” International Security, 17:3 (Winter, 1992) 53 August Cole, Hervé Le Guyader, NATO ’s 6th Domain, September 2020 “Analysis Facing Worldwide Jihadist Violence and Conflicts. What to do?” Article for the Innovation Hub, 54 Nicolas Israël and Sébastien-Yves LAURENT, September 2020 https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/head-strong/201408/psychology-and-less-lethal-military-strategy
55 – 56 Generals Odierno, Amos and Mc Raven, Strategic Landpower, NPS Publication 2014 “Analysis Facing Worldwide Jihadist Violence and Conflicts. What to do?” Article for the Innovation Hub, 57 Nicolas Israël and Sébastien-Yves LAURENT, September 2020 58 August Cole, Hervé Le Guyader, NATO 6th Domain of Operations, September 2020 59 Hervé Le Guyader, the Weaponisation of Neurosciences, Innovation Hub Warfighting Study February 2020 Ibid. 60 Ibid. 61 Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 45 of 45
THE SENTIENT WORLD SIMULATION: UPLOADING YOUR MIND TO A DIGITAL WORLD
It was with the development of the first supercomputers, system for controlling the mind; brain and behavior was established. This was a part of the new science of cybernetics, which became public 1948 when the American professor Norbert Wiener published his book with the same title. The researchers’ project of mind control is most often classified as behavior or cognitive manipulation. Already from the beginning, more than half a century ago, it was possible to intercept thoughts, memories, and sensory functions such as sight or hearing. Cybernetics was also the first science that could not only measure and analyze what it came in contact with, but also change these processes. From the early beginning it was a debate about the issue.
The scientific magazine Science had 14-pages in their 1956 November issue under the heading “Some Issues Concerning the Control of Human Behavior”, and Professor Carl R Rogers said: “We can choose to use our growing knowledge to enslave people in ways never dreamed of before, controlling them by means so carefully selected that they will perhaps never be aware of their loss of personhood”. He added the possibility for political use: “Of all the dictatorships espoused by utopists, this is the most profound, and incipient dictators might well find in this utopia a guidebook of political practice…”but mentioned the probable misuse in democratic countries. This scared many. In the USA books were published, articles written and speeches held by leading people about the danger. The threat of exploitation of humans by a remote control technology became apparent. The American professor of psychiatry Joost Meerloo, released his book “The Rape of the Mind” (1956) in which he said:“The tragic facts of political experiences in our age make it all too clear that applied psychological technique can brainwash entire nations and reduce their citizens to a kind of mindless robotism which becomes for them a normal way of living.”
The EU´s Ethical Board with the Swedish Professor Hermerén as chairman protested and wrote in their 2005-declaration to the EU-Commission: “Implants used for changing the identity, memory, self perception and perception of others should be forbidden”. But the Swedish military research (FOI) declares in their report of activities that their aim is to direct the cognitive functions of people for a life time: “FOI develops systems with emphasis on the interaction between people and technology. The goal is that the systems be designed that human cognitive potential, i.e. the ability to perceive, understand, and sorting information can be utilized for´maximum system effect.” An implanted nightmare of this new kind will become permanent if not made public by mass media. This development can only continue as long as it takes place without public knowledge. Journalists, social activists and sensible politicians, among others, will not want to live their lives with an electronic leash attached to their brain, like a kind of cattle, any more than the rest of the population do. It has to be the responsibility of all of us to make this public if we want to live as human beings, in freedom and with human rights in the 21st century here on Earth.
Military researchers see non-lethal role for talking lasers…
August 3, 2019 by Nancy Cohen, Phys.org
Say what? Laser plasma balls that can talk? The Pentagon? How, and for what? The answer is that instead of beaming a flashing light or shouting over a loudspeaker to keep people away from sensitive areas, new technology is being developed that could allow troops to fire a laser that can form a “plasma ball” that talks to the potential intruders.
Say hello to The Laser Induced Plasma Effect program, part of the Joint Non-lethal Weapons Directorate program, aimed to find ways to deter and stun adversaries without killing them. Go over to the Military Times video, which is where Todd South, ground combat reporter, explains what this is all about.
Three sorts of methods at play here would be (1) giving out voice commands to warn people to stop (2) heating up a target’s skin to very uncomfortable levels but without burning them, and (3) blasting confusing noises to disorient and deter.
In the video in Military Times we hear a voice message that sounds similar to what one would hear over a somewhat distant loudspeaker: STOP OR ELSE … as instructions to go away, or else other means would be used to deter you.
“So, what they’ve done is basically create a laser,” said South in the video, “that can shoot out into a certain distance, and they can pipe in sound waves through it, and actually make human-voice sounds in commands.”
He said this becomes useful “around areas where we want the perimeters secure.” So, he continued, you can shoot out this laser and talk to the people “rather than sending troops out there.”
That same laser can be used to target the individual and create heat, like microscopic pin pricks. It is extremely uncomfortable, said South, and people move out of the way almost immediately.
Also, he said, the exact same laser is being used as a never-ending flashbang grenade. It basically with the power source can create audible effects, to deter, confuse and disorient people, just like a flashbang grenade. South wrote that “the setup can also act as a reusable flashbang that can pulse 155 decibel frequencies near continuously, as compare to standard flashbang grenades that can make one, sometimes two loud blasts to disorient people.”
This technology is not ready. It’s still a few years away, said South.
They just finished testing to get the audio portion through the laser in a lab setting this year. “Part of that,” he said, “involves tweaking algorithms to create human speech in the right wavelengths.” They have been adjusting high and low frequencies to mimic human speech.
They expect to have a “field-able” version within the next five years. How do they reckon five? This is what South wrote in Military Times: “The next steps, said Dave Law, chief scientist with the directorate, is to push distances out of the short range of a laboratory setting to 100 meters, then to multiple kilometers. Law gave an optimistic timeline of about five years before the tech could be through readiness levels and passed on to troops.”
WILL ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE ENHANCE OR HACK HUMANITY?
Watch Yuval Noah Harari speak with Fei-Fei Li, renowned computer scientist and Co-Director of Stanford University’s Human-Centered AI Institute — in a conversation moderated by Nicholas Thompson, WIRED’s Editor-in-Chief. The discussion explores big themes and ideas, including ethics in technology, hacking humans, free will, and how to avoid potential dystopian scenarios. Publication is available under Creative Commons, CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/…. The event was hosted at Stanford in April 2019, and was jointly sponsored by the university’s Humanities Center, McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society, and the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI).
