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DARPA: "We are on the verge of merging of people and machines"
Material posted: Publication date: 15-02-2017
The time of cyborgs may not have occurred, but the prosthetic-driven impulses of the brain, and exoskeletons that increase the ability of the soldiers is already a reality. Edition Computerworld has an interview with Justin Sanchez, Director of DARPA biotechnology, a developer of defense technologies for the U.S. army.

"Something very interesting is happening on the border of human and machines in very different fields," says Sanchez. Smart exoskeletons helping the paralyzed to walk, increase the strength and endurance of soldiers, implanted microchips help to see or to feel the touch. Implanted microelectronics, helps to communicate on the battlefield is no longer science fiction and the near future.

"I believe that recent developments in science and technology we have at DARPA and the progress in psychology and AI allows us to develop conditions for a major change in the way of interaction of people and vehicles, says Sanchez, a bio-engineer with a degree in philosophy. — We allow human psychology to work with cars in new ways".

For several years scientists are working to create hybrids of machine and living, organic tissue. In 2008, they have learned to control the robot using the brain signals of monkeys. 4 years later, another group has developed a device that directs the signals to a paralyzed arm, bypassing the usual route through the spinal cord.

In 2009, Andrew Chen, then Director of advanced technologies at Intel Labs, said that by 2020, Internet users will be able to do without a keyboard and mouse and control the computers brain waves. Sanchez is confident that these predictions now don't sound so crazy a few years ago.

"Advances in AI make the machine more powerful in the sense that they can understand everything from scientific articles to their interpretations, and help us to solve big problems. Another aspect is that our society is taking wearable technology that allow algorithms to analyze our physiology," continues Sanchez. He believes that we are now at the point where wearable devices can start to communicate with smart thermostats and to adjust the temperature in the room.

In the next 3-5 years the doctors can get their hands on a device that helps people with injuries of the brain to form memories. "Our technicians are working on it — confirms Sanchez. — Developed direct neural interfaces."

He added that there are studies of the implants with the processing power of today's PCs or laptops that could process the neural signals and to control them using devices. So paralyzed people could start to walk and feel his legs. And the soldiers — after all, DARPA — defense company — can use the interface to quickly learn a new language.

The neurointerface can change the way we interact with mobile devices. For example, smartphones may not be necessary, or rather may be replaced with implantable chips. And to call my mom or call a taxi, we'll just have to think about it.

Sanchez is well aware that the society cautiously accept the implantation of microchips in the brain or contact lenses that will allow soldiers to see what he sees from the sky drone. He is convinced that we should be responsible and consider all aspects of the use of new technologies as soon as they appear on the horizon, writes ITNews.

The idea to connect the human to the computer cherishes, and the head of Tesla Ilon Musk. According to him, the interface needs to provide us a "symbiosis with machines", so we can communicate with them directly. To elaborate on his plan he promised in February this year.



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