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

Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, NC State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-8103, USA
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Philosophies 2020, 5(4), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies5040031
Received: 25 September 2020 / Revised: 21 October 2020 / Accepted: 21 October 2020 / Published: 24 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Enhancement Technologies and Our Merger with Machines)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: brain–computer interface (BCI); brain–machine interface (BMI); ethical; legal and social Issues (ELSI); neuroethics; narrative review brain–computer interface (BCI); brain–machine interface (BMI); ethical; legal and social Issues (ELSI); neuroethics; narrative review
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MDPI and ACS Style

Coin, A.; Mulder, M.; Dubljević, V. Ethical Aspects of BCI Technology: What Is the State of the Art? Philosophies 2020, 5, 31. https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies5040031

AMA Style

Coin A, Mulder M, Dubljević V. Ethical Aspects of BCI Technology: What Is the State of the Art? Philosophies. 2020; 5(4):31. https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies5040031

Chicago/Turabian Style

Coin, Allen, Megan Mulder, and Veljko Dubljević. 2020. "Ethical Aspects of BCI Technology: What Is the State of the Art?" Philosophies 5, no. 4: 31. https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies5040031

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