The good old days of cold war disinformatia are gone. Social media are increasingly relevant in shaping the public opinion, but they are just “eco chambers”. Foreign actors with malicious intent can easily exploit this intrinsic feature of social media manipulating online information in order to influence the public opinion. Moreover, cyberspace allows a large degree of anonymity, behind which it is easy to automate propaganda, and cyber attacks may be leveraged to exfiltrate and expose sensitive content or to gain information dominance during military operations, increasing the strategic relevance of the “information space”. Operations in this domain are central in Russia’s security strategic thinking, featuring predominantly in its “New Generation War” military doctrine. But the ongoing militarization of cyberspace risks having dangerous spillovers in the conventional domain. What can we do in order to protect our open democracies while preserving a global, free will and resilient Internet? The answer is multi-faceted, in as much as CEIW (cyber-enabled information warfare) is an emerging asymmetric threat that forces us to innovate our security approach in many ways.
Biotechnology and Human Augmentation: Issues for National Security Practitioners
Mick Ryan and Therese Keane
Over the last decade, military theorists and authors in the fields of future warfare and strategy have examined in detail the potential impacts of an ongoing revolution in information technology. There has been a particular focus on the impacts of automation and artificial intelligence on military and national security affairs. This attention on silicon-based disruption has nonetheless meant that sufficient attention may not have been paid to other equally profound technological developments. One of those developments is the field of biotechnology.
There have been some breathtaking achievements in the biological realm over the last decade. Human genome sequencing has progressed from a multi-year and multi-billion dollar undertaking to a much cheaper and quicker process, far outstripping Moore’s Law. Just as those concerned with national security affairs must monitor disruptive silicon-based technologies, leaders must also be literate in the key biological issues likely to impact the future security of nations. One of the most significant matters in biotechnology is that of human augmentation and whether nations should augment military personnel to stay at the leading edge of capability.
Biotechnology and Human Augmentation
Military institutions will continue to seek competitive advantage over potential adversaries. While this is most obvious in the procurement of advanced platforms, human biotechnological advancement is gaining more attention. As a 2017 CSIS report on the Third Offset found most new technological advances will provide only a temporary advantage, assessed to be no more than five years. In this environment, some military institutions may view the newer field of human augmentation as a more significant source of a future competitive edge.
Biological enhancement of human performance has existed for millenia. The discovery of naturally occurring compounds by our ancestors has led to many of the cognitive and physical enhancements currently available. In the contemporary environment, for example, competition in national and international sports continues to fuel a race between creation of the next generation of performance enhancements and regulatory bodies developing detection methods. One example of this is the use of gene doping to hone the competitive edge in athletes, an off-label use of gene therapies originally developed for the treatment of debilitating genetic and acquired diseases. Despite the possibility of cancer and a range of other lethal side effects, some athletes consider these an acceptable risk. Might this not translate to adversaries adopting any possible advantage without equal disregard for ethics and safety considerations?
Gene Doping (Ralf Hiemisch)
It cannot be safely be assumed all states will share the same ethical, moral, legal, or policy principals as Western democratic societies. Based on developmental trajectories to date, contemporary military institutions should anticipate that all forms of human enhancements, whether relatively benign or highly controversial, will continue to evolve. For contemporary strategic leaders, the key is to anticipate how these developments may potentially impact on military institutions.
Impacts on Military Institutions
Theoretically, future advances in biotechnology may permit the augmentation of cognitive performance. However, given the challenges of biocompatibility of silicon, significant enhancements to human performance in the near future are likely to be found in prosthetics, wearable computing, or human teaming with artificial intelligence. In the longer term, some forms of gene therapy may obviate the need for implants. Noting this, a selection of likely challenges are explored below.
Previously, integration of new groups into the military dealt with human beings.
A first order issue will be group cohesion. Military institutions have deep experience integrating newcomers into their ranks. Fundamental to effective future teaming will be evolving this approach to establish trust and group cohesion between normal humans and those who are augmented. The degree to which military leaders can and should trust augmented personnel to make decisions about saving and taking lives is likely to be an evolutionary process. It also remains to be seen whether or not teams comprised of augmented and non-augmented humans are capable of developing trust. Experimentation and trials are needed to establish whether augmented people will bias away from decisions and input from non-augmented people and vice versa. While institutions can learn from historical integration challenges, there is one essential difference with augmented humans. Previously, integration of new groups into the military dealt with human beings. If augmentation using neurotechnology significantly enhances cognitive function, this may represent a separate and distinct group of future Homo sapiens.
The second challenge will be accessibility. Military institutions will need to decide what proportion of its forces will be augmented. Given that early generations of this biotechnology may be expensive, it is unlikely an entire military institution can be augmented. If so, who will be augmented and why? Military institutions will need to develop a value proposition to ensure physical and cognitive augmentation produces superior outcomes to the use of un-augmented personnel. Yet another question to ask is whether military personnel will be de-augmented on leaving the service. The transition of augmented personnel into a largely unaugmented populace may be traumatic for military personnel, and for society more broadly. Even more severe in its repercussions may be transitioning de-augmented personnel into a populace where augmentation is ubiquitous.
The Role of Humans in the Age of Robots (The Luvo)
The third challenge will be conceptual. One Chinese scientist, writing in 2006, has proposed military biotechnology offers the chance to shift to a “new balance between defence and attack, giving rise to a new concept of warfare, a new balance of military force, and new attacking power.” While the emphasis of this particular article was on a more merciful form of warfare—about which we should be skeptical—it nonetheless highlights the requirement to rethink what biotechnology and human augmentation means for how military institutions develop warfighting concepts. When humans arrive with cognitive enhancement, a range of tactical, operational, and strategic concepts may become irrelevant. Strategic thinking, using a combination of biological and silicon-based technologies could take organisations in very different directions than is presently the case. It also bears examining whether those with augmentation will enable greater diversity of performance (particularly in the intellectual realm) or if it will lead to increased homogenisation of physical and cognitive performance.
The fourth challenge is obsolescence. A fundamental challenge for humans waging war is that, despite technological advances, one of the weakest links is the physical capacity of the human. As Patrick Lin was written, technology makes up for our absurd frailty. Therefore, might normal humans without augmentation become irrelevant in a new construct where military institutions possess large numbers of physically and cognitively augmented personnel? It remains to be seen whether unaugmented humans might able to compete with physically and cognitively augmented military personnel. The augmentation of humans for different physical and cognitive functions may also drive change in how military institutions operate, plan, and think strategically.
