An agency of the U.S. Department of Defense is spending millions of dollars on technology that could be implanted in the human brain.
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The project was initially announced in January by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
CNN reported that the goal of the "implantable neural interface" technology, called Neural Engineering System Design (NESD), is to have humans directly communicate with computers.
Such technology can benefit those with disabilities, including veterans of combat.
The device would not be larger than one cubic centimeter -- as high as two nickels stacked on top of each other.
“Today’s best brain-computer interface systems are like two supercomputers trying to talk to each other using an old 300-baud modem,” Phillip Alvelda, the NESD program manager, said in a statement. “Imagine what will become possible when we upgrade our tools to really open the channel between the human brain and modern electronics.”
The device would convert neurons in the brain to electronic signals, communicating with electronics.
Steven Pinker, a Harvard cognitive scientist, is skeptical of the idea, however, saying it is a waste of taxpayer money and "we have little to no idea how exactly the brain codes complex information."
DARPA will invest $60 million in NESD over four years.