AI brain implants tested on humans by US military

WASHINGTON-The US military has begun testing AI brain implants that can change a person’s mood on humans. These ‘mind control’ chips emit electronic pulses that alter brain chemistry in a process called ‘deep brain stimulation.’

If they prove successful, the devices could be used to treat a number of mental health conditions and to ensure a better response to therapy.

The chips are the work of scientists at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), a branch of the US Department of Defense which develops new technologies for the military.

Researchers from the University of California (UC) and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) designed them to use artificial intelligence algorithms that detect patterns of activity associated with mood disorders. 

Once detected, they can shock a patient’s brain back into a healthy state automatically. Experts believe the chips could be beneficial to patients with a range of illnesses, from Parkinson’s disease to chronic depression.

Speaking to Nature, Edward Chang, a neuroscientist at the University of California, said: ‘We’ve learned a lot about the limitations of our current technology.

‘The exciting thing about these technologies is that for the first time we’re going to have a window on the brain where we know what’s happening in the brain when someone relapses.’

The chips were tested in six people who have epilepsy and already have electrodes implanted in their brains to track their seizures.  Through these electrodes, the researchers were able to track what was happening in their brains throughout the day.

Older implants are constantly doing this, but the new approach lets the team deliver a shock as and when is needed.

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