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.
Cognitive warfare is the sixth arguable dimension of future conflict and must be understood as such.
An introduction into NeuroStrike as a 21st century weapon by Robert McCreight
Apart from land, sea, air, space and cyber is a brain-based battlefield well recognized but only dimly appreciated. In cognitive warfare, the human mind is the target. Cognitive warfare aims not only to change what people think, what they perceive, what they remember, and how they think or act—indeed it externally manipulates brain functions and corrupts the Central Nervous System [CNS].
In campaign terms it is stealthy, progressively insidious, gauged to inflict gradual and irreversible cognitive degradation and almost always impervious to detection, deterrence and defeat. Its effects are numerous and well documented, and it begs the question of finding coherent medical and neurological case definitions such that genuine cognitive injury can be identified and sorted out apart from psychological stress, hallucination or mass psychosis. In many ways we entered the threat realm of cognitive warfare years ago yet its seemingly non-kinetic nature has eluded sustained serious discussion and analysis as our strategic focus centers chiefly on hypersonic, CBRN issues, AI enabled platforms, drone swarms and enhanced soldier performance.
Operating silently amongst us, and engaging selected targets within the alliance, cognitive warfare—just as AI and cyber threats are seen—becomes a doorstep towards redefining what a true ‘act of war’ really is. As recently noted in the NATO Review
Waged successfully, [cognitive warfare] shapes and influences individual and group beliefs and behaviors to favor an aggressor’s tactical or strategic objectives. In its extreme form, it has the potential to fracture and fragment an entire society, so that it no longer has the collective will to resist an adversary’s intentions. An opponent could conceivably subdue a society without resorting to outright force or coercion. 
Countering Cognitive Warfare—Awareness & Resilience NATO Review May 2021//Johns Hopkins University: Kathy Cao, Sean Glaister, Adriana Pena, Danbi Rhee, William Rong, Alexander Rovalino Imperial College London: Sam Bishop, Rohan Khanna, Jatin Singh Saini
Remembering Sun Tzu’s dictum that the pinnacle of skill is to “…subdue the enemy without firing a shot” …we find cognitive warfare amply demonstrates the power of that observation. Fostering social upheaval and chaos through cognitive warfare is already effective in reflecting the confidence, confusion and controversy which the public invests in media outlets and social media. There is well-known evidence and sordid experiences where propaganda, disinformation and psychological warfare exerted degrees of measurable societal disruption, planting seeds of doubt among restive groups and classes, undermining the legitimacy of government, subverting lawful authority via staged civil disturbances, or inflaming separatist movements. These softer but still effective manifestations of cognitive warfare can be visualized within the continuum of influence operations and information warfare as well.
We have seen social media and messaging systems generate the spread of intentional and unintentional falsehoods, non-factual assertion, distorted information or slanted narratives. Cognitive warfare confers leverage and advantage to its hosts and sponsors, as the targeted population and its social and political leaders are so keen on open dialogue and discourse they cannot separate externally engineered manipulation of facts and news from reality as the public absorbs it daily. What this means at the outset is to recognize that cognitive warfare is real, that it is insidious in societal effects, and that sophisticated campaigns are underway.
In turn, this places a new burden on leaders who care about strategic warning and feel confident they can characterize threats which manifest today and tomorrow. Without recognition that a subtle, relentless and covert campaign is underway, there is no opportunity for resistance, countermeasures and tactical opposition as the silent offensive is unfolding right before their unwitting eyes. Leaders may ask where the attack and cognitive warfare campaign originated—who is sponsoring it—and how best to resist it. These are reasonable measures but may be insufficient and too late.
What must be recognized and assigned high significance apart from these obvious interventions by hostile elements where media, news, disinformation and tireless propaganda emerge is the use of technologies specifically designed to degrade human cognitive function. In that case, the experience of American and Canadian victims of a well-known mystery termed ‘Havana Syndrome” which first arose in the 2016—2018 period must be appreciated and respected for the colossal threat it embodies to our collective security as we move into the decade after 2021. US military organizations such as SOCOM, DARPA, DTRA and Army Futures Command are keenly aware of these issues. The alliance should likewise focus on what these threats mean.
The story of Havana Syndrome begins over five years ago when initial reports surfaced of American and Canadian diplomats being medically evacuated from Havana based on a set of common and uniform ailments which were medically assessed and validated in subsequent evaluations by experts. The nature and extent of these instances of cognitive warfare merit fair consideration and provide a stark warning of things to come. These reports contained indications of disturbing cognitive harm. . US persons posted to embassy Havana reported a variety of neurocognitiveailments and brain injury, which began in the summer of 2016 and continued through the Spring of 2017. Initial press reports of neurological and cognitive ill effects by US persons posted to the American embassy in Havana began appearing in various media outlets and was followed by multiple news reports which captured some major elements of the incident. For example, numerous reports were published essentially containing the same basic facts such as these…
“The health incidents — which took place between November 2016 and August 2017 at homes and two Havana hotels — were initially blamed on “sonic attacks.” The cause has perplexed the Department of State, the FBI and other U.S. agencies that have been trying to figure out just what made 24 intelligence officers, diplomats and relatives based in Havana ill. Many reported a variety of symptoms such as hearing loss, headaches, cognitive problems and other ailments that doctors said correlate with concussions. University of Miami Dr. Michael Hoffer, who led the initial team of physicians who examined the victims, said: “We still do not have a cause or source of the attacks. The investigation is ongoing.”
[Miami Herald, March 2, 2018]
More than a year later further US press reports captured the mysterious aspects of these cognitive insults and this press item reflects the same degree of reporting on the issue as it was widely known….
The State Department has said the employees developed what became known as “Havana Syndrome” – headaches, dizziness, nausea and other symptoms that arose when they heard penetrating, high-pitched sounds. MRI scans from the 23 men and 17 women showed changes in brain structure and functional connectivity between different parts of the organ compared with 48 other adults, according to the study by the University of Pennsylvania. The difference in the brains between the two groups “is pretty jaw-dropping at the moment,” lead researcher Dr. Ragini Verma, a professor of radiology at Penn, told Reuters. “Most of these patients had a particular type of symptoms and there is a clinical abnormality that is being reflected in an imaging anomaly,” she said. However, in findings published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, Verma and her team said it was unclear if the brain patterns directly translate into significant health problems. [NY Post—pg 4-July 23, 2019]
The various victims of Havana Syndrome were seen by NIH, FBI, University of Miami and University of Pennsylvania medical and neuroscience experts. A serious and much respected report issued by the National Academy of Sciences [NAS] in December 2020 said this. The NAS noted the victims were exhibiting “.. a constellation of acute clinical signs and symptoms with directional and location-specific features that was distinctive…. unlike any disorder in the neurological or general medical literature”. 
