Management of Advanced ResearchUS Department of Defense (DARPA) projects announced the launch of Next-Generation Nonsurgical Neurotechnology (N3), whose task is to develop non-invasive methods for controlling various systems of power of thought. Within its framework, six teams were selected from various universities that are engaged in the development of bidirectional brain-machine interfaces for use by qualified personnel. These interfaces will allow "to manage active cyber defense systems, swarm unmanned drones or communicate with a computer system." DARPA wants to get the appropriate management system over the next four years.
As the head of the biotechDepartment of DARPA and the curator of the program N3 Al Emondi, in the world there are already many non-invasive neurotechnologies, but not in the solutions that are required to create high-performance wearable devices for national security tasks.
"DARPA is preparing for a future in which the combinationunmanned systems, artificial intelligence and cyber operations can lead to such rapid conflicts in which human reaction will not be enough with existing technologies. By creating an accessible brain-computer interface that does not require surgery, DARPA provides commanders with the opportunity to continue to actively participate in dynamic operations unfolding at high speeds, ”commented Emondi.
In particular, we are talking about the development of technologiesin just 50 milliseconds, they will allow reading and recording new information in both directions in brain cells and interacting with at least 16 different points in the brain with a resolution of 1 cubic millimeter (this space covers thousands of neurons).
As noted in the published agency onIn its official press release website, the Battel Memorial Institute, Johns Hopkins University, PARC, Rice University, as well as scientists from Carnegie Mellon University are participating in a program to develop non-invasive methods for managing various systems.
According to Al Emondi, a four-year programwill consist of three phases of development. For the current first phase, teams will have one year to demonstrate the ability to write and read information from brain cells. Teams that will manage to solve this problem will pass to the next stage of the program. Within its framework, they will have to develop and test prototype devices using laboratory animals for 18 months. Groups that will cope with this task will be allowed to proceed to the third stage of development - testing their devices with the participation of volunteer people.
The press release also states that eachThe team chose its approach to developing the desired system. Thus, the Memorial Institute of Battel is engaged in a system with a minimal level of invasive intervention. It consists of an external transceiver with electromagnetic nanotransducers that are associated with specific neurons. Nanotransducers will convert the electrical signals of neurons to magnetic, which will receive and analyze the transceiver. The same process will take place in the opposite direction.
Johns Hopkins University in turndeals with an absolutely non-invasive, coherent optical system. It monitors changes in the optical path length in the nervous tissue, which will correlate with neural activity.
The PARC project combines ultrasonic waves and magnetic fields to generate localized electrical currents for neuromodulation.
Rice University specialists strive to createminimally invasive system for determining neural activity through diffuse optical tomography. To transmit a signal in the opposite direction, that is, to the brain, the team will apply a magnetic genetic approach.
Scientists from Carnegie Mellon University givea preference for a device that uses an acousto-optic approach to extract information from the brain and electric fields for programming specific neurons.
“This is a new uncharted territory for DARPA andthe next step in developing effective brain-computer interfaces. If we succeed in the development of at least some of these technologies, then we will begin the discovery of a whole new ecosystem that currently does not exist, ”Emondi added.
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