A fifth challenge is military education and training. Traditional military training emphases the teaching of humans to achieve learning outcomes and missions as individuals and teams. In an integrated augmented/non-augmented institution, training methods must evolve to account for the different and improved capabilities of augmented personnel and to blend the capabilities of augmented and non-augmented personnel. Similarly, education for military leaders currently seeks to achieve their intellectual development in the art and science of war. If humans augmented with cognitive enhancements are present, both institutional and individual professional military education will also need to evolve. Learning delivery, as well as key learning outcomes, will have to be re-examined to account for the enhanced physical and cognitive performance of this new segment of the military workforce. Even issues as basic as fitness assessments must be re-examined. Potentially, military organisations could drop physical assessments by automatically augmenting people to the institutionally desired level of performance.
The sixth challenge is one of choice. Command structures demand a reduction in an individual’s free will to refuse such that informed consent is not quite the same as for the general population. And when experimental augmentation options progress to become approved interventions, can we equate a parent considering whether to choose an approved cognitive augmentation option for their child to a soldier contemplating the same when operating alongside augmented peers where the stakes are orders of magnitude greater? How much choice will military personnel have in the augmentation process? Will this be on a volunteer basis or by direction, and what are the moral, legal, and ethical implications of these stances? Speculation that augmentation may become mandatory for some professions may also apply to the military.
The final issue addressed in this article is one of ethics. Research communities are grappling with the ethical and moral implications of augmentation for society as a whole. While the first concern in evaluating the military applications of biotechnology is international humanitarian law, bioethics must also be considered. Ethical considerations pervade almost every aspect of human augmentation, and there are ethical considerations threaded through the other challenges raised in this article. For example, beyond the first order questions of whether we should augment soldiers are issues such as how much augmentation should be allowable. Military institutions should also assess the cumulative effects of multiple augmentations and the consequences of converging augmentation. There may also be a point at which a highly augmented human may cross the human-machine barrier, as well as a range of unanticipated capabilities that emerge from different augmentation combinations.
A Way Ahead
These issues must be informed by those within the biotechnology community, but they alone cannot solve them. Broader involvement by senior military, government, and community leaders is required. One expert in biotechnology has written that “clearly the new forms of power being unleashed by bio-technology will have to be harnessed and used with greater wisdom than power has been used in the past.” If military institutions are to demonstrate wisdom in their investments in biotechnology, they must explore societal impacts as well as effects within military institutions.
“Splitting humankind into biological castes will destroy the foundations of liberal ideology. Liberalism still presupposes that all human beings have equal value and authority.”
It is likely some augmentation will be—at least initially—expensive. It may be beyond the means of most people in society and, potentially, many government and corporate institutions. If only military personnel might be augmented, what are the impacts on civil-military relationships, and who would make this decision? In this construct, it could be unethical to deny the benefits of augmentation to wider society. However as Yuval Harari has noted, this may see a differentiation in how society views augmented and non-augmented people—“Splitting humankind into biological castes will destroy the foundations of liberal ideology. Liberalism still presupposes that all human beings have equal value and authority.” In Western democracies, this poses profound questions about conferred advantage, societal sense of fairness and equality, and the value of individuals within society.
In Western democratic systems, development of regulation, policy, and legal frameworks is not keeping pace with the current tempo of complicated technological advancements. It cannot be assumed other states are allowing these deficits to slow their efforts in biotechnology, not to mention the unregulated efforts of non-state actors. While the focus of the fourth industrial revolution remains predominantly on technologies, perhaps for Australia (and other democracies) it is also these areas which require a complementaryrevolution in the Whole of Nation enterprise so as to keep up with the pace of change and facilitate systematic assessment of human augmentation implications.
The potential to augment the physical and cognitive capacity of humans is seductive. There will be some who will not demonstrate responsible behaviour in taking advantage of these new technologies. Humans have demonstrated in the past the capacity to responsibly manage disruptive technologies such as flight, atomic weapons, and space-based capabilities. This means thoughtful academics, national security practitioners, and people from wider society must be part of the discussion on why and how biotechnology might be used in future. It is vital for the future of global security, and for the human race, that mechanisms for responsible ethical and legal use of biotechnology are considered and developed. This must occur in parallel with the scientific endeavours to develop new biotechnologies.
Mick Ryan is an Australian Army officer, and Commander of the Australian Defence College in Canberra, Australia. A distinguished graduate of Johns Hopkins University and the USMC Staff College and School of Advanced Warfare, he is a passionate advocate of professional education and lifelong learning. Therese Keane is a scientist with the Defence Science and Technology Group. Although with a background in mathematics now expanding into biotechnology. The views expressed are the authors’ and do not reflect the official position of the Australian Department of Defence or the Australian Government.
The psychoacoustic effect of infrasonic, sonic and ultrasonic frequencies within non-lethal military warfare techniques.
Exploring the use of audio to influence humans physically and psychologically as a means of non-lethal warfare methods throughout both the 20th and the 21st century.
The term ‘infrasound’ defines itself as the inaudible frequency range below the human bandwidth of around 20Hz. When discussing infrasound, it’s often associated with acts of
nature, sources such as the Fuego volcano in Guatemala emitted 120 decibels of infrasonic sound ranging around 10Hz (Georgia State University, no date). It is with occurrences like this that calls for a large amount of infrasonic monitoring to counter natural disaster detection. Beyond the use of infrasound detection, this frequency range, of which is inaudible to us, has been researched throughout the decades to investigate its effects on the human body. One of which is it’s application to military usage.
Throughout the 20th and 21st century, there has been a vast amount of research collected and interest gained in the use of non-lethal weapons (NLW), which are intended to immobilise or impair targets without causing permanent or severe damage to the human body. As technologies have developed, it’s apparent that military bodies within the world seek to create weapons resulting in “war’s without death” (Scott & Monitor, 2010). However, it is within the creation of new weapons that many issues arise, which perhaps may be a reason there is little evidence for the deployment of NLW. It’s apparent that some concepts of using infrasound may violate disarmament treaties, for example, the 1999 European Committee stated:
“global ban on all research and development, whether military or civilian, which seeks to apply knowledge of the chemical, electrical, sound vibration or other functioning of the human brain to the development of human beings, including a ban on actual or possible deployment of such systems” (Giordano, 2014).
Thus, this may result in military bodies taking a critical view before the acceptance of research to be made. However, it is important to understand at this point within this study, that this does not just encompass infrasonic sound but also applies to ultrasonic sound too.
Despite this, it is the alleged properties that infrasound, when applied correctly to humans, that have allowed for the field to be of interest within military application. Within Table 1 we can see a notable number of applications that infrasound could possibly or has been applied for:
Infrasound has resulted in a large amount of interest within the creation of NLW. It is apparent that given the technical depth that infrasound can be applied to within weaponry, a very in depth analysis of each device would be required. The present chapter within this text will analyse research collated that will allow for a greater insight into the application of infrasound on the human body, thus allowing us to formulate a background before exploring the outcome of the research tested within this study.
