Recommendations for Responsible Development and Application of Neurotechnologies

Sara Goering, Eran Klein, Laura Specker Sullivan, Anna Wexler, Blaise Agüera y Arcas, Guoqiang Bi, Jose M. Carmena, Joseph J. Fins, Phoebe Friesen, Jack Gallant, Jane E. Huggins, Philipp Kellmeyer, Adam Marblestone, Christine Mitchell, Erik Parens, Michelle Pham, Alan Rubel, Norihiro Sadato, Mina Teicher, David WassermanMeredith Whittaker, Jonathan Wolpaw, Rafael Yuste

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Advancements in novel neurotechnologies, such as brain computer interfaces (BCI) and neuromodulatory devices such as deep brain stimulators (DBS), will have profound implications for society and human rights. While these technologies are improving the diagnosis and treatment of mental and neurological diseases, they can also alter individual agency and estrange those using neurotechnologies from their sense of self, challenging basic notions of what it means to be human. As an international coalition of interdisciplinary scholars and practitioners, we examine these challenges and make recommendations to mitigate negative consequences that could arise from the unregulated development or application of novel neurotechnologies. We explore potential ethical challenges in four key areas: identity and agency, privacy, bias, and enhancement. To address them, we propose (1) democratic and inclusive summits to establish globally-coordinated ethical and societal guidelines for neurotechnology development and application, (2) new measures, including “Neurorights,” for data privacy, security, and consent to empower neurotechnology users’ control over their data, (3) new methods of identifying and preventing bias, and (4) the adoption of public guidelines for safe and equitable distribution of neurotechnological devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalNeuroethics
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Agency
  • Bias
  • Enhancement
  • Identity
  • Privacy
  • Public policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Health Policy
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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