Scientific models and ethical issues in hybrid bionic systems research

AI and Society 22 (3):431-448 (2008)
Abstract
Research on hybrid bionic systems (HBSs) is still in its infancy but promising results have already been achieved in laboratories. Experiments on humans and animals show that artificial devices can be controlled by neural signals. These results suggest that HBS technologies can be employed to restore sensorimotor functionalities in disabled and elderly people. At the same time, HBS research raises ethical concerns related to possible exogenous and endogenous limitations to human autonomy and freedom. The analysis of these concerns requires reflecting on the availability of scientific models accounting for key aspects of sensorimotor coordination and plastic adaptation mechanisms in the brain
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