Physical and Psychological Effects
Infrasound has been utilised as a means of sonic warfare for physical human impact, dating back to World War 1. Acoustic imaging was the primitive use of infrasonic sound during World War 2, for the use of radar and sonar techniques in order to detect locations of enemy artillery (Ihde, 2015). Despite there bing many references to acoustic weaponry, as early as World War 2, it is in the 1960’s that actual documented research becomes more available. As described in, Secret Weapons of the Third Reich (E. Simon, 1971), one such device is discussed:
“…design consisted of a parabolic reflector, 3.2 meters in diameter, having a short tube which was the combustion chamber or sound generator, extending to the rear from the vertex of the parabola. The chamber was fed at the rear by two coaxial nozzles, the outer nozzle emitting methane, and the central nozzle oxygen. The length of the chamber was one- quarter the wavelength of the sound in air. Upon initiation, the first shock wave was reflected back from the openend of the chamber and initiated the second explosion. The frequency was from 800 to 1500 impulses per second. The main lobe of the sound intensity pattern had a 65 degree angle of opening, and at 60 meters’ distance on the axis a pressure of 1000 microbars had been measured. No physiological experiments were conducted, but it was estimated that at such a pressure it would take from 30 to 40 seconds to kill a man. At greater ranges, perhaps up to 300 meters, the effect, although not lethal, would be very painful and would probably disable a man for an appreciable length of time. Vision would be affected, and low- level exposures would cause point sources of light to appear as lines.”
This device, known as the ‘Wirbelwind Kanonew’ , is perhaps the only known fully developed infrasonic weapon created in order to physically effect it’s target, with the intention of countering enemy aircraft and infantry by creating a vortex of sound (Crab, 2008). Moreover, there are cases that perhaps suggest a possible application of infrasound to cause physical damage to the ear drum. (Harding, Bohne, Lee, & Salt, 2007) cites that frequency ranges around 4Hz, at high decibels, are perhaps able damage parts of the ear drum. The vibrational movement created by the infrasonic frequency result in large fluid movements of cochlear fluid, the intermixing of cochlear fluid is hypothesised to result in lasting damage. There are however, in contrary to this, studies also suggest the mechanisms of the ear have a normal reaction to infrasonic sound. As preciously mentioned, the central mechanism of the ear is the cochlear; within the cochlear there are two sensory cells, the inner hair cells (IHC) and the outer hair cells (OHC) (Cook, 1999). IHC responses are dependant on velocity and due to the fluid within the ear, the stimulus lowers as the frequency lowers; in contrast, OHC have a greater response to low frequency ranges such as infrasound. As a result, the effect of infrasound on IHC’s within the ear, could be suggested as inefficient thus resulting in infrasound’s effect on the ear, physically, being normal (Salt & Hullar, 2010). However, this does not suggest that the effect of infrasound on both IHC and OHC do not have a psychological effect on the brain. Exposure to levels above 80db between 0.5Hz and 10Hz causing these possible vibrational movements within the ear’s functions, are said to cause psychological changes such as fear, sorrow, depression, anxiety, nausea, chest pressure and hallucinations (ECRIP, 2008). It is the result of this effect in the middle ear, that (Goodman, 2010 p. 18) cites as being discovered by military personnel during World War 1 and World War 2.
The effect of emotional and psychological change as a result of infrasonic exposure can later be found during the second Indochina war. In 1973, The United States deployed the Urban Funk Campaign, a psychoacoustic attack during the war with the intention of altering mental states of their enemies (Goodman, 2010). The device utilised both infrasonic and ultrasonic frequencies, which emitted high decibel oscillations from a mounted helicopter onto the Vietnamese ground troops (Toffler, Alvin, & Toffler, 1995). Though there is no record of the specification of this device, one can assume that the U.S Military had tested the infrasonic frequency ranges in order to achieve a psychological effect on it’s targets. As previously cited by (Goodman, 2010), it is documented that the frequency range of 7Hz is thought to instil effects of uneasiness, anxiety, fear and anger. (Walonick, 1990) reports in a experiment that below 8Hz had caused agitation and uneasiness for participants. Goodman also supports this discussing “It has been noted that certain infrasonic frequencies plug straight into the algorithms of the brain and nervous system. Frequencies of 7 hertz, for example, coincide with theta rhythms, thought to induce moods of fear and anger.” (Goodman, 2010). It is within the psychological change that we begin to question the reasoning behind it, many of the studies in the next chapter of this study suggest that resonance is perhaps the reason as to why there could be an emotional and psychological change to human’s when exposed to infrasonic frequencies.
All objects have a property known as their resonant frequency, this involves the “re- enforcement of vibrations of a receiving system due to a similarity to the frequencies of the source” (Pellegrino & Productions, 1996). It is this property that is held within all matter, that we can apply sound as a means of resonance within the human body. It is resonance within the human body that is thought to create the psychological effects of that mentioned in the previous chapter.
Limited literature within the infrasonic frequency range allows for an array of research speculating conspiracies within the utilisation of infrasonic frequency ranges as a means of non-lethal weaponry and crowd control. As a result, this could lead to a plausible suggestion that military application of non-lethal audio weapons have not been made publicly available. A large influence on the development and notable usages of infrasonic frequencies as a means of deterrence, was the development of a low-frequency acoustic device by French scientist Vladimir Gavreau (Lothes, 2004). It is reported that Gavreau had discovered the infrasound weapon by result of a resonant frequency being emitted from a motor-driven ventilator within his office (Vassilatos, no date). Following this, Gavreau developed a device that emitted infrasonic sine wave frequencies around 7hertz, with military application, (Vassilatos, no date) said to induce painful symptoms effecting his laboratory staff with immediate effect, other results are reported of the likes of the feeling of fear and flight. Following this discovery Gavreau made discussions that highlighted the effect of infrasonic frequencies to humans, citing it as a possible cause of city dwellers’ stress (Broner, 2003). Gavreau’s discovery within this field has been largely researched and discussed throughout the acoustic warfare field. Vinokur, drew from Gavreau’s invention stating within his publication The Case of the Mythical Beast. (Vinokur, 1993)
“. . . sound with a frequency of less than 16 Hz is inaudible. It’s called infrasound, and its effect on human beings is not completely understood. We do know, however, that high- intensity infrasound causes headache, fatigue, and anxiety . . . Our internal organs (heart, liver, stomach, kidneys) are attached to the bones by elastic connective tissue, and at low frequencies may be considered simple oscillators. The natural frequencies of most of them are below 12 Hz (which is in the infrasonic range). Thus, the organs may resonate. Of course, the amplitude of any resonance vibrations depends significantly on damping, which transforms mechanical energy into thermal energy . . . this amplitude decreases as the damping increases. Also, the amplitude is proportional to the amplitude of the harmonic force causing the vibrations . . .”
