France approves of bionic cyborg soldiers

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  • A French military panel authorized the development of bionic soldiers and other high-tech upgrades.
  • The upgrades could increase human performance and detection, as well as improve a soldier’s mental state and other military-related functions.
  • The authorization is accompanied by certain conditions intended to protect the individual rights of the soldier.

      A French military bioethics panel has authorized the development of technological upgrades for members of the armed forces. The panel asserts that the French armed forces could develop and deploy technological advances in order to preserve the “operational superiority” of the French army.

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      The news comes after U.S. intelligence officials announced that China was conducting biological experiments to improve the performance of People’s Liberation Army troops.

      The panel authorized the French military to develop and deploy improvements which, selon CNN, improve the “physical, cognitive, perceptual and psychological capacities” of its soldiers. He could also develop “medical treatments to prevent pain, stress and fatigue, and substances that would improve mental resilience if a soldier were taken prisoner.”

      A French soldier crouches next to a Griffon armored personnel carrier.
      THOMAS SAMSONGetty Images

      However, the permission comes with restrictions. The military cannot deploy technologies that interfere with the basic humanity of a soldier. Soldiers must retain their agency and be able to choose the level of force they employ – for example, a bionic augmentation cannot force a soldier to use lethal force when non-lethal force is the obvious choice.

      Finally, bionics should not interfere with a soldier’s reintegration into civilian life, so no weird metallic stuff coming out of the veteran front.

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      French Defense Minister Florence Parly said there are currently no plans to develop such bionics, but the panel’s decision Is pave the way for their future development.

      Chinese soldiers shouting in formation on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China parade, 2019.
      Kevin FrayerGetty Images

      The decision comes just days after John Radcliffe, the US Director of National Intelligence (DNI), accused that China conduct human tests on soldiers to develop troops with “biologically enhanced capabilities.”


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      Ratcliffe asserted that China had a much less ethical view than France, asserting: “There are no ethical limits to Beijing’s pursuit of power. Neither Ratcliffe nor the US intelligence community elaborated on the DNI’s claims.

      The US Department of Defense is not working on genetic research, but is looking to develop technological augmentation. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is working on the BRAIN initiative, or Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies. BRAIN, announced by the White House in 2013, aims to “treat, cure and even prevent brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy and head trauma.”

      DARPA wants to develop implantable interfaces that would allow individuals to control objects with their minds, while providing “unprecedented signal resolution and data transfer bandwidth between the brain and the digital world”.

      All of this would be useful for people with disabilities or chronically ill people, allowing quadriplegics and paraplegics to control artificial limbs or wheelchairs, interface directly with computers or interact with a variety of wireless devices. .

      The military utility of using thoughts to control machines and interact with computers is evident, with soldiers controlling everything from fighter jets to radar systems with their minds.


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