ABSTRACT

For illustrative purposes, this report considers three foundational technologies (foundational sciences and technologies) that enable progress and applications in a variety of problem domains: information technology, synthetic biology, and neuroscience. In addition, four application domains associated with specific operational military problems are addressed: robotics, prosthetics and human enhancement, cyber weapons, and nonlethal weapons. These technologies and applications are examples of ERA technologies as defined above-a multitude of state and nonstate

actors, friendly or not, can adopt and adapt such technologies for a multitude of purposes even without large budgets and infrastructures. The report examines each illustrative ERA technology and application domain from the perspective of technology maturity (how close the science or technology is to producing useful applications) and possible military applications, and it highlights some of the ELSI implications that emerge for each technology or application.