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Ethical Aspects of BCI Technology: What Is the State of the Art?

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Brain–Computer Interface (BCI) technology is a promising research area in many domains. Brain activity can be interpreted through both invasive and non-invasive monitoring devices, allowing for novel, therapeutic solutions for individuals with disabilities and for other non-medical applications. However, a number of ethical issues have been identified from the use of BCI technology. In this paper, we review the academic discussion of the ethical implications of BCI technology in the last five years. We conclude that some emerging applications of BCI technology—including commercial ventures that seek to meld human intelligence with AI—present new and unique ethical concerns. Further, we seek to understand how academic literature on the topic of BCIs addresses these novel concerns. Similar to prior work, we use a limited sample to identify trends and areas of concern or debate among researchers and ethicists. From our analysis, we identify two key areas of BCI ethics that warrant further research: the physical and psychological effects of BCI technology. Additionally, questions of BCI policy have not yet become a frequent point of discussion in the relevant literature on BCI ethics, and we argue this should be addressed in future work. We provide guiding questions that will help ethicists and policy makers grapple with the most important issues associated with BCI technology.
Title: Ethical Aspects of BCI Technology: What Is the State of the Art?
Description:
Brain–Computer Interface (BCI) technology is a promising research area in many domains.
Brain activity can be interpreted through both invasive and non-invasive monitoring devices, allowing for novel, therapeutic solutions for individuals with disabilities and for other non-medical applications.
However, a number of ethical issues have been identified from the use of BCI technology.
In this paper, we review the academic discussion of the ethical implications of BCI technology in the last five years.
We conclude that some emerging applications of BCI technology—including commercial ventures that seek to meld human intelligence with AI—present new and unique ethical concerns.
Further, we seek to understand how academic literature on the topic of BCIs addresses these novel concerns.
Similar to prior work, we use a limited sample to identify trends and areas of concern or debate among researchers and ethicists.
From our analysis, we identify two key areas of BCI ethics that warrant further research: the physical and psychological effects of BCI technology.
Additionally, questions of BCI policy have not yet become a frequent point of discussion in the relevant literature on BCI ethics, and we argue this should be addressed in future work.
We provide guiding questions that will help ethicists and policy makers grapple with the most important issues associated with BCI technology.

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