The RAM project was first unveiled by President Obama in 2014, and it was revealed to be part of DARPA’s wider brain initiative. However, as President Obama has shown no love for veterans and might be the most corrupt president America has ever had, it’s leaving many to question if there are strings attached.
DARPA has multiple brain-improvement projects in the works, but its Restoring Active Memory project has a goal of restoring the memory functions of US soldiers returning from the battlefield with traumatic brain injuries. According to the Atlantic’s Annie Jacobsen, 300,000 soldiers came home from Iraq and Afghanistan with brain injuries. DARPA’s program aims to develop an implantable, wireless device that could aid those soldiers’ cognitive abilities both during and after wars.
To start, DARPA is working to figure out how neurons in the human brain actually encode memories—a daunting task in and of itself. Once those processes have been mapped out, scientists would then work to create computer models to mimic how the brain functions, with the end goal of being able to implant devices that could trigger those processes if neurons, or the connections between neurons, get damaged.
At the September conference, DARPA said it had implanted temporary sensors into patients undergoing brain surgery, according to Popular Science. Scientists were able to detect signals in the patients’ brains during the process of forming and recalling memories. In the future, DARPA wants to develop permanent, “closed loop” systems that can actually help with memory recall.
At the time this project was announced, the Veteran’s Affairs Department and the Pentagon claimed that they would be spending the next five years and $80 million developing neurotechnologies that would increase the ability of the brain and body to induce healing. There are also reports that as part of that funding DARPA is researching the idea of robotic limbs that humans can control with their minds. Only true science-fiction fans will be able to appreciate the potential irony in that. How long until society starts splitting between non robotically enhanced people and those who are? Maybe that’s taking the idea a little too far, but with current problems of “racism” it’s important not to underestimate people’s ability to become irrational.