Studies point to ethical concerns related to brain-computer interfaces

Researchers at the North Carolina University have published two studies that outline ethical issues related to brain-computer interface (BCI) technologies. One of the studies concludes that ethicists need to further explore the physical and psychological effects of BCI. It also proposes a framework for guiding future research in this area, based on the question: ‘What would be the most legitimate public policies for regulating the development and use of various BCI neurotechnologies by healthy adults in a reasonably just, though not perfect, democratic society?’. The second study argues that there have been very few concerns raised so far about authenticity in the context of BCI. Authenticity refers to the extent to which an individual feels that their abilities and accomplishments are their own, even if those abilities are augmented by BCI technologies, or their accomplishments were made with the assistance of BCI. The authors of the two studies note that more questions need to be raised as BCI technologies advance. Some of these questions include: How will we regulate them? Who will have access to them? How can they be used?