Scientists Warn of Ethical Battle Concerning Military Mind Control
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of U.S. News & World Report
Posted: April 17th, 2012
Advances in neuroscience are closer than ever to becoming a reality, but scientists are warning the military - along with their peers - that with great power comes great responsibility. A future of brain-controlled tanks, automated attack drones and mind-reading interrogation techniques may arrive sooner than later, but advances in neuroscience that will usher in a new era of combat come with tough ethical implications for both the military and scientists responsible for the technology, according to one of the country's leading bioethicists. "Nobody knows where that technology is going" ... says Jonathan Moreno, author of Mind Wars: Brain Science and the Military in the 21st Century. "The goals of national security and the goals of science may conflict." Moreno says there is a fine line between using neuroscience devices to allow an injured person to regain baseline functions and enhancing someone's body to perform better than their natural body ever could. The Brookings Institution's Peter Singer writes in his book, Wired for War ... that "the Pentagon's real-world record with things like the aboveground testing of atomic bombs, Agent Orange, and Gulf War syndrome certainly doesn't inspire the greatest confidence." The staggering possibilities are further along than many think. There is already development on automated drones that are programmed to make their own decisions about who to kill. Other ideas that are closer-than-you-think to becoming a military reality: Tanks controlled from half a world away, memory erasures that could prevent PTSD, and "brain fingerprinting" that could be used to extract secrets from enemies. Should soldiers have the right to refuse "experimental" brain implants?
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