 An Assessment of Illness in U.S. Government Employees and Their Families at Overseas Embassies, National Academy of Sciences. Washington, DC 2020 pg 2
Independently,there are numerous medical studies and research reports which affirm the central NAS theory behind what the Academy and its experts say triggered Havana Syndrome. One such example illustrates the core issue.
“Pulsed microwaves above specific energy thresholds have been reported to cause brain injury in animal models. The actual physical mechanism causing brain damage is unexplained, while the clinical reality of these injuries remains controversial. Pulsed microwaves may injure brain tissue by transduction of microwave energy into damaging acoustic phonons in brain water. We have shown that low intensity explosive blast waves likely initiate phonon excitations in brain tissues. Brain injury in this instance occurs at nanoscale subcellular levels as predicted by physical consideration of phonon interactions in brain water content. The phonon mechanism may also explain similarities between primary non-impact blast-induced mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) and recent clinical and imaging findings of unexplained brain injuries observed in US embassy personnel, possibly due to directed radiofrequency radiation. We know that certain RF frequencies and power levels can trigger pulsed microwaves and potentially injure brain tissue. Microwaves can also be focused into narrow field-of-view beams in order to target individuals. Experimental evidence indicates that pulsed microwaves can induce disruption in brain tissue,producing subsequent behavioral and cognitive dysfunction. In addition, pulsed microwaves reportedly may alter blood-brain barrier permeability, disrupt long-term potentiating and result in DNA strand breaks”
Without doubt, the combined medical, neuroscience and electronic warfare ingredients in the preliminary assessment of the technology which may have caused ‘Havana Syndrome’ merits a closer look and sustained research inside the alliance as well as more broadly in medical and academic communities. Verification of its non-kinetic but devastating effects must be validated. Moreover, the specific cognitive impact and neurological effect of nanosecond-repetitive pulsed RF microwaves on human brains merits an urgent research campaign as some published research confirms that it can adversely affect humans as it has already done so in rats. 
 Some Biological Reactions of the Organism after Exposure to Nanosecond Repetitive Pulsed Microwaves, 6th International Congress-‘Energy Fluxes and Radiation Effects’, 2018 Journal of Physics, A Kereya, O Kutenkov, V Rostov doi:10.1088/1742-6596/1115/2/22015
Act of War?
In keeping with the legitimate controversy about whether a Cyber or AI enabled attack using unconventional technologies is truly an ‘act of war’ befitting serious contemplation as we determine those aspects of the NATO treaty which may be applicable—we are left to consider the Havana Syndrome yet another puzzling example. For example, when the first reported instances of Havana Syndrome were seen by senior US government officials, there was this reaction 
 “If this plays out and somebody is attacking Americans [even] with a nonlethal weapon … we owe it to our folks that are out there,” said Christopher Miller. ”…we owe it to them to get to the bottom of this.” Former acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller | Joshua Roberts via AP By LARA SELIGMAN and ANDREW DESIDERIO 05/03/2021 16;06 EDT
With former acting Secretary of Defense Chistopher Miller calling these randomized attacks on U.S. government personnel as an “an act of war,” he urged the Biden administration to stay focused on the issue. Newly appointed Biden officials such as Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and recently confirm CIA chief William Burns both pledged to investigate what really happened. Secretary of State Blinken appointed a career ambassador named Spratlin to oversee the inquiry back in February 2021 but now has appointed Jonathan Moore, who served in posts in Bosnia and Namibia, along with Ambassador Margaret Uyehara who will lead the Department’s internal Health Incident Response Task Force. As Blinken noted during the announcement,
 Those who suffer from it have “experienced serious physical consequences, including persistent headaches and hearing loss. They’ve also experienced psychological harm, including trauma, anxiety, depression,” with no clear explanation, Blinken // Boston Herald, Nov 4, pg 5
Over the course of the last six months in 2021 numerous press reports have been identified of parallel Havana Syndrome complaints from US diplomats posted to Berlin, Hanoi, Bogotá, Managua, Vienna and Guangzhou as well as at least 12 other posts overseas. This provides additional impetus to find the offending technology and determine how best to protect vulnerable employees. With a net cluster of potential victims among US military, intelligence and diplomatic ranks which may exceed 300 in number and rising, the alliance should pay attention to these disturbing developments.
If this insidious, stealthy and largely undetectable technology continues to inflict measurable cognitive harm on US persons, the United States will engage the full measure of its research infrastructure to identify and nullify further instances of Havana Syndrome. For the interim, however, all people potentially vulnerable to this disruptive and damaging technology remain at risk. A clear, concise and credible medical case definition is urgently needed along with a sophisticated strategy for isolating what the offending technology is. Measures to defend, deflect and deter future uses of the technology is just as urgent and interim steps to thwart and deter the use of the technology today and protect innocent victims now must be found.
Neurostrike NeuroCognitive Conflict and Havana Syndrome
What is the strategic effect of a stealth weapon which debilitates or permanently impairs the minds of military and civilian leadership? If that technology is largely covert, undetectable and pervasive even if its targets are limited in number, does that pose an incipient threat deserving of serious attention as geopolitical weapons leverage is considered? Symptoms of its victims cannot be readily evaluated by physicians, as no case definition or peer reviewed research exists to verify its authenticity.
The technology is insidious and consistently defies detection, prevention, medical verification and scientific confirmation aside from episodic reports that an anomaly has occurred and impaired the neurological and cognitive wellbeing of its intended targets. One could easily visualize reports of this technology being discounted as psychotic or delusional events, where the complaining individuals were labeled as malingerers or worse. But what is the technology is genuine, effective, repeatedly used in isolated cases and continues to wreak havoc among its victims, perplexing both medial and military experts with its long-lasting cognitive impact and negative effects? If this technology exists, but we cannot easily identify it in operational use nor detect and deflect its harmful beams, emanations and pulse waves?
