Technological Approaches to Human Performance Enhancement
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Human performance enhancement (HPE) will have implications for military and intelligence operations. A variety of HPE could be of potential military and intelligence operational value. Some examples are increased strength, speed, endurance, and intelligence; others are reduced sleep needs and reaction times. This report provides an examination of three possible modalities for generating HPE: (1) genetic modifications, (2) artificial intelligence (AI), and (3) Internet of Bodies (IoB) approaches in which devices implanted in or worn by a human are connected to a network. For each modality, this report provides an overview of its potential for HPE, the state of the enabling technologies, and the associated challenges (both technical and ethical). The report also features a discussion of the countries where the capabilities or the associated foundational research are being most actively pursued.
Each of these HPE realms relies at some point on digital signals. In addition to any HPE, per se, the emission, storage, and manipulation of this digital information might pose risks and opportunities for military and intelligence operations. Some of the technologies discussed are embryonic, but the pace of development is difficult to predict, and this report provides a snapshot in time of the state of the technology domain.