Ethical Considerations Behind Brain-computer Interface Research
Emergent neurotechnologies such as brain-computer interface (BCI) systems provide exciting opportunities for repairing, enhancing, and understanding the brain and the body. Specifically, rapid advances in neural-interface science and robotics technology have made it possible to communicate bi-directionally with the brain. During the last decade, there have been remarkable developments in the creation of algorithms that decipher neural activity and the use of those algorithms in BCI systems to reconstitute motor function. These developments promise to reduce the burden of disability after accident, injury, or illness. Ethical questions arise, however, because these profound advances are happening quickly and these neuro-robotic technologies have the potential to alter humanity as we know it.