This is the central dilemma of a 21st century weapon which I have called ‘NeuroStrike” It is my preferred term for referencing the array of offending technology behind Havana Syndrome and drawing attention to its onward evolution and global proliferation. It has so far has eluded the best efforts of military, medical and intelligence experts to explain or categorize, but its authenticity and cognitive degradation effects are well documented. While some aspects of the offending technology are known, other aspects less so. The quest for a complete and accurate decoding of NeuroStrike technology is a high priority for the alliance as leadership, decision-making, threat analysis, tactical perception and situational awareness are all jeopardized by the technology.
The basic principle of a suggested neurostrike weapon is a fairly simple proposition. It entails a handheld, or platform mounted, mixture of an RF, directed energy pulse or engineered neurocognitive disrupter, which is designed to harm, disable or permanently damage a human brain. It may also indirectly adversely impact the brains of several people near the attack. One viable conclusion is that NeuroStrike technologies after 2021 will dramatically alter all prior theories of combat or the use of non-lethal force on both civilian and military targets. These notions must be rethought. While such reports provoke a number of questions not readily answered such as the suspected sponsors, owners, attackers and developers of NeuroStrike as well as their motives, the sheer magnitude of conformable neurological harm inflicted on victims cannot be refuted. Victims of NeuroStrikehave experienced sustained and persistent neurocognitive disruptive effects which can be medically confirmed, and this cognitive degradation defies facile medical categorization.
So, it is of utmost importance to assess the net strategic value of such weapons in future conflict scenarios short of an actual shooting war. We can visualize the onset of an arguable domain known as NeuroCognitive Conflict [NCC] or cognitive warfare. It is not for threat analysis in future decades after 2050 because it operates even now. As such, it exists outside normal discussions of electronic warfare or beyond the boundaries of serious speculation about exploiting the electromagnetic spectrum for military purposes. It lies outside the threshold of arms controls discussions or agreement, and it sneers at hapless medical attempts to define or understand it.
The potential for non-kinetic neurocognitive disruption, degradation and disablement of human brains via remotely positioned platforms alters our ordinary sense of strategic warning, risk, electronic warfare and modified information operations. In a joint multi-domain conflict environment, neurostrike technologies are game changers owing to their covert nondeductible nature, resulting in zero defensive and deterrent capabilities among targeted persons. As such, NeuroStrike issues add complexity and heft to gauging the nature, extent and focus of future defense threats and securing the geopolitical interests of the United States. Detection, defense, deterrence and defeat of future neurostrike systems ought to become one of our highest defense priorities to retain a competitive strategic edge.
Strategic Dimensions and C4ISR
Strategic and sub strategic issues arise immediately as NeuroStrike technologies are assessed. The lack of attack warning, the absence of protective measures and the defensive/countermeasures gap combine to make this a strategic issue. Further, in the medical and leadership dynamics arena if the existing cognitive degradation technology can be modified to adversely affect dozens of troops it may have strategic effects. Sub strategically, it signals a new threat variation on aspects of electronic warfare, PSYOPS, information operations and C4ISR. Continued development of sophisticated broad scale NeuroStrike technology by hostile forces suggests a three-fold strategic dilemma for the alliance
1-If NeuroStrike attacks occurred, how would they be validated or proven?
2-What technologies can be developed today to detect, deter and defeat existing and future NeuroStrike technologies?
3-What specific medical case definition can be made for Neurostrike victims, and what technologies can be devised to reduce or eliminate adverse cognitive harm and progressive neural degradation?
In the annals of current military theory and security policy the paradigmatic reference to C4ISR has held a classic significance reflecting a blended continuum of policy and technology which identifies Command, Control, Communication, Coordination, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance as bedrock principles for conducting warfare. In most cases this constellation of values, functions, operations and principles is sufficient to explain combat imperatives worth noting out twenty or more years into the future past 2021. But C4ISR as we understand it is in jeopardy.
What specific future technologies such as hypersonics, lasers, AI, drone swarms, autonomous platforms, robots, genomic enhancements and other cutting-edge discoveries will alter, redefine and reshape what we regard as C4ISR well after 2021? Where does the set of NeuroStrike technologies fit, and how do they potentially dilute or disrupt C4ISR? In an era of cognitive warfare,C4ISR is target number one.
NeuroStrike technologies can potentially impair military leadership and mission execution temporarily to attain a strategic advantage and asymmetric degree of leverage in conflicts where the ‘fog of war’ is paramount. Commanders unable to reliably ascertain or assess enemy movements, technologies or intentions and thereby communicate and coordinate appropriate responses and maneuvers are likely compromised to a significant degree. Transmission, interpretation, acknowledgement and execution of orders whether oral, written or cybernetic in nature could be negatively affected by intermediate military officers and nodes of command which cannot accurately read, digest, apply and understand what specific orders require.
The inability to defend and protect senior officials from NeuroStrike technologies, together with the technical challenges involved in discerning when such technologies are being aimed at alliance leaders and officials, remains an uppermost strategic threat. Further, the proliferation of such technology globally, along with its steady maturation and sophistication, poses additional threats to U.S. security interests. The future threat such technology poses to overseas posted diplomats, military officers, civilians and their families is not well recognized, evaluated or understood.
Various ISR aspects of military operational prowess and strategic leverage are facing real risks of dilution and evisceration if the array of NeuroStrike technologies deployed against friendly force commanders and echelon leaders is found to be even of limited effectiveness. The craft of ordinary tactical intelligence seeking enemy capabilities, intentions, technologies and enemy leader traits could be impaired by deft targeting of friendly systems using NeuroStrike technologies. If cognitive disruption technologies—even of a temporary nature—were employed by unfriendly forces to mask, deceive or camouflage enemy activities, systems, platforms and capabilities, the net effect could undermine the activities, operations and mission goals of friendly forces. If leader perception, interpretation, analysis and reaction to enemy conduct was impaired, cloaked or hidden by such technologies, the battlefield advantages to an aggressor would be obvious. Likewise, the critical functions of surveillance and reconnaissance could be adversely affected if NeuroStrike technologies could effectively interfere with pattern recognition and other mental skills integral to normal routines where surveillance and reconnaissance were relied upon, Clearly there is an implied risk that disruptive NeuroStrike technologies could impair or diminish proper assessment and analysis of data, photos, maps and other materials which could not be understood or interpreted normally owing to the impairment.
