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  • Opportunities and Implications of Brain-computer Interface Technology

    This paper examines the implications of a technological convergence of biotechnology and cyber technology and how best to prepare for the exponential change triggered by this emerging field. This convergence, specifically brain-computer interface (BCI) technology, is enabling bidirectional communication between the brain and a computer. Clinical applications are significant, offering treatments for epilepsy, dementia, nervous system disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, as well as advanced prosthetics. In some cases, BCIs may be able to not just restore functionality but also augment it. New noninvasive techniques are now showing benefits to the point where healthy individuals may opt to have BCIs installed to augment their abilities. This paper will explore the opportunities this technology creates for the United States Air Force (USAF) to enhance combat capability, particularly in high-workload career fields, and the policy choices needed to prepare for the next 20 years. It concludes that in order to seize these opportunities, the USAF needs to act now on currently available technologies to foster a culture of increased experimentation and calculated risk-taking. [Maj Mark W. Vahle / 2020 / 27 pages / ISSN 2687-7260 / AU Press Code: WF-75]
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