It is also apparent that such frequencies have been used in many varying fields to provide evidence of it’s existence, exterior to military and police usage. Furthermore, British physiology researchers O’Keeffe & Angliss conducted an experiment to test the effects of infrasonic frequencies on the human brain in 2003. The method was conducted by playing 4 musical pieces to 700 participants two of which had 17hertz frequencies played unknowingly to the participants during the piece. Results found that 22% of the participants experienced a feeling of anxiety and fear (Stathatos, no date). A similar experiment entitled ‘The Haunt Project’ conducted by the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit of Goldsmiths College, London, subjected 79 volunteers to a varying array of infrasonic frequencies. The primary analysis of the study cites that “63 (79.7%) of the participants felt dizzy or odd, 9 (11.4%) experienced sadness, 7 (8.9%) experienced terror” (French, Haque, Bunton- Stasyshyn, & Davis, 2009). It’s not unreasonable to state that within a varying amount of research conducted in this field, there is little evidence to suggest why infrasound actually has an effect on human emotion. Acoustic scientists investigating the result of noise pollution on workers determine that every organ within the human body has a resonant frequency and it’s own ‘acoustic properties’, this effect is discussed as a possible means as to why frequency has an effect on the human body (Prashanth & Venugopalachar, 2010). Additionally to this, Mahindra states that the resonant frequency of the eyeball has a direct effect on emotional states of anxiety & stress (Prashanth & Venugopalachar, 2010). (Braithwaite, 2006), who also have researched infrasonic resonance, cite that the change to fearful emotions may be a direct response to infrasound inducing resonance within the human eyeball. To support this statement, it’s also apparent within research conducted by NASA (Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory, 1976) that the resonant frequency of the human eyeball sits at around 18hertz, just below the audible range of the human ear. Referring back to the use of 7Hz frequency, additional support is gathered with many texts referring to resonant frequencies within the body, with the likes of (Broner, 2003) stating “…it has also been alleged that this is the resonant frequency of the body’s organs…”. One could perhaps draw a conclusion that resonance could be the catalyst for psychological change when exposed to infrasonic sound. The result of resonant frequencies within the body allow for a direct correspondence to the frequency rhythms within the brain, which cohere with the emotional state of every human. (Davies & Honours, no date) cites that “Many of the most profound effects of sound are attributed to infrasound in the region of 7Hz. This corresponds with the median alpha-rhythm frequencies of the brain.”. In addition to this, we also see discussed by (Sargeant, 2001):
“The frequency that is thought to be most dangerous to humans is between 7 and 8Hz. This is the resonant frequency of flesh and, theoretically, it can rupture internal organs if loud enough. Seven hertz is also the average frequency of the brain’s alpha rhythms; thus this frequency has been described as dangerous but also relaxing. Whether exposure to such infrasound can trigger epileptic seizures, as some fear, remains unclear; experimental data on exposure to such frequencies gives a variety of results. It should be noted, however, that the strobe light effect associated with triggering epileptic seizures flashes at an equivalent rhythm. Frequencies below 50Hz commonly lose their coherence and are perceived to pulse or fluctuate, which is analogous to the strobing beat of a modulated light.”
It is apparent that the frequency range sitting around 7Hz has been widely discussed as changing a subject emotional state when exposed. As a result of this research, the study will gather primary research to understand the effect of 7Hz on the human body, and analyse the emotional effect it has within formulated within this study.
The frequency that forms our own perception of sound sits between 20Hz — 20,000Hz, though only constituting a small amount of frequency spectrum, our auditory range can play an important role on our body; such as our equilibrioception (balance), proprioception and kinaesthesia (joint motion and acceleration), time, nociception (pain), magnetoception (direction), and thermoception (temperature differences) (HEYS, 2011). In order to full understand how the military application of sound can impact subjects psychologically, we must first understand how sound effects us mentally. Drawing from research collated pioneers within the sound-emotion connection, (Berlyne, 1971), (Meyer & Meyer, 1961), (Juslin & Sloboda, 2001) & (Liljeström, 2011) suggest six main mechanisms that happen when we perceive sound:
Brain Stem Reflex is the effect of the brain recognising the acoustic properties of a sound, signalling the brain to react instinctively. Much similar to that of the American ‘Long Range Acoustic Device’ discussed later within this section.
Evaluative conditioning is the effect of association between setting and sound; if the brain has heard a specific sound repeatedly in a specific setting, this triggers an emotional connection between the two.
Emotional contagion is the perception of emotion expressed in certain sounds, whether or not the audio sounds sad, the association is recognised by the brain as an expression of emotion.
Visual imagery relates to the brains association between a certain sound and a visual image or sensation.
Episodic memory is the effect of the brain recognising sound as a memory, evoking the thought of stations to which a memory of sound was present.
Sound expectancy is the brains mechanism of expecting how a sound will hear through previous experience.
It is these mechanisms within the brain that aid us to draw the association between techniques developed for military application and sound in order to alter the state of mind of subjects. Whether it is by creating resonance within the brain or allowing for association between a sound and setting, many key pieces of research provide insight into the use of these techniques. It is with these mechanisms that we can gain an understanding as to why audible sound can effect our mental state.