We must also evaluate NeuroStrike systems within the context of EMOE. The Electromagnetic Operational Environment [EMOE] is a composite of the actual and potential electromagnetic energy radiation, conditions, circumstances, and influences that affect the employment of capabilities and the decisions of the commander. It includes the existing background radiation (i.e., electromagnetic environment) as well as the friendly, neutral, adversary, and enemy electromagnetic systems able to radiate within the electromagnetic area of influence. This includes systems currently radiating or receiving, or those that may radiate, that can potentially affect joint operations.
The EMOE is comprehensive and strategically significant and include—AI enabled communication services including safety services like aeronautical, maritime, radio navigation, radio location, radio astronomy, radio ranging, meteorological, broadcasting, satellite broadcasting, fixed-satellite, mobile-satellite, space services, as well as most cyber based platforms. It is an internationally shared spectrum where influence and dominance are clear strategic objectives, possessing characteristics with major geopolitical leverage attached.
An Urgent Need for Research
The sheer existence of debilitating systems and platforms among hostile nations which enable randomized cognitive warfare and under gird NeuroStrike technologies poses an immediate and urgent need for research inside the alliance. While medical, neuroscience and electronic warfare experts can construct theories which support the operation of cognitive degradation technology,there is the paramount need to reduce or nullify its adverse effects as soon as possible.
Within the alliance, military, civilian and academic experts must collaborate now on calibrating and dissecting the essential parts of any cognitive warfare system which poses an immediate or future threat. Joining the USA, the alliance must discern what the actual size, location, origins, scope, sponsors, technology and significance of the prevailing cognitive warfare threat. Cognitive warfare contains the subtle but powerful effects of strategic surprise and inflicts damage ambiguous enough that victims have to fight energetically to get an objective assessment of their true cognitive impairment.
Characterizing the full scope, magnitude, meaning, distribution and verified harmful neurological effects of cognitive warfare platforms, systems and technologies has not yet been accomplished. Efforts must be launched immediately to
Identify fundamental cognitive warfare technologies operating globally
Develop defensive and protective countermeasures
Devise reliable detection and deterrent systems
Clarify current cognitive warfare threats globally in the 2021-2030 period
Align alliance experts in thwarting future cognitive warfare attacks
Focus allied energy on identifying State sponsors of cognitive warfare technologies, their proliferators and developers. This will also likely require extensive expert review and discussion along with red team integrated exercises to illustrate blind spots, faulty assumptions and unknown aspects of combat vulnerability.
Finally, we must recognize that the offending cognitive warfare technology involved in Havana Syndrome has certain identifiable characteristics:  the beam is effective using 5 to-8 separate instances of attack, each one being less than 6 minutes duration;  it is likely hand held or table sized technology;  its effective beam range is 30-75 meters distant from the target;  it penetrates glass, metal and concrete walls;  it is often accompanied by low-level clicking sounds;  it often triggers immediate intense headaches. For certain cognitive warfare is NOT crickets, organophosphate poisoning, hallucination, PTSD or imaginary. It is harmful, real, and it is already here.
Robert McCreight is an expert on advanced weapons systems, convergent technology and neuroscience based threats. He was a former US Army Special Ops officer, treaty negotiator with the State Department and advisor to the Reagan White House on nuclear matters. He teaches graduate school and has published 5 books and 34 articles on a variety ofsubjects including emergency management, homeland defense, national security and future technology risks
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.
With the debut of lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS) in combat, opponents of LAWS have called on States to fast-track the creation of international law that either bans the use of these weapons or mandates meaningful human control over them. If LAWS are used more broadly in future combat, then the latter would ensure a check on the autonomous technology’s limitations, such as rigidness (inability to subjectively analyze situations and modify behavior to changing circumstances), non-explainability (inability to understand the machine’s decision-making processes), and potential biases. In addition to mitigating technology-based limitations, opponents argue that meaningful human control would also preserve the possibility for compassionate behavior and emotion in combat.’
This shift to biologically accurate operations is made possible by moving away from the traditional computational architectures found in deep neural networks, generally known as the von Neumann architecture, and towards a neural network that operates similar to the brain. The latter functions through spikes of encoded information, and in simple terms, the brain-like function of these spiking neural networks (SNNs) operate in a manner analogous to a drum. Stated further:
Drums can respond with different and complex vibration states when they are stimulated, and they can be also understood on computational terms: input (hits), rules (physical laws, physical constraints such as material, tension, etc.), and outputs (vibration, sounds, normal modes). Indeed, the brain has many more similarities with a dynamical system as a drum than with digital computers, which are based on discrete states…. In abstract terms, drums are also “computing” and processing information, but this information processing is a dynamical reaction from external/internal stimuli more than a formal calculation process.
Thus, by mimicking the processes of the brain “the various computational elements are mixed together and the system is dynamic, based on a ‘learning’ process by which the various elements of the system change and readjust depending on the type of stimuli they receive.”
By incorporating brain-like capabilities into technology such as LAWS these cognitive LAWS (CLAWS) could, in turn, employ more human-like discretion in targeting decisions. This is especially salient with regard to the law of armed conflict (LOAC) targeting principles of distinction, proportionality, and military necessity, which all require context-specific judgements. For example, the principle of distinction in Article 48 of Additional Protocol I requires that military operations be directed only at military objectives. Such distinctions are especially imperative in today’s urban battlefields where combatants and civilians exist side-by-side. In these circumstances the challenge lies in amending behavior based on the complex possibilities presented. This requires the decision maker to carefully observe conditions and adjust behavior in relation to unfolding information, a task that entails “on-site” learning and flexibility.
In the case of LAWS, which cannot “learn” dynamically, rigid decision-making capabilities may be problematic for a fully autonomous operation in unpredictable conditions. However, with CLAWS’s on-chip learning they could “interpret the features extracted from images, perceive and analyze multi-faceted situations during an attack, and adapt behavior based on the information gathered.”  This brain-like capability highlights CLAWS’s potential for making the context-specific decisions required by the targeting principles of the LOAC for fully autonomous operations.
Additionally, CLAWS could also be capable of probabilistic computing. This is important because the system’s rationale and decision-making processes could be accessible for review, which would allow for analysis regarding the system’s reliability and bias. Thus, CLAWS have the potential to “conduct complex decision making by managing, planning, anticipating, and adapting to unstructured battlefield environments, all with amplified efficiency and in an environment of reduced bias and increased transparency.”
