Soldiers who can communicate with each other telepathically. Amputated limbs that grow back with the help of a nano-scaffold. Equipment that can see through dense smoke or fog by exploiting quantum effects. Your tax dollars are hard at work trying to create the most sci-fi military in the world. U.S. military researchers will showcase their most outlandish initiatives at next month's Army Science Conference, including photo-realistic holograms and virtual soldiers designed to infiltrate World of Warcraft.In an interview with military blog Defense Tech, the Army's Director of Research and Laboratory Management, Dr. John Parmentola described the military versions of some of the most advanced technology in development right now. For example, using electrical signals from the brain to control a wheelchair or output words to a computer is the civilian way of doing things. The Army envisions soldiers in contant, silent communication with each other, with the ability to silently activate and control machines just by thinking about it. That's a sci-fi action movie script that pretty much writes itself. The quantum ghost effect is a little tougher to explain. Basically, you've got photons that pass across a smoke-obscured battlefield and simultaneously are and are not reflected by the smoke. Special computers could see through the smoke by taking advantage of the quantum link between both versions of the photons. Call it "Schrödinger's Howitzer." Regarding the ultra-realistic holographic soldiers, the military wants them to act the part of enemies for more effective training exercizes. They can't just look real, though. They want AI that makes them act real. Dr. Parmentola seemed a bit credulous about the current state of development, however, saying, "I actually interact with virtual humans in terms of asking them questions and they're responding." Yeah, I was fooled by a bot on IM once too. But what's this about World of Warcraft? The Army thinks online games are a perfect testing ground for their nascent AIs. They specifically mentioned WoW and EVE Online as games they want to infiltrate, sending in their "virtual soldiers" to see if they can deceive the human players. I think Blizzard should open up a bot only server. Army Working On Science's Outer Limits. [Defense Tech]
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