The use of sound within our auditory range has been used to effect targets negatively from the mid-1900s. After analysing previously explored research within this field, a large amount of research refers to the United State’s military and their Psychological Operations Units (PsyOps) (United States Military, 1996). In many cases, we see the application of sound utilised in order to effect the six mechanisms discussed in chapter 3.2, allowing them to apply the use of sound for non-lethal warfare. As early as World War 2, we see strong evidence for the the deployment of sound, used in order to effect the psychology of enemies. The U.S militaries 23rd Special Troops, often referred to as the ‘Ghost Army’ were a troop of sound and radio engineers assigned to fabricate the sounds of marching troops, tanks, landing crafts allowing for sonic deception of their enemies (Goodman, 2009, p. 41). This perhaps was a result of that described in Philip Gerard’s book Secret Soldiers: How a Troupe of American Artists, Designers and Sonic Wizards Won World War II’s Battles of Deception Against the Germans:
“…screaming whine caused by a siren deliberately designed into the aircraft…it instilled a paralysing panic in those on the ground…For Division 17 of the National Research Defence Committee, the lesson was clear: sound could terrify soldiers…So they decided to take the concept to the next level and develop a sonic ‘bomb’…The idea of a sonic ‘bomb’ never quite panned out, so the engineers shifted their work toward battlefield deception.” (Gerard, 2002)
It is these tactics and technologies used within the early years of the military’s application of sound that allow for a greater insight into their usages. We also see many deployments of sonic frequencies, used in order to impact subjects negatively in varied military approaches such as interrogation, crowd control and creating fear against enemies. (BBC, 2003) cites the U.S’s PsyOps use of heavy metal and children’s music as a means of interrogation during warfare. Sergeant Mark Hadsell of PsyOps states “If you play it for 24 hours, your brain and body functions start to slide, your train of thought slows down and your will is broken. That’s when we come in and talk to them.” (BBC, 2003). However, though it is well documented that music and sound has been used within interrogation scenarios, this perhaps does not allow us to have an understanding of how sound effects our brain, as one can associate it’s effect as more physiological, due to sensory depravation caused, as a pose to psychological change. Psychological change, can infect be seen within the second Indochina war, similar to operations such as the Urban Funk Campaign discussed in section 3.1. Known as the “Wandering Soul” PsyOps units within the war attempted to exploit emotional contagion, evaluative conditioning and visual imagery of the enemy. John Pilger describes this within his book Heroes when discussing a PsyOps Officer in Vietnam:
“His favourite tape was called “Wandering Soul,” and as we lifted out of Snuffy he explained, “what we’re doing today is psyching out the enemy. And that’s where Wandering Soul comes in. Now you’ve got to understand the Vietnamese way of life to realise the power behind Wandering Soul. You see, the Vietnamese people worship their ancestors and they take a lot of notice of the spirits and stuff like that. Well, what we’re going to do here is broadcast the voices of the ancestors — you know, ghosts which we’ve simulated in our studios. These ghosts, these ancestors, are going to tell the Vietcong to stop messing with the people’s right to live freely, or the people are going to disown them.” The helicopter dropped to within twenty feet of the trees. The PsyOps captain threw a switch and a voice reverberated from two loudspeakers attached to the machine- gun mounting. While the voice hissed and hooted, a sergeant hurled out handfuls of leaflets which made the same threats in writing.” (Pilger, 1986).
These techniques have allowed for a greater amount of research in the 21st century, and as a common theme, this is particularly within the U.S military. In February 2004, the American Technology Corporation secured a $1 million contract to provide U.S forces in Iraq with Long Range Acoustic Devices (LRAD) (Goodman, 2009, p. 21). The LRAD focuses a directional 15° to 30° beam of sound between 1kHz and 5kHz reaching a distance of around 5,500 meters (LRAD , 2015). The use of the LRAD has been seen as a means of crowd control and has been identified in scenarios such as repelling pirates in Somalia and suicide bombers in the middle east (Goodman, 2009). It is the LRAD’s highly directional and high decibel sound that perhaps allows us to see the effect of the Brain Stem Reflex discussed in section 3.1. The impact of such a high decibel frequency could perhaps be believed to instil a natural instinctive flight mechanism in the brain; it is also document that the effect of the LRAD can cause nausea or dizziness, Amy Teibel writes, when discussing the Israeli use of a similar LRAD device
“A young Palestinian covers his ears from a sound, launched by a new weapon of the Israeli army, during a demonstration against the construction of Israel’s separation barrier at the West Bank village of Bil’in Friday, June 3, 2005. Israel is considering using an unusual new weapon against Jewish settlers who resist this summer’s Gaza Strip evacuation, a device that emits penetrating bursts of sound that send targets reeling with dizziness and nausea.” (Teibel, 2005).
However, when discussing the LRAD device we must also consider it’s use of ultrasound, as this device also applies ultrasound within it’s mechanism — this will be discussed in section 4.3.1. It is clear to see that the effect of sonic weapons used in order to impact the human body physiologically and alter the subjects mental state, is of large importance when researching acoustic warfare weapons.
The effect of sound on our brain often leads back to a common theme of resonance. Brainwave entrainment (or often referred to as neural entrainment) defines itself as the use of certain frequencies to activate bands of electrical wave resonance within our brain, to induce neurological states within our body. The preliminary proof of concept and main body of contextual research in this field stems from German professor of Physics, Heinrich Wilhelm Dove, who made discoveries in brainwave entrainment (BWE) through infrasonic frequencies entitled “Binaural beats” in 1841 (Kliempt, Ruta, Ogston, Landeck, & Martay, 1999). This method of entrainment occurs when two coherent frequencies within our audible range, are made present in both the left and right ear. Each frequency enters the auditory canal of the ear through to the cochlea; in turn the basilar membrane resonates at the frequency heard, this passes to the brain allowing us to recognise the frequency (Cook, 1999). The effect of this allows the brain to detect the phase difference between the two frequencies, rather than the brain responding to each frequency, the effect comprises of the difference between the two. This instils the ‘third’ frequency to resonate at an infrasonic range below 20–30Hz. The stimulus frequency reverberated by this induces a specific cerebral wave corresponding to characterised states of mind. (Caterina Filimon, n.d). Goodman states “…resonating with alpha and theta rhythms in the brain known to produce moods of fear, anxiety or anger” (Goodman, 2009, p. 18).
This technique has been applied to many non-warfare scenarios, which allows us to understand the importance of it’s application. Many musicians and directors have found ways of utilising neural entrainment to initiate fear into the listeners. Movie Director Gaspar Noe and musician Thomas Bangalter, used two differing bandwidths to instil beta wave frequency to the audience in order to create a feeling of tension in particular scenes of the movie Irreversible (Stathatos, no date).
Articles posted in The Times & New Scientist in 1973 document the use of a device called a ‘Squawk Box’ (New Scientist, 1973), used by the British Military in Northern Ireland. The device, mounted on a vehicle, emitted two frequencies of marginal difference in order to resonate a particular frequency bandwidth, similar to the effect discussed previously (Spannered, 2009). The article in New Scientist reports that the audio produced psychoacoustic effects giddiness, nausea, fainting, or merely a “spooky” psychological effect to targets. It also goes on to say that “Most people are intensely annoyed by the device and have a compelling wish to be somewhere else.” (New Scientist, 1973). Though the exact frequency range that was created is discussed in many aspects of military application, it’s important to draw from research to discover which areas of brainwave entrainment may perhaps effect the human body negatively.