While the future use of CLAWS seems promising, the neuromorphic technology necessary for CLAWS’ success is still in development. Furthermore, novel issues arising from the use of biologically realistic processors are still being addressed, such as an instability that is characteristic of a sleep-deprived state. Nevertheless, based on the mounting success of neuromorphic computing, it is likely that this technology will eventually be incorporated into specialized products, including weapons of future combat. With the prospective introduction of CLAWS, opponents’ technology-based objections to the use of LAWS may be overcome. However, their concerns regarding the preservation of emotion in combat would remain unresolved because CLAWS would be incapable of feeling emotion.
While the lack of emotion may seem trivial, respect and honor have been integral to combat and central to the warrior’s code of conduct. The United States Department of Defense Law of War Manual notes that “the principle of honor draws from warriors’ codes from a variety of cultures and time periods,” and that “[h]onor demands a certain mutual respect between opposing military forces.” Therefore, if respect is a fundamental aspect of war regulations, then ensuring its role in combat is critical. Solutions that account for this element of warfare will be imperative for the successful use of CLAWS.
Ultimately, the future of combat demands innovative proposals, and weapons systems such as CLAWS can provide pertinent solutions to increasingly technical and automatized warfare. By incorporating cognitive processes that mimic biology, not only can CLAWS effect a human-like discretion in targeting decisions, but their technological capabilities can also contribute to more exacting results. This amalgamation of intelligent and functional dexterity may ultimately yield an end result of unmatched performance in future warfare.
Carolyn Sharp is a law student at Brigham Young University. Carolyn focuses her research on the impacts of advanced technology on international law and the law of armed conflict.
 Carolyn Sharp, Status of the Operator: Biologically Inspired Computing as Both a Weapon and an Effector of Laws of War Compliance, 28 Rich. J.L. & Tech., no. 1 (2021).
The views expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the United States Military Academy, Department of the Army, or Department of Defense.
Articles of War is a forum for professionals to share opinions and cultivate ideas. Articles of War does not screen articles to fit a particular editorial agenda, nor endorse or advocate material that is published.
Activities are being organized around the world — by victims of Electronic Torture worldwide– to inform the public that Aug 29th is “Targeted Individual Day.” For the first time ever Professor Nils Melzer, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, will present to the 75th UN General Assembly Session in October his report on “Cybertorture” which are Forms of Computerized Remote Electronic Torture (CyberTorture) against Illegally Targeted Individuals worldwide.
UN Human Rights Council (HRC) Special Rapporteur on torture revealed during the 43rd HRC that Cyber technology is not only used for internet and 5G. It is also used to target individuals remotely – through intimidation, harassment and public shaming.
On the 28th of February in Geneva, Professor Nils Melzer, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel Inhuman Degrading Treatment and Punishment, has officially confirmed that cyber torture exists and investigation is now underway on how to tackle it legally.
Electromagnetic radiation, radar, and surveillance technology are used to transfer sounds and thoughts into people’s brain. UN started their investigation after receiving thousands of testimonies from so-called “targeted individuals” (TIs).
Professor Nils Melzer is an expert in international law and since 2016 he holds the Human Rights Chair at the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. His team has found evidence that Cyber technology is used to inflict severe mental and physical sufferings.
“Judges think that physical torture is more serious than cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment,” he told the Guardian on 21 February. “Torture is simply the deliberate instrumentalization of pain and suffering.” These psychological torture methods are often used “to circumvent the ban on torture because they don’t leave any visible marks”. (1)
Cyber psychological systems like cognitive radio are used to interrupt human perceptions and memory. They can also be used to spy on people violating personal integrity which could lead to corruption and slavery in society. Cyber torture is also called no-touch torture or brain-machine interface.
One way to handle this situation is to regulate new technologies and use AI control mechanisms by independent and impartial investigators. The evidence gathered could then be used to convict criminals easier and quicker in the future.
Professor Meltzer and his team is now underway to create an international legal framework covering cyber technologies that can cause torture which previously was hard to prove. In the future it may be necessary to establish Radio Frequency Spectrum police in order to protect humanity from cyber terrorism. Nils Meltzer also revealed to me personally that the HRC will release several reports on this subject soon in the future.
On February 28, 2020, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Professor Nils Melzer, issued his World Report on “Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” This report included a definition of “Cybertorture,” the Crime Against Humanity where millions of targeted victims worldwide are remotely assaulted with Electromagnetic Weapons in actions directed via computer, often from Supercomputers.
1. A particular area of concern, which does not appear to have received sufficient attention, is the possible use of various forms of information and communication technology (“cybertechnology”) for the purposes of torture. Although the promotion, protection and enjoyment of human rights on the internet has been repeatedly addressed by the Human Rights Council (A/HRC/32/L.20; A/HRC/38/L.10/Rev.1), torture has been understood primarily as a tool used to obstruct the exercise of the right to freedom of expression on the internet, and not as a violation of human rights that could be committed through the use of cybertechnology.
2. This seems surprising given that some of the characteristics of cyber-space make it an environment highly conducive to abuse and exploitation, most notably a vast power asymmetry, virtually guaranteed anonymity, and almost complete impunity. States, corporate actors and organized criminals not only have the capacity to conduct cyberoperations inflicting severe suffering on countless individuals, but may well decide to do so for any of the purposes of torture. It is therefore necessary to briefly explore, in a preliminary manner, the conceivability and basic contours of what could be described as “cybertorture”.
3. In practice, cybertechnology already plays the role of an “enabler” in the perpetration of both physical and psychological forms of torture, most notably through the collection and transmission of surveillance information and instructions to interrogators, through the dissemination of audio or video recordings of torture or murder for the purposes of intimidation, or even live streaming of child sexual abuse “on demand” of voyeuristic clients (A/HRC/28/56, para.71), and increasingly also through the remote control or manipulation of stun belts (A/72/178, para.51), medical implants and, conceivably, nanotechnological or neurotechnological devices.1 Cybertechnology can also be used to inflict, or contribute to, severe mental suffering while avoiding the conduit of the physical body, most notably through intimidation, harassment, surveillance, public shaming and defamation, as well as appropriation, deletion or manipulation of information.
4. The delivery of serious threats through anonymous phone calls has long been a widespread method of remotely inflicting fear. With the advent of the internet, State security services in particular have been reported to use cybertechnology, both in their own territory and abroad, for the systematic surveillance of a wide range of individuals and/or for direct interference with their unhindered access to cyber technology.2 Electronic communication services, social media platforms and search engines provide an ideal environment both for the anonymous delivery of targeted threats, sexual harassment and extortion and for the mass dissemination of intimidating, defamatory, degrading, deceptive or discriminatory narratives.
