The National Institutes of Health (NIH) calls it BRAIN Initiative 2.0 and wants to map the brain the same way scientists decoded the human genome. But although there are more than three billion base pair sequences to the gene, there are about 100 billion neurons in the brain with about 100 trillion connections.
Joe Allen, transhumanism editor for War Room and contributor to The Federalist, says they'll end up with more than just a map. "BRAIN 2.0 represents a real advance in the federal funding of transhumanist technology," he explains. "The secondary objective, coming on the heels of mapping the brain, is to manipulate its function."
And according to Allen, that's where the promise and peril come in. While it could mean the end of diseases like cerebral palsy or Alzheimer's, he contends it will inevitably lead to a dystopian future where the brain is not just healed, but controlled.
"[We're talking about] brain-computer interfaces or deep brain stimulation devices; neural prosthetics – being able to attach a machine that allows visual or audio input into the brain; and then gene therapy, which would alter the genetic composition of the brain and tilt its function one direction or another," he tells AFN.
Allen warns that technical innovations like Mark Zuckerberg's Metaverse are making people comfortable with the idea of blending reality and technology.
"Everyone has to choose where they draw the line," Allen submits. "But I would urge [people] to think this through and start drawing those lines – especially those [people] with children, because more than likely they will be the ones who really bear the weight of this civilizational transformation that we are witnessing right now."
According to the NIH website, the BRAIN Initiative (Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) is aimed at "revolutionizing our understanding of the human brain" … providing "unprecedented opportunities for exploring exactly how the brain enables the human body to record, process, utilize, store, and retrieve vast quantities of information, all at the speed of thought."
The initiative, which launched eight years ago, boasts $600 million in grants for 2.0 – and is expected to reach a grand total cost of $5 billion by 2026, according to NIH.
In a recent article – "Federal Research on Manipulating Brains and Rewriting DNA Should Worry Us All" – Allen describes the "cyborg obsession" of John Ngai (director of the BRAIN Initiative) and his government partner, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).