Contrary to that described previously, the use of binaural beats has been actively discussed as a means of stress relief for participants, with research such as that collated by (Huang & Charyton, 2008) citing “People suffering from cognitive functioning deficits, stress, pain, headache/migraines, PMS, and behavioural problems benefited from BWE. However, more controlled trials are needed to test additional protocols with outcomes.” It is in review of physiological effects of brainwave entrainment we see in many pieces of research and literature such as that by, (Wahbeh, Calabrese, & Zwickey, 2007) & (Huang & Charyton, 2008), that confirm increased Serotonin levels within the body due to brainwave entrainment. With research such as (Mercola, 2015), discussing the role of increased Serotonin levels positively effecting the feeling of anxiety, that perhaps one may see the benefits of BWE. However, it is in fact discussed by (L. Fannin, Ph.D, no date) that the effect of BWE on frequency ranges that are already heightened within our brain is what causes a negative effect. Jeffrey L. Fannin, Ph.D, discusses:
“Anxiety — Too much beta activity may cause you to feel afraid or have thoughts of fear towards things that you are usually calm. I would imagine that if your brainwaves get high enough in the beta range, you will begin to notice a fear of things that are not normal to freak out over.
Stress — Though there are many good things that come with beta waves, there is also a huge possibility that they may stress you out. They are linked to increased stress, which is why it is important to learn how to shift your brainwaves when needed.
Paranoia — Paranoid schizophrenics are actually able to generate much more high beta (25–30Hz) activity than the average population. Are beta brainwaves the cause of schizophrenia? No, they are a side-effect and schizophrenia is a much more complex disease. Increasing beta brainwaves will not increase the likelihood of you becoming crazy, but they could make you feel more paranoid than usual.”
The spectrum beyond human audible range defines itself as ultrasound, this being above 20,000Hz. Ultrasound maintains very directional wave forms, due to their smaller wavelength and is very easily absorbed by materials, which allows for a greater application of use than other frequency bandwidths (Carovac, Smajlovic, & Junuzovic, 2011). Due to this, we can see ultrasound utilised in largely in the medical industry, with a particular focus on digital diagnostic imaging. Diagnostic imaging of ultrasound scanners operate around 2 to 18 megahertz, being hundreds of times greater than human perception (Carovac, Smajlovic, & Junuzovic, 2011). The mechanisms for this process depends on the echo time or Doppler shift, of the reflected ultrasonic sound on the internal organs or soft tissue, thus resulting in a 2d or 3d image (Georgia State University, no date). Ultrasonic sound is often produced using either piezoelectric or magnetostrictive transistors, by applying the output of an electronic oscillation within the device (Georgia State University, no date). The preliminary applications of ultrasound can be seen as a means of radar detection, similar to that of infrasound discussed in section 3.1, with the employment of submarine detectors in World War 1 (Carovac, Smajlovic, & Junuzovic, 2011). This depended on similar technologies of that used today in the medical industry, however since then, we have seen research within ultrasonic frequencies rise in many differing fields. Though it is apparent that the use of ultrasound has not been as widely investigated as both the infrasonic and sonic frequency fields, we can still see a common interest in it’s application for military use.
‘Hypersonic sound’ can be referred to simply as the focusing of ultrasound. Similar to that of light being focused into a laser, hypersonic sound works under a similar principle, with a speaker being focused into a highly directional focused beam of sound. The effect of this involves a speaker which emits low level ultrasound at around 100,000 vibrations per second, resulting in the audio creating the sound in the air as it travels, as a pose to regular speakers which make the sound waves on the face of the speaker (Norris, 2004). However, as previously mentioned in section 3.2.2, hypersonic sound used in devices like the LRAD do in fact utilise audible frequencies too and it is important to understand the cohesion within it’s application.
The military usage of hypersonic ultrasound is perhaps a technical advancement of the acoustic deception techniques used in World War II by the ‘Ghost Army’ and that of the Urban Funk Campaign in Vietnam both discussed in section 3.2.2. However, what these to techniques did not allow for was the development ultrasound, resulting in the audio being highly directional. Woody Norris, who would later found the LRAD Corporation, discussed the military application of ultrasound on a hypersonic sound lecture in 2004. Stating that the device had been deployed by the U.S military for use within Iraq, in order to deceive the enemy by creating the sound ‘fake’ troops. Moreover, he also discussed the use of the device that altered temperature of enemies whilst also stating:
“We make a version with this which puts out 155 decibels. Pain is 120. So it allows you to go nearly a mile away and communicate with people, and there can be a public beach just off to the side, and they don’t even know it’s turned on. We sell those to the military presently for about 70,000 dollars, and they’re buying them as fast as we can make them.” (Norris, 2004).
This in fact, gives us a great insight into the development of techniques used within prior wars and the advancement that has been made with technology of those discussed in previous sections. We can also see from this that the application of ultrasound has in fact been popular by the military and one could assume that there may be more progressed development within this field. Moreover, (Goodman, 2009) cites “There is, however, evidence to suggest that ultrasound has been considered by military and law enforcement authorities as a likely technology for so-called ‘non-lethal weapons’ for use in crowd control and ‘coercive interrogation’.” which is evident to this day. We can also see the application of hypersonic ultrasound as a means of public crowd control with the likes of The Mosquito Anti-Social Device (M.A.D), which emits high frequency sound, around 20,000hz and above, with a range of around 15 to 20 meters (Goodman, 2009). On the Compound Security System’s website, who are the company behind the M.A.D, they specify that the sine wave frequency played by the device, at 20kHz, can only be heard by those under 25 years of age (Compound Security, 2015). Thus, this system is targeted as a youth deterrent. The company goes on to state that field trials suggest that teenagers where acutely aware for the ultrasonic tone and would usually wish to move away after around ten minutes (Compound Security, 2015). This suggest that perhaps the device’s intended use is to create auditory discomfort for the target audience, in order for them to move away from a specific area. Moreover, devices similar to this have also been developed previously; though military and law enforcement have denied the use of ultrasonic devices it apparent that such exist. Instructions and a Patent for a ‘Phasor Pain Field Generator’ can be found, which emits ultrasonic frequencies at 20,000Hz to 25,000Hz as a schematic for a handheld self-defence device, specifying that it’s “intended for Law Enforcement, Personal Or For Qualified Acoustical Research” (Free Information Society, no date) & (De Laro Research, 2014). Within the description of this device, it also states “if at any time head or neck feels swollen or you feel light headed or sick to your stomach, it is an indication that you are being affected. Sometimes you may experience a continuous ringing in the ears even after the device is turned off” (Free Information Society, no date). One can draw a conclusion from the description of both the M.A.D and the ‘Phasor Pain Field Generator’ that the intended outcome if the the target to feel discomfort. It is not unreasonable to state that as technology has progressed within ultrasonic research and as more psychological effects of inaudible sounds are discovered, the perceptual military operations of sonic warfare have widened. These techniques of applying 20,000Hz as a means of deterrent of said ‘self-defence’ devices allow for more primary research within this field to be explored. As a result, this study will collect primary research within this area to allow for a greater insight into the application of these techniques.
