Wait, What? is a forum on future technologies … on their potential to radically change how we live and work, and on the opportunities and challenges these technologies will raise within the broadly defined domain of national security.
Recent advances in neuroscience, microelectronics, and information science are sparking new approaches to restoring lost abilities following brain injury or disease and eventually increasing human performance. Think implantable neural interfaces able to bypass broken circuits in the brain, helping patients overcome injury-induced memory deficits.
A new technology vector at the intersection of biology, information science, and engineering is launching an era in which biological systems such as microbes can be programmed through the genetic code, enabling us to harness their unparalleled capabilities. DARPA is applying tools from data science, computing, automation, and miniaturization to accelerate the ability to harness biology’s synthetic and functional capabilities. The goal is to create revolutionary bio-based manufacturing platforms that can enable new production paradigms, new approaches to medicine, and new materials.
When it comes to benefiting from information, trust is a must. Today, however, code, text, images and other forms of data can easily be manipulated. DARPA is developing technologies to ensure the integrity of the data upon which critical decisions are made. These efforts include formal methods for embedded operating systems that are unhackable for specified security properties; automated cyber defense capabilities that respond to attacks so rapidly and effectively as to make attackers consider other lines of work; and tools for comprehensive awareness and understanding of the abstract information systems environment in real time.
Karl Deisseroth – A pioneer in optogenetics, using light to turn individual working neurons on and off at will Deisseroth is the D.H. Chen Professor of Bioengineering and of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. His laboratory has worked on developing and applying highresolution tools for controlling (optogenetics.org) and mapping (clarityresourcecenter.org) specific well-defined elements within intact and fully-assembled biological systems.
Jun Ye – Ye is a professor of physics at the University of Colorado at Boulder (CU) and a fellow of both the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and JILA, a joint institute between NIST and CU. His research focuses on the frontier of light-matter interactions and includes ultrasensitive laser spectroscopy, optical frequency metrology, quantum optics using cold atoms and the science behind ultrafast lasers.
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