LONDON, Feb. 7 (UPI) — Technological advances in neuroscience could allow future soldiers to control weapons systems simply by using their minds, British researchers say.
The suggestion was part of a report released Tuesday by Britain’s Royal Society on the possible benefits of neuroscience to military and law enforcement.
So-called brain-machine interface devices already being used to allow paralyzed people to move computer cursors or control artificial limbs could one day connect soldiers’ brains directly to military technology such as drones and weapons, the report said.
“Since the human brain can process images, such as targets, much faster than the subject is consciously aware of, a neurally interfaced weapons system could provide significant advantages over other system control methods in terms of speed and accuracy,” the report said.
A U.S. researcher who took part in the study acknowledged he was uncomfortable knowing neuroscience could be used by the military.
“As a scientist I dislike that someone might be hurt by my work,” Vince Clark, a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of New Mexico, told the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph. “I want to reduce suffering, to make the world a better place, but there are people in the world with different intentions, and I don’t know how to deal with that.
“If I stop my work, the people who might be helped won’t be helped. Almost any technology has a defense application.”