5. Individuals or groups systematically targeted by cybersurveillance and cyberharassment are generally left without any effective means of defence, escape, or self-protection and, at least in this respect, often find themselves in a situation of “powerlessness” comparable to physical custody. Depending on the circumstances, the physical absence and anonymity of the perpetrator may even exacerbate the victim’s emotions of helplessness, loss of control, and vulnerability, not unlike the stress-augmenting effect of blindfolding or hooding during physical torture. Likewise, the generalized shame inflicted by public exposure, defamation and degradation can be just as traumatic as direct humiliation by perpetrators in a closed environment.3 As various studies on cyber-bullying have shown, already harassment in comparatively limited environments can expose targeted individuals to extremely elevated and prolonged levels of anxiety, stress, social isolation and depression, and significantly increases the risk of suicide.4 Arguably, therefore, much more systematic, government-sponsored threats and harassment delivered through cybertechnologies not only entail a situation of effective powerlessness, but may well inflict levels of anxiety, stress, shame and guilt amounting to “severe mental suffering” as required for a finding of torture.5
6. More generally, in order to ensure the adequate implementation of the prohibition of torture and related legal obligations in present and future circumstances, its interpretation should evolve in line with new challenges and capabilities arising in relation to emerging technologies not only in cyberspace, but also in areas such as artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotechnology and neurotechnology, or pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences, including so-called “human enhancement”.
1. Al Elmondi, “Next-generation nonsurgical neurotechnology”, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, available at www.darpa.mil/p…/next-generation-nonsurgical-neurotechnology.
2 See Human Rights Council resolutions 32/13 and 38/7. See, most notably, the 2013 disclosures by Edward Snowden of the global surveillance activities conducted by the United States National Security Agency and its international partners, see Ewan Macaskill and Gabriel Dance, “NSA files: decoded – what the revelations mean for you”, The Guardian, 1 November 2013.
3 Pau Pérez-Sales, “Internet and torture” (forthcoming).
4 Ann John and others, “Self-harm, suicidal behaviours, and cyberbullying in children and young people: systematic review”, Journal of Medical Internet Research, vol. 20, No. 4 (2018); Rosario Ortega and others, “The emotional impact of bullying and cyberbullying on victims: a European cross-national study”, Aggressive Behavior, vol. 38, No. 5 (September/October 2012).
5 Samantha Newbery and Ali Dehghantanha, “A torture-free cyber space: a human right”, 2017.
Technology Uses Lasers to Transmit Audible Messages to Specific People
Photoacoustic communication approach could send warning messages through the air without requiring a receiving device
WASHINGTON — Researchers have demonstrated that a laser can transmit an audible message to a person without any type of receiver equipment. The ability to send highly targeted audio signals over the air could be used to communicate across noisy rooms or warn individuals of a dangerous situation such as an active shooter.
MIT Used a Laser to Transmit Audio Directly Into a Person’s Ear
Caption: Ryan M. Sullenberger and Charles M. Wynn developed a way to use eye- and skin-safe laser light to transmit a highly targeted audible message to a person without any type of receiver equipment.
Image Credit: Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory
“Our system can be used from some distance away to beam information directly to someone’s ear,” said research team leader Charles M. Wynn. “It is the first system that uses lasers that are fully safe for the eyes and skin to localize an audible signal to a particular person in any setting.”
Creating sound from air
The new approaches are based on the photoacoustic effect, which occurs when a material forms sound waves after absorbing light. In this case, the researchers used water vapor in the air to absorb light and create sound.
“This can work even in relatively dry conditions because there is almost always a little water in the air, especially around people,” said Wynn. “We found that we don’t need a lot of water if we use a laser wavelength that is very strongly absorbed by water. This was key because the stronger absorption leads to more sound.”
One of the new sound transmission methods grew from a technique called dynamic photoacoustic spectroscopy (DPAS), which the researchers previously developed for chemical detection. In the earlier work, they discovered that scanning, or sweeping, a laser beam at the speed of sound could improve chemical detection.
“The speed of sound is a very special speed at which to work,” said Ryan M. Sullenberger, first author of the paper. “In this new paper, we show that sweeping a laser beam at the speed of sound at a wavelength absorbed by water can be used as an efficient way to create sound.”
Caption: The researchers use water vapor in the air to absorb light and create sound. By sweeping the laser they can create an audio signal that can only be heard at a certain distance from the transmitter, allowing it to be localized to one person.
Image Credit: Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory
For the DPAS-related approach, the researchers change the length of the laser sweeps to encode different frequencies, or audible pitches, in the light. One unique aspect of this laser sweeping technique is that the signal can only be heard at a certain distance from the transmitter. This means that a message could be sent to an individual, rather than everyone who crosses the beam of light. It also opens the possibility of targeting a message to multiple individuals.
In the lab, the researchers showed that commercially available equipment could transmit sound to a person more than 2.5 meters away at 60 decibels using the laser sweeping technique. They believe that the system could be easily scaled up to longer distances. They also tested a traditional photoacoustic method that doesn’t require sweeping the laser and encodes the audio message by modulating the power of the laser beam.
“There are tradeoffs between the two techniques,” said Sullenberger. “The traditional photoacoustics method provides sound with higher fidelity, whereas the laser sweeping provides sound with louder audio.”
Next, the researchers plan to demonstrate the methods outdoors at longer ranges. “We hope that this will eventually become a commercial technology,” said Sullenberger. “There are a lot of exciting possibilities, and we want to develop the communication technology in ways that are useful.”
Paper: R. M. Sullenberger, S. Kaushik, C. M. Wynn. “Photoacoustic communications: delivering audible signals via absorption of light by atmospheric H2O,” Opt. Lett., 44, 3, 622-625 (2019).
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And a interface based on this information for speaking with the assistant:
The Audeo is a sensor/device which detects activity in the larynx (aka. voice box) through EEG (Electroencephalography). The Audeo is unique in it’s use of EEG in that it is detecting & analyzing signals outside the brain on their path to the larynx.1 The neurological signals/data are then encrypted and then transmitted to a computer to be processed using their software (which can be seen being used in Kimberly Beals’ video).2 Once it is analyzed and processed the data can then be represented using a computer speech generator.
