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The French army has been given the thumbs up to develop microchip implants to be used to create 'bionic soldiers' resistant to pain and stress and with boosted brain power.
Anyone have bionic French soldiers on the 2020 bingo card?
According to the Times, the ethical committee of the armed forces ministry gave the approval for development of such plans and said in a report France needed to keep up with other countries who were already working on similar projects.
The report's authors warned that research into enhancing soldiers should go ahead or the French army risks falling behind other countries.
The committee said areas of research will include pills to keep soldiers awake for longer and surgery to improve hearing. There are also plans to look into implants which will 'release anti-stress substances of improve cerebral capacity'.
Studies are being carried out on drugs to help soldiers cope with pain as well as being held in isolation after capture.
Implants that enable army headquarters to read soldiers' 'physiological parameters' from a distance or to be able to track and locate them are also being researched.
And if that's not quite enough Terminator 2 for you, other implants may also help soldiers tell the difference between friends and enemies.
But before we all panic too much, the committee said there would need to be safeguards in place for soldiers and that any potential 'enhancements' that stripped them of their 'humanity' or prevented them for being able to reintegrate into civilian life would not be allowed.
Florence Parly, the minister for the armed forces, told the Times there were no immediate plans to start giving out microchips or enhancing drugs to troops.
But she added: "We have to be clear. Not everyone has our scruples and it is a future for which we have to be prepared."
Earlier this month, John Ratcliffe, the US director of national intelligence, said officials in China were already developing 'artificially enhanced soldiers'.
"There are no ethical boundaries to Beijing's pursuit of power," he said.
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