Excerpted from original post: http://www.darpa.mil/darpatech2002/presentations/dso_pdf/speeches/GOLDBLAT.pdf
"Michael Goldblatt, Director
Defense Sciences Office (DSO)
Good morning, and welcome to the meeting that turns the tables, when the grantors entertain the grantees, so what better way to start the day than with additional fantasies.
Imagine soldiers having no physical limitations . . .
What if, instead of acting on thoughts, we had thoughts that could act? Indeed, imagine if soldiers could communicate by thought alone . . . or communications so secure there is zero probability of intercept. Imagine the threat of biological attack being inconsequential. And contemplate, for a moment, a world in which learning is as easy as eating, and the replacement of damaged body parts as convenient as a fast food drive-thru. As impossible as these visions sound or as difficult you might think the task would be, these visions are the everyday work of the Defense Sciences Office.
The Defense Sciences Office is about making dreams into reality. Today, we will share with you some of these bold visions and amazing achievements that have the potential to profoundly alter our world. During my presentation, I will provide you with an overview of the Defense Sciences Office, a road map for this morning's speeches, and an illustration of some of the richness the office endows. Throughout the morning's presentations, it is important to remember we are talking about science action, not science fiction.
The program managers of the Defense Sciences Office vigorously pursue the most promising discoveries and imaginative innovations in science and engineering. All are connected by common threads. They are DARPA hard driven by an inspired interdisciplinary staff and consistent with the office's long-term vision of creating paradigm shifts in defense capabilities. Hence, "imagineering" is a natural activity at DSO.
Our work is purposefully broad. We place no boundaries on the technical fields we might pursue. Many of my predecessors have said that DSO will explore any opportunity that does not claim to violate more than one law of physics. However, in these more contemporary times, we have chosen several endeavors that aggressively challenge our understanding of those laws... Like Jason and the Argonauts, we do not fear the unknown and we relish exploring the unknowable, even if it means traveling to the outer limits of space.
For the foreseeable future, DSO is putting special emphasis on four distinct areas of exploration.
The Brain Machine Interface, a small part of which directly addresses the challenge of moving beyond acting on thoughts to having thoughts that act
Logistics technologies that create a world where self-sustaining replaces just-in-time provisioning
Enhancing human performance where the slogan "Be all You Can Be takes on a new dimension
Exploiting complex systems where we move beyond accepting intractability to discovering and exploiting mathematical structure.
Historically, DSO has reaped huge returns from the areas of material science and mathematics. However, biology, also an exciting platform, is pregnant with potential for developing revolutionary change. We will make biology DARPA's future historical strength. DARPA's biology vision currently has four broad themes:
Protecting human assets
Enhanced system performance
Enhanced human performance
Creation of the tools for enabling new capabilities in the life sciences arena
Protecting human assets is about making the effects of a biological attack inconsequential. Success requires the design and fabrication of material, diagnostics, sensors, and therapeutics that address current and future threats posed by biological and chemical warfare agents. This initiative will continue to concentrate on next-generation threats, both known and unknowable. In the future, protecting human assets will include an overlay with computational models that predict and describe biological structure, function, and consequence.
Eric Eisenstadt will elaborate on approaches to enhancing system performance that include using animal sentinels for sensing, identifying, and eliminating targets. He will discuss how we are exploiting neuro- and behavioral sciences to build intelligent machines and mechanical biomimicry for fault-tolerant mobile robotic systems.
Enhanced human performance, as Joe Bielitzki will explain, is born from the realization that with the emphasis on technology in the battle space the human is rapidly becoming "the weakest link." Soldiers having no physical, physiological, or cognitive limitations will be key to survival and operational dominance in the future.
The exoskeleton initiative will provide mechanical augmentation extending individual performance. Metabolically dominant warfighters of the future will be able to keep their cognitive abilities intact, while not sleeping for weeks. They will be able to endure constant, extreme exertion and take it in stride. Success in metabolic engineering will be visible, because I will be the first volunteer to be transformed. The Biovision's tools are the enabling technologies necessary to make the revolution real.
This emphasis on Biovision does not mean that DSO is becoming a bio-office. Quite the contrary. Our strength lies in the culture of cooperation that exists among multiple disciplines enabling us to work at the interface. Just consider what happens when physicists interact with biologists. The physicists I know often imagine measuring and controlling individual atoms or spins as the ultimate nanoscale switch for interrogating biological systems. Because the DSO menagerie houses two active physicists, it is only fitting that each has a unique and compelling path to fulfilling the ultimate nanoswitch dream, as embodied by the MOSAIC and BioMagnetICs programs.
The BioMagnetICs Program, as Valerie Browning will explain, is taking a different path. It will explore and demonstrate the utility of high-moment, nanoscale magnetics as a portable, robust, and highly sensitive transduction mechanism for monitoring and controlling biological activity at the cellular and, ultimately, single molecule level.
This is not science fiction, but science action.
And now, please help me welcome from the primordial waters, Steve Wax, our second metabolically dominant warrior!"
For the full transcript, please see: http://www.darpa.mil/darpatech2002/presentations/dso_pdf/speeches/GOLDBLAT.pdf