[OPE] US military searches for truth

From: Jurriaan Bendien (adsl675281@tiscali.nl)
Date: Mon Aug 18 2008 - 18:34:01 EDT

US military funds mind-reading technology 
12:11PM Monday August 18, 2008
By Alicia Chang 

LOS ANGELES - Here's a mind-bending idea: The US military is paying scientists to study ways to read people's thoughts. The hope is that the research could someday lead to a gadget capable of translating the thoughts of soldiers who suffered brain injuries in combat or even stroke patients in hospitals. But the research also raises concerns that such mind-reading technology could be used to interrogate the enemy.
Armed with a $4 million grant from the Army, scientists are studying brain signals to try to decipher what a person is thinking and to whom the person wants to direct the message. The project is a collaboration among researchers at the University of California, Irvine; Carnegie Mellon University; and the University of Maryland. The scientists use brain wave-reading technology known as electroencephalography, or EEG, which measures the brain's electrical activity through electrodes placed on the scalp. It works like this: Volunteers wear an electrode cap and are asked to think of a word chosen by the researchers, who then analyse the brain activity.

In the future, scientists hope to develop thought-recognition software that would allow a computer to speak or type out a person's thought. "To have a person think in a free manner and then figure out what that is, we're years away from that," said lead researcher Michael D'Zmura, who heads UC Irvine's cognitive sciences department. D'Zmura said such a system would require extensive training by people trying to send a message and dismisses the notion that thoughts can be forced out. "This will never be used in a way without somebody's real, active cooperation," he said. A message left with the Army was not immediately returned. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/story.cfm?c_id=5&objectid=10527642
Where the eagle glides ascending 
There's an ancient river bending 
Down the timeless gorge of changes 
Where sleeplessness awaits 
I searched out my companions, 
Who were lost in crystal canyons 
When the aimless blade of science 
Slashed the pearly gates. 

- Neil Young, Thrasher

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