Cognitive Enhancement, the Super Soldier and Beyond: Expanding Discourse Over Emerging Disruptive Technology

Denise M Crimmins, Salve Regina University


This dissertation contributes to the discourse about emerging disruptive technology. It examines techniques that may foster a meaningful and honest discussion, within the Department of Defense (DoD), about the development and diffusion of transformational technology. The dissertation presents recent discoveries in brain-computer interface technology and neurocognitive augmentation as a lens through which to view a new era in scientific research. As technology starts to manipulate the human mind and body, it is imperative that the research community be aware and take notice of the implications that will shape humanity. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and other components of the DoD hold prominence in advancing some of the most exciting research in brain-computer interaction and neurocognition. While this research is essential for national security, it can be alarming to those unfamiliar with the research agenda, and therefore must be discussed and debated during its early stages to construct a well-informed national vision. To help frame such a vision, the research presented in this dissertation examines signals, indicators, and trends in emerging technology to articulate the key influences that drive strategic decisions. Professional forecasters use trend data to resolve ambiguity and to stimulate negotiation over a range of plausible futures. Nurturing foresight skills within the DoD, including an interdisciplinary appreciation of the human narrative, may foster deeper reflection to maximize success in a burgeoning global intelligence race. Including the scientific community in the discourse over emerging disruptive technology offers an opportunity to shape the future with resilience, mindfulness, and determination

Subject Area

Ethics|Philosophy of Science|Engineering

Recommended Citation

Crimmins, Denise M, "Cognitive Enhancement, the Super Soldier and Beyond: Expanding Discourse Over Emerging Disruptive Technology" (2019). Doctoral Dissertations. AAI13865104.