IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - March 2017 - 8

Recommended Reading
F. Allhoff, P. Lin, D. Moore, What is Nanotechnology and why does
it matter? From Science to Ethics, West Sussex, Wiley-Blackwell,
2010.
S.J. Florczyk and S. Saha, "Ethical issues in nanotechnology,"
J. Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants, vol. 17, no. 3, pp.
107-113, 2007.
A. Krishnan, Military Neuroscience and the Coming of
Neurowarfare, London, Routledge, 2017.
K. Michael, "Socio-ethical Implications of the Bionic Era",
Academy of Science in Australia, https://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=QOOgep8ery8, Shine Dome, Canberra, 25/05/17.
R.A. Miranda, W.D. Casebeer, A.M. Hein, J.W. Judy, E.P. Krotkov,
T.L. Laabs, J.E. Manzo, K.G. Pankratz, G.A. Pratt, J.C. Sanchez, D.J.
Weber, T.L. Wheeler, G.S.F. Ling, "DARPA‐funded efforts in the
development of novel brain-computer interface technologies,"
Journal of Neuroscience Methods, vol. 244, http://www.sciencedirect
.com/science/article/pii/S0165027014002702, 2015.
M. Murphy, "The US Military Is Developing Brain Implants to
Boost Memory and Heal PTSD," Defense One, 2015; http://www

with respect to citizenry, the social
contract formed with the individual
soldier, and other stakeholders such
as industry suppliers to govern-
ment, government agencies, and the
Armed Forces [1].

DARPA's RAM Project
In 2012, the U.S. military's Defense
Advanced Research Projects Agency
(DARPA) confirmed plans to cre-
ate nanosensors to monitor the
health of soldiers on battlefields [2].
In 2014, ExtremeTech [3] reported
on a 2013 DARPA project titled
the "Restoring Active Memory
(RAM) Project." Ultimately the aim
of RAM was:
"to develop a protot y pe
implantable neural device that
enables recovery of memory
in a human clinical popula-
tion. Additionally, the program
encompasses the develop-
ment of quantitative models of
complex, hierarchical memo-

8

.defenseone.com/technology/2015/11/us‐military‐developing‐
brain‐implants‐boost‐memory‐and‐heal‐ptsd/123784/, 17/11/15.
M. Orcutt, "DARPA's New Neural Implant Has a Sneaky Way
of Getting Inside Heads," M.I.T. Tech. Rev., 2016; https://www
.technologyreview.com/s/600761/darpas‐new‐neural‐implant‐has‐a‐
sneaky‐way‐of‐getting‐inside‐heads/, 09/02/16.
D. Ratner, M. Ratner, New Weapons for New Wars:
Nanotechnology and Homeland Security, New Jersey, Prentice
Hall, 2004.
P.S. Saha and S. Saha, "Clinical trials of medical devices and
implants: Ethical concerns," IEEE Eng. Med. & Biol. Mag., vol. 7,
pp. 86-87, 1988.
S. Saha and P. Saha, "Biomedical ethics and the biomedical
engineer: A review," Critical Reviews in Biomedical Eng., vol. 25,
no. 2, pp. 163-201, 1988.
P. Tucker, "The Military Is Building Brain Chips to Treat PTSD,"
The Atlantic, 2014; http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/
archive/2014/05/the‐military‐is‐building‐brain‐chips‐to‐treat‐
ptsd/371855/, 29/05/2014.

ries and exploration of neu-
robiological and behavioral
distinctions between memory
function using the implantable
device versus natural learning
and training" [4].

prosthetics for memory recov-
ery in patients living with brain
injury and dysfunction."
"The neuroprosthetics de-
veloped and tested over the
next four years would be as a
wireless, fully implantable neu-
ral-interface medical device for
human clinical use."

Several months later, the U.S.
Department of Defense (DOD) pub-
lished on their web site an article on
how DARPA was developing wire-
less implantable brain prostheses
for service members and veter-
ans who had suffered traumatic
brain injury (TBI) memory loss [5].
Quoting here from the article:

The U.S. DOD also noted that trau-
matic brain injury has affected about
270 000 U.S. service members since
2000, and another 1.7 million civil-
ians. The DOD said that they would
begin to focus their attention on
service members first [6]. Essen-
tially the program is meant to help
military personnel with psychiatric
disorders, using electronic devices
implanted in the brain. Treated dis-
orders range from depression, to
anxiety, and post-traumatic stress
disorder [7]. The bulk of the $70 mil-
lion USD five year project funding
was distributed to UCLA ($15 million)
and the University of Pennsylvania

"Called neuroprotheses, the
implant would help declarative
memory, which consciously
recalls basic knowledge such as
events, times and places..."
"these neuroprosthetics
will be designed to bridge the
gaps in the injured brain to help
restore that memory function...
Our vision is to develop neuro-
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine

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march 2017


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