go to top
A soldier during exercise Immediate Response 16, Slunj, Croatia, Sept. 12, 2016 (Army photo by Staff Sgt. Opal Vaughn).

How Far Can the U.S. Military Go to Building a Technology-Enhanced ‘Super Soldier’?

Friday, Sept. 23, 2016

Technology that will have a profound, potentially revolutionary impact on the U.S. military is on the way. Some innovations—like new materials, new fuels, automation, autonomy, new manufacturing methods, 3-D printing and better energy storage—will simply make military machines faster, lighter, smarter, cheaper and more accurate. But other technologies have the potential to change and enhance humans themselves.

“We want our warfighters to be made stronger, more aware, more durable, more maneuverable in different environments,” ethicist Patrick Lin wrote in the Atlantic in 2012. Neuroscience, biotechnology, nanotechnology, robotics, artificial intelligence and new drugs may pave the way for dramatic human enhancements, whether by external devices like exoskeletons; implants that expand endurance, cognitive ability and communication; or new drugs that enhance endurance, strength, perception and cognitive ability. “Somewhere in between robotics and biomedical research,” Lin argued, “we might arrive at the perfect future warfighter: one that is part machine and part human, striking a formidable balance between technology and our frailties.” ...

Want to Read the Rest?
Login or Subscribe Today.
Quarterly
$ 25 for 3 months
  • Two-week FREE trial access.
  • Cancel during trial and pay nothing.
  • Just $25 quarterly after trial.
Try It FREE
Annual
$ 75 for 1 year
  • Two-week FREE trial access.
  • Cancel during trial and pay nothing.
  • Just $75 annually after trial.
Try It FREE