The JASONs were investigating the potential for U.S. adversaries “to exploit advances in Human Performance Modification, and thus create a threat to national security.”
Their report examined “the present state of the art in pharmaceutical intervention in cognition and in brain-computer interfaces, and considered how possible future developments might proceed and be used by adversaries.”
Among their findings was the underappreciated significance of sleep and the possibility of a “sleep gap” (a term not used in the report).
“The most immediate human performance factor in military effectiveness is degradation of performance under stressful conditions, particularly sleep deprivation.”
“If an opposing force had a significant sleep advantage, this would pose a serious threat.”
Fortunately, “the technical likelihood of such a development is small at present.” Just to be safe, however, the scientists recommended that the Pentagon “Monitor enemy activities in sleep research, and maintain close understanding of open source sleep research.”
In general, the JASONs went on to observe, “the publicity and scientific literature regarding human performance enhancement can easily be misinterpreted, yielding incorrect conclusions about potential military applications.”
Common frameworks for evaluating proposals leave this utility function implicit, often evaluating aspects of risk, uncertainty, and potential value independently and qualitatively.
The FAS Nuclear Notebook is one of the most widely sourced reference materials worldwide for reliable information about the status of nuclear weapons and has been published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists since 1987. The Nuclear Notebook is researched and written by the staff of the Federation of American Scientists’ Nuclear Information Project: Director Hans […]
According to the National Center for Education Statistics’ August 2023 pulse panel, 60% of public schools were utilizing a “community school” or “wraparound services model” at the start of this school year—up from 45% last year.
Filmmaker Christopher Nolan, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senator Todd (R-IN), and Dr. Alondra Nelson presented with FAS Public Service Awards;
Alexa White received the inaugural FAS Policy Entrepreneurship award.