The Army has given a team of University of California researchers a $4 million grant to study the foundations of "synthetic telepathy." But unlike old-school mind-melds, this seemingly psychic communication would be computer-mediated. The University of California, Irvine explains: The brain-computer interface would use 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.
All across the military, there’s interest in translating thoughts into computer code, and vice versa. Darpa-funded researchers have taught monkeys how to control robotic limbs with their thoughts. Defense contractor Northrop Grumman is building binoculars that tap the unconscious mind. Honeywell has built a system that monitors pre-conscious nueral firings, to help pick out targets in satellite imagery. The JASONs, the Pentagon’s premiere scientific advisory board, has warned of the dangers of enemies implanted with brain-computer interfaces. And the Defense Intelligence Agency just released a report, saying the military needs to spend more on neuroscience - up to and including "mak[ing] the enemy obey our commands."