Artificial intelligence is getting better these days, but before we had artificial neural net software and other fancy algorithms that could mimic animal brains, people tried using real animal brains to perform various tasks. Military projects have attempted to create various animal cyborgs -- mostly unsuccessfully. Perhaps someday there will be a truly impressive animal cyborg, but then again, we might regret such a creation.
- The CIA had a program called Operation Acoustic Kitty in the 1960s to create a cyborg cat. The geniuses who came up with this idea apparently never owned a cat before. Seriously, how do you train a cat to do anything? [url]
- The Navy has a robotic drone (okay, not a cyborg) that could be mistaken for a shark. Combat dolphins and other sea animals have been trained for military operations, so it isn't so surprising to see robot versions. However, these robots are probably pretty useless right now, but they'll improve. (And let's add some lasers to this robotic shark, Mr. Bigglesworth, okay? [/Dr. Evil voice]) [url]
- During WWII, there was an ingenious idea to arm bats with tiny incendiary bombs to attack Japanese cities. The US spent $2 million on development, using thousands of bats, before cancelling the project. [url]
If you'd like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post