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(This article is part of the paper ‘The psychoacoustic effect of infrasonic, sonic and ultrasonic frequencies within non-lethal military warfare techniques’ by Ryan Littlefield, copywrite of The University of Portsmouth)
Remote Control of the Brain and Human Nervous System
The USA and the European Union invest since the beginning of the millenium billions of dollars and euros into brain research. As a result of this research perfect maps of the brain were developed, including the areas of the brain that control the activity of different body organs or parts where higher brain activities, such as speech and thoughts, are taking place. The brain activities corresponding to different actions in those areas were also deciphered.
Thanks to the knowledge of specific locations of different centers in the brain and frequencies of the neuronal activity in them, teams of physicians are now capable of helping many people who were in the past, for different reasons, unable to participate in a normal life. There exist prostheses, which are controlled directly from the brain centers that normally control the movement of the limbs (see this) and enable people, who lost them, to use the prosthesis in a way similar to the way normal people use their limbs. Higher brain activities were produced as well. In 2006 scientists placed into the brain of a completely paralyzed man an implant, which transferred the activity of his brain into different devices and enabled him to open his e-mail, control his TV set and control his robotic arm. Other paralyzed people were able to search the Internet, play computer games and drive their electrical wheelchairs (see this).
Thanks to extensive brain research, computers were taught to understand the neuronal activity so much so that they are now capable of using the activity of our brain to reproduce our perceptions. Canadian scientists demonstrated an experiment, where the computer could interpret the electroencephalographical recordings from the brain to produce the painting of a face that the subject of experiment was perceiving (see this).
In the opposite way the data, processed by the computer in the way that will make them intelligible for the nervous system, can be transmitted into the brain and produce there a new reality. When an implant is placed in the brain and connected to a camera, placed on spectacles, for people whose photoreceptors in their retina stopped working, the sight is at least partially restored. In this case the camera on the spectacles is transmitting into the implant light frequencies and the implant re-transmits them in frequencies which “understand” the neurons processing the visual perceptions (see this).
In California scientists developed a device, which can register the brain waves and, using analysis, find among them consonants and vowels and in this way transform our thoughts to words. A paralyzed man could use this device to write without using a keyboard. Presently the accuracy of the device reaches 90%. Scientists believe that within five years they will manage to develop a smartphone, to which their device could be connected (see this).
Just like in the case of visual perception it is possible, when knowing the algorithms of brain processing of words, to generate algorithms of different words in the computer and transmit them into the brain in ultrasound frequencies and in this way produce in the human brain particular “thoughts”.
Everybody will easily fall victim to the proposal that, instead of typing or searching with the use of mouse, his computer or cell phone could react directly to his brain’s activity and take down his thoughts directly to the documents or carry out operations that has just occurred to him.
As a matter of fact Apple and Samsung companies have already developed prototypes of necessary electroencephalographical equipment, which can be placed on top of a head and transmit electromagnetic waves produced by the brain into the prototypes of new smart phones. The smart phones should analyze those waves, find out what are the intentions of their owners and carry them out. Apple and Samsung companies expect that the direct connection with brains will gradually replace computer keyboards, touch screens, mouse and voice orders (see this). When the system is complete, it will be feasible for hackers, government agencies and foreign government’s agencies to implant thoughts and emotions in people’s minds and “hearts“, when they will be connected to internet or cell phone systems.
In 2013 scientists in the USA could infer from the brain activity the political views of people and distinguish democrats from republicans and in 2016 scientists used transcranial magnetic stimulation to make subjects of experiment more positive towards criticism to their country, than the participants whose brains were unaffected (see this).
Last year historian Juval Noah Harari was invited to deliver a speech at the World economic Forum in Davos. The editor of the British daily Financial Times stressed, when introducing him, that it is not usual to invite a historian to speak to most important world economists and politicians. Juval Noah Harari warned in his speech against the rise of new totality, based on the access to human brain. He said:
“Once we have algorithms that can understand you better than you understand yourself, they could predict my desires, manipulate my feelings and even make decisions on my behalf. And if we are not careful the outcome can be the rise of digital dictatorships. In the 21st century we may be enslaved under digital dictatorships”
In a similar way the Stanford University researcher in neurology and Dolby Labs’ chief scientist Poppy Crum warned at the conference in Las Vegas:
“Your devices will know more about you than you will. I believe we need to think about how [this data] could be used“.
In April 2017 neuroethicist at the University of Basel Marcello Ienca and Roberto Andorno, a human rights lawyer at the University of Zurich, writing in the journal Life Sciences, Society and Policy, published the article “Toward new human rights in the age of neuroscience and neurotechnology“ where they called for the creation of legislation which would protect human right to freedom and other human rights from the abuse of technologies opening access to the human brain. In the article they wrote that “the mind is a kind of last refuge of personal freedom and self-determination” and “at present, no specific legal or technical safeguard protects brain data from being subject to the same data-mining and privacy intruding measures as other types of information“. Among the world media only the British newspaper The Guardian wrote about their proposal (see this). This fact suggests that in the actual democratic world there exists no political will to forbid remote control of human thoughts and feelings, no matter that such perspective breaks elementary principles of democracy.
In 2016 and 2017 10 European organizations tried to convince the European Parliament and the European Commission to enact the legislation that would ban the remote control of activity of the human nervous system, since pulsed microwaves could be used to manipulate the human nervous system at a distance at present time already (see this). Then in 2017, 19 world organizations addressed the G20 meeting with the same proposal. They received no positive response to their effort.
To achieve the ban of the use of remote mind control technologies it is necessary to work out an international agreement. In the past century the USA and Russia built systems (HAARP and Sura), capable to produce, by manipulation of the ionosphere, extra long electromagnetic waves in frequencies corresponding to frequencies of the activity of the human nervous system and in this way to control the brain activity of populations of vast areas of this planet (See this, “Psychoelectronic Threat to Democracy“). At the beginning of this year China announced the building of a similar, more advanced, system. The Chinese daily The South China Morning Post admitted in its article that the system could be used to control the activity of the human nervous system.
The politicians should, instead of classifying those weapons of mass destruction, make effort to create more democratic system of international politics to replace the current system of struggle for military power. Only in this way conditions could be provided for the ban of use of If this does not happen, in a few years there will be no chance to preserve democracy.
By Mojmir Babacek
Mojmir Babacek is the founder of the International Movement for the Ban of the Manipulation of the Human Nervous System by Technical Means, He is the author of numerous articles on the issue of mind manipulation.
The original source of this article is Global Research