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article imageArtificial telepathy to create Pentagon’s telepathic soldiers

By Eko Armunanto     May 10, 2013 in Technology
As voice-activated technologies have become reality, including the recent use by Google Glass’ software, what about telling machines to do what we want simply by telepathically thinking about it?
Telepathy has long been considered an aspect of psychic phenomena or a super power. Telepathy has commonly been defined as a sort of information transmission from one person to another without using any of our known sensory channels or physical interaction.
The term was at first introduced in 1882 by the classical scholar Frederic W. H. Myers, a founder of the Society for Psychical Research, and has remained more popular than the earlier expression thought-transference – Trevor Hamilton (2009), "Immortal Longings: F.W.H. Myers and the Victorian Search for Life after Death".
Jan Dalkvist says scientific consensus, however, does not view telepathy as a real phenomenon. Many studies seeking to detect, understand, and utilize telepathy have been done, but according to the prevailing view among scientists, telepathy lacks replicable results from well-controlled experiments.
“Within the scientific community however, the claim that psi anomalies exist or may exist is in general regarded with skepticism. One reason for this difference between the scientist and the non scientist is that the former relies on his own experiences and anecdotal reports of psi phenomena, whereas the scientist at least officially requires replicable results from well controlled experiments to believe in such phenomena - results which according to the prevailing view among scientists, do not exist.” – Jan Dalkvist (1994), Telepathic Group Communication of Emotions as a Function of Belief in Telepathy, Dept. of Psychology, Stockholm University, October 5, 2011
The origin of the telepathic concept (not telepathy itself) can be tracked to the late 19th century’s Western civilization, says Roger Luckhurst in his book “The Invention of Telepathy”, Oxford, June 2002. As the physical sciences made significant advances, he said, scientific concepts were applied to mental phenomena with the hope that this would help understand paranormal phenomena. The modern concept of telepathy emerged in this historical context. Reviewing the book, Telepathy had become a disputed phenomenon amongst physical scientists in 1901, and was discussed largely by eminent scientists including, Sigmund Freud, Thomas Huxley, and Oscar Wilde.
Medical Education Network (Meducation) says the notion of telepathy is similar to two psychological concepts of delusions of thought insertion/removal and psychological symbiosis, which might explain how some people have come up with the idea of telepathy. Insertion/removal is a symptom of psychosis, particularly of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. Psychiatric patients who experience this symptom falsely believe that some of their thoughts are not their own and that others (e.g., other people, aliens, or conspiring intelligence agencies) are putting thoughts into their minds (thought insertion). Some patients feel as if thoughts are being taken out of their minds or deleted (thought removal). Psychological symbiosis entails the belief that in the early psychological experience of the child (during earliest infancy), the child is unable to tell the difference between his or her own mind, on one hand, and his or her experience of the mother (parent), on the other hand. This state of mind is called psychological symbiosis; with development, it ends, but, purportedly, aspects of it can still be detected in the psychological functioning of the adult
Brain-to-brain communication implied in the scientific concept of telepathy has been attracting brain-control scientists. As voice-activated technologies have become reality, including the recent use by Google Glass’ software, what about telling machines to do what we want simply by telepathically thinking about it – adopting the telepathy concept?
Also known as synthetic telepathy, the technology is based on reading electrical activity in the brain using an electroencephalograph, or EEG. Similar technology is being marketed as a way to control video games by thought. April last year, a Dailymail report said a team of UC Irvine scientists has been awarded a $4 million grant from the U.S. Army Research Office to study the neuroscientific and signal-processing foundations of synthetic telepathy. “I think that this will eventually become just another way of communicating,” said Mike D’Zmura, from the University of California, Irvine and the lead scientist on the project.
“It will take a lot of research, and a lot of time, but there are also a lot of commercial applications, not just military applications,” he said.
Dailymail said they had set their sights on 2017 as the year when their plan may turn into silent action, and 45 per cent of the commands that were transmitted from one volunteer to another, like “call in helicopter” or “enemy ahead”, are correct, and that statistic was expected to improve. The U.S. Army was dedicating millions of research dollars into discovering building helmets to allow soldiers to telepathically communicate with one another on the battlefield. The technology, which seems like something out of a science fiction novel, would use electrodes to pick up code words that soldiers were thinking. Those codewords would then be transmitted back to a computer where the soldier's position and message – telling, for instance, that it is safe to progress towards a target – which would be transmitted to their peers in the field.
While the money may come from the Army and its first use could be for covert operations, D’Zmura thinks that thought-based communication will find more use in the civilian realm. “The eventual application I see is for students sitting in the back of the lecture hall not paying attention because they are texting,” said D’Zmura. “Instead, students could be back there, just thinking to each other.” EEG-based gaming devices are large and fairly conspicuous, but D’Zmura thinks that eventually they could be incorporated into a baseball hat or a hood.
Telling how it works, PhysOrg said a brain-computer interface uses a noninvasive brain imaging technology like electroencephalography to let people communicate thoughts to each other. For example, a soldier would “think” a message to be transmitted and a computer-based speech recognition system would decode the EEG signals. The decoded thoughts, in essence translated brain waves, are transmitted using a system that points in the direction of the intended target.
While the research was being focused on learning and applying the short military-based codewords, and not individual’s private thoughts and deep secrets, civil rights activists took the opposite view, bringing up concerns about a possible infringement on civil liberties if the technology were to be misused – says the Dailymail. Critics said the device will eventually be the source of disaster as in fact it’s a mind-reading machine. Nsearch said public sale of the artificial telepathy technology would inevitably result in the stealing of bank account numbers, PIN numbers, passwords, trade secrets, etc., which in turn would inevitably translate into actual theft. The damage to the economy could be catastrophic, and the sudden disappearance of privacy – all privacy – might literally cause society as we know it to melt down.
“Such new technology comes with a lack of awareness from the public of what this technology is capable of and a lack of legislation on its uses,” said Mind Power World. It said the technology in its most benign form, such as advertising, still toys around with the umbrella conspiracy of mind control, forcing thoughts into people’s minds without their consent. On even worse applications, a person can be made to think that they are going crazy if they are suddenly inundated with thoughts and compulsions that they cannot verify the origins of.
More about Telepathy, telepathic soldiers, Mind control
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