Eye Eye - you’ll want these IT solutions like a hole in the head…?
Posted on 8th January 2020
Last October, I wrote a short blog piece about AI, Cyber and Warfare in the future. While stressing that I do have a life, it was interesting to see an article in The Times on Christmas Eve which takes this theme further.
Essentially, the article developed the proposition that the soldiers of the future (by which the writer meant before 2050), will be, in effect, cyborgs. One of the expected “modifications” is “surgical implants of emerging technologies in soldiers’ bodies would dramatically improve their capabilities in such (battlefield) environments.” More specifically, “Soldiers will have ‘cyborg’ modifications including robotic eyeballs and brain implants enabling telepathic communication by 2050.”
Given that my colleague Matt Druce wrote last year about Elon Musk’s idea of implanting chips in human brains (necessitating the drilling of a hole in the recipient’s skull), and in a survey of the Be-IT team he revealed that nearly half (46% to be precise) of my colleagues were not fazed by the prospect of this being done to them, it seems highly likely that surgically enhanced soldiers are coming sooner rather than later.
However, it gets all rather creepy when you read on and The Times writer explains that this “enhancement” of the average squaddie’s brain will help clear the “fog of war” by allowing “direct, telepathic-style communication with comrades as well as unmanned, autonomous weapons systems.”
Moreover, “networks of implants under soldiers’ skin could be controlled to stimulate specific muscles (to) improve endurance and allow remote operators to take control of the warfighter’s limbs.”
But the really scary bit is the idea of “completely replacing the eyeball with an electronic eye that would send data directly to the optic nerve,” in order to provide superior vision for a whole squad.
All of which got me thinking… How is it that in sci-fi films, the humans always outwit the robots/extra-terrestrials with super powers and their hordes of Storm-troopers/Daleks/Cybermen? Given that us puny humans always win, why bother with all these “enhancements” in the first place?
Freddie Kydd, Be-IT
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