The results shed light on the distinct mechanisms associated with production of vowels and consonants, and could provide the basis for brain-based communication using imagined speech. https://books.google.se/books…
Soon afterwards, the serial entrepreneur created Neuralink, with the intention of connecting computers directly to human brains. He wants to do this using “neural lace” technology – implanting tiny electrodes into the brain for direct computing capabilities.
Brain-computer interfaces (BCI) aren’t a new idea. Various forms of BCI are already available, from ones that sit on top of your head and measure brain signals to devices that are implanted into your brain tissue.
They are mainly one-directional, with the most common uses enabling motor control and communication tools for people with brain injuries. In March, a man who was paralysed from below the neck moved his hand using the power of concentration.
But Musk’s plans go beyond this: he wants to use BCIs in a bi-directional capacity, so that plugging in could make us smarter, improve our memory, help with decision-making and eventually provide an extension of the human mind.
“Musk’s goals of cognitive enhancement relate to healthy or able-bodied subjects, because he is afraid of AI and that computers will ultimately become more intelligent than the humans who made the computers,” explains BCI expert Professor Pedram Mohseni of Case Western Reserve University, Ohio, who sold the rights to the name Neuralink to Musk.
“He wants to directly tap into the brain to read out thoughts, effectively bypassing low-bandwidth mechanisms such as speaking or texting to convey the thoughts. This is pie-in-the-sky stuff, but Musk has the credibility to talk about these things,” he adds.
Musk is not alone in believing that “neurotechnology” could be the next big thing. Silicon Valley is abuzz with similar projects. Bryan Johnson, for example, has also been testing “neural lace”. He founded Kernel, a startup to enhance human intelligence by developing brain implants linking people’s thoughts to computers.
In 2015, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that people will one day be able to share “full sensory and emotional experiences” online – not just photos and videos. Facebook has been hiring neuroscientists for an undisclosed project at its secretive hardware division, Building 8.
However, it is unlikely this technology will be available anytime soon, and some of the more ambitious projects may be unrealistic, according to Mohseni.
“In my opinion, we are at least 10 to 15 years away from the cognitive enhancement goals in healthy, able-bodied subjects. It certainly appears to be, from the more immediate goals of Neuralink, that the neurotechnology focus will continue to be on patients with various neurological injuries or diseases,” he says.
Mohseni says one of the best current examples of cognitive enhancement is the work of Professor Ted Berger, of the University of Southern California, who has been working on a memory prosthesis to replace the damaged parts of the hippocampus in patients who have lost their memory due to, for example, Alzheimer’s disease.
“In this case, a computer is to be implanted in the brain that acts similaly to the biological hippocampus from an input and output perspective,” he says. “Berger has results from both rodents and non-human primate models, as well as preliminary results in several human subjects.”
Mohseni adds: “The [US government’s] Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) currently has a programme that aims to do cognitive enhancement in their soldiers – ie enhance learning of a wide range of cognitive skills, through various mechanisms of peripheral nerve stimulation that facilitate and encourage neural plasticity in the brain. This would be another example of cognitive enhancement in able-bodied subjects, but it is quite pie-in-the-sky, which is exactly how DARPA operates.”
Understanding the brain
In the UK, research is ongoing. Davide Valeriani, senior research officer at University of Essex’s BCI-NE Lab, is using an electroencephalogram (EEG)-based BCI to tap into the unconscious minds of people as they make decisions.
“Everyone who makes decisions wears the EEG cap, which is part of a BCI, a tool to help measure EEG activity … it measures electrical activity to gather patterns associated with confident or non-confident decisions,” says Valeriani. “We train the BCI – the computer basically – by asking people to make decisions without knowing the answer and then tell the machine, ‘Look, in this case we know the decision made by the user is correct, so associate those patterns to confident decisions’ – as we know that confidence is related to probability of being correct. So during training the machine knows which answers were correct and which one were not. The user doesn’t know all the time.”
Valeriani adds: “I hope more resources will be put into supporting this very promising area of research. BCIs are not only an invaluable tool for people with disabilities, but they could be a fundamental tool for going beyond human limits, hence improving everyone’s life.”
He notes, however, that one of the biggest challenges with this technology is that first we need to better understand how the human brain works before deciding where and how to apply BCI. “This is why many agencies have been investing in basic neuroscience research – for example, the Brain initiative in the US and the Human Brain Project in the EU.”
Whenever there is talk of enhancing humans, moral questions remain – particularly around where the human ends and the machine begins. “In my opinion, one way to overcome these ethical concerns is to let humans decide whether they want to use a BCI to augment their capabilities,” Valeriani says.
“Neuroethicists are working to give advice to policymakers about what should be regulated. I am quite confident that, in the future, we will be more open to the possibility of using BCIs if such systems provide a clear and tangible advantage to our lives.”
Facebook is building brain-computer interfaces
Facebook is improving the 360 video experience by predicting where you will look
The plan is to eventually build non-implanted devices that can ship at scale. And to tamp down on the inevitable fear this research will inspire, Facebook tells me “This isn’t about decoding random thoughts. This is about decoding the words you’ve already decided to share by sending them to the speech center of your brain.” Facebook likened it to how you take lots of photos but only share some of them. Even with its device, Facebook says you’ll be able to think freely but only turn some thoughts into text.
Meanwhile, Building 8 is working on a way for humans to hear through their skin. It’s been building prototypes of hardware and software that let your skin mimic the cochlea in your ear that translates sound into specific frequencies for your brain. This technology could let deaf people essentially “hear” by bypassing their ears.
A team of Facebook engineers was shown experimenting with hearing through skin using a system of actuators tuned to 16 frequency bands. A test subject was able to develop a vocabulary of nine words they could hear through their skin.
To underscore the gravity of Building 8s mind-reading technology, Dugan started her talk by saying she’s never seen something as powerful as the smartphone “that didn’t have unintended consequences.” She mentioned that we’d all be better off if we looked up from our phones every so often. But at the same time, she believes technology can foster empathy, education and global community.
Building 8’s Big Reveal
Facebook hired Dugan last year to lead its secretive new Building 8 research lab. She had previously run Google’s Advanced Technology And Products division, and was formerly a head of DARPA.
Facebook built a special Area 404 wing of its Menlo Park headquarters with tons of mechanical engineering equipment to help Dugan’s team quickly prototype new hardware. In December, it signed rapid collaboration deals with Stanford, Harvard, MIT and more to get academia’s assistance.
Yet until now, nobody really knew what Building 8 was…building. Business Insider had reported on Building 8’s job listings and that it might show off news at F8.
According to these job listings, Facebook is looking for a Brain-Computer Interface Engineer “who will be responsible for working on a 2-year B8 project focused on developing advanced BCI technologies.” Responsibilities include “Application of machine learning methods, including encoding and decoding models, to neuroimaging and electrophysiological data.” It’s also looking for a Neural Imaging Engineer who will be “focused on developing novel non-invasive neuroimaging technologies” who will “Design and evaluate novel neural imaging methods based on optical, RF, ultrasound, or other entirely non-invasive approaches.”
Facebook Building 8 R&D division head Regina Dugan
Facebook has built hardware before to mixed success. It made an Android phone with HTC called the First to host its Facebook Home operating system. That flopped. Since then, Facebook proper has turned its attention away from consumer gadgetry and toward connectivity. It’s built the Terragraph Wi-Fi nodes, Project ARIES antenna, Aquila solar-powered drone and its own connectivity-beaming satellite from its internet access initiative — though that blew up on the launch pad when the SpaceX vehicle carrying it exploded.
Facebook’s Area 404 hardware lab contains tons of mechanical engineering and prototyping equipment
But as Facebook grows, it has the resources and talent to try new approaches in hardware. With over 1.8 billion users connected to just its main Facebook app, the company has a massive funnel of potential guinea pigs for its experiments.
Today’s announcements are naturally unsettling. Hearing about a tiny startup developing these advanced technologies might have conjured images of governments or coporate conglomerates one day reading our mind to detect thought crime, like in 1984. Facebook’s scale makes that future feel more plausible, no matter how much Zuckerberg and Dugan try to position the company as benevolent and compassionate. The more Facebook can do to institute safe-guards, independent monitoring, and transparency around how brain-interface technology is built and tested, the more receptive it might find the public.
A week ago Facebook was being criticized as nothing but a Snapchat copycat that had stopped innovating. Today’s demos seemed design to dismantle that argument and keep top engineering talent knocking on its door.
“Do you want to work for the company who pioneered putting augmented reality dog ears on teens, or the one that pioneered typing with telepathy?” You don’t have to say anything. For Facebook, thinking might be enough.
The MOST IMPORTANT QUESTIONS!
There is no established legal protection for the human subject when researchers use Brain Machine Interface (cybernetic technology) to reverse engineer the human brain.
The progressing neuroscience using brain-machine-interface will enable those in power to push the human mind wide open for inspection.
There is call for alarm. What kind of privacy safeguard is needed, computers can read your thoughts!
In recent decades areas of research involving nanotechnology, information technology, biotechnology and neuroscience have emerged, resulting in, products and services.
We are facing an era of synthetic telepathy, with brain-computer-interface and communication technology based on thoughts, not speech.
An appropriate albeit alarming question is: “Do you accept being enmeshed in a computer network and turned into a multimedia module”? authorities will be able to collect information directly from your brain, without your consent.
This kind of research in bioelectronics has been progressing for half a century.
Brain Machine Interface (Cybernetic technology) can be used to read our minds and to manipulate our sensory perception!
‘Major’ IBM breakthrough breathes new life into Moore’s Law…
By Lance Ulanoff1 day ago
Silicon is dead. Long live, carbon nanotubes.
In transistors, size matters — a lot. You can’t squeeze more silicon transistors (think billions of them) into a processor unless you can make them smaller, but the smaller these transistors get, the higher the resistance between contacts, which means the current can’t flow freely through them and, in essence, the transistors and chips built based on them, can no longer do their jobs. Ultra-tiny carbon nanotube transistors, though are poised to solve the size issue.
In a paper published on Thursday in the journal Science, IBM scientists announced they had found a way to reduce the contact length of carbon nanotube transistors — a key component of the tech and the one that most impacts resistance — down to 9 nanometers without increasing resistance at all. To put this in perspective, contact length on traditional, silicon-based 14nm node technology (something akin to Intel’s 14nm technology) currently sits at about 25 nanometers.
“In the silicon space, the contact resistance is very low if the contact is very long. If contact is very short, the resistance shoots up very quickly and gets large. So you have trouble getting current through the device,” Wilfried Haensch, IBM Senior Manager, Physics & Materials for Logic and Communications, told me.
Because of their unique properties,
carbon nanotubes, which happen to be 10,000 times thinner than a single strand of human hair, have been a promising tech for continuing Moore’s Law
carbon nanotubes, which happen to be 10,000 times thinner than a single strand of human hair, have been a promising tech for continuing Moore’s Law, which roughly states that the number of transistors in an integrated circuit will double every two years. However, according to Haensch, the technology faces considerable hurdles before it can be considered appropriate for commercial integrated circuit development.
First of all, the creation of tubes you can use in semiconductors isn’t easy. Haensch told me the current yields for useful material are still well below what they need. They also have to work out how to place the nanotubes 10nm apart or less on a wafer. Thirdly, they have to be able to scale devices based on carbon nanotubes to competitive dimensions.
There are actually two size issues to manage in chip scalability: Transistor gate and contact length. IBM solved the gate issue two years ago. “Scalability of contact was the last challenge on scalability,” said Haensch, and now IBM scientists report they’ve solved that, too. In their experiments, IBM scientists shrunk the contact length down to 9nm without any increase in resistance.
These results put the world one step closer to carbon nanotube-based integrated circuits. Such chips could conceivably run at the same speed as current transistors, but use significantly less power.
At maximum power, though, Haensch told me, these carbon nanotube chips could run at significantly faster speeds. Not only does this promise a future of ever faster computers, but it could lead to considerably better battery life for your most trusted companion — the smartphone.
This was an engineering breakthrough, though, that almost wasn’t. After working on the scalability problem for years, Haensch’s team came to him last year with results that shortened the contact length to 20nm.
They said, “Oh, we have something here. We need to publish,” Haensch recalled, who deflated the team’s excitement, telling them, “No, you don’t really have anything.”
Haensch sent them back to the lab telling them not to come back until they could produce something smaller than 10nm. “They were very disappointed they couldn’t write the paper,” said Haensch.
Then, a few months ago, the team returned with new results. “‘We got down to 9nm, and, by the way, we can reproduce the results.”
Haensch was thrilled. “Taking away the early gratification really gave us good results,” he said. It may also have given Moore’s Law a new lease on life and the world an exciting new future of electronics.
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