Recommendations for Responsible Development and Application of Neurotechnologies

Neuroethics 14 (3):365-386 (2021)
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Abstract

Advancements in novel neurotechnologies, such as brain computer interfaces and neuromodulatory devices such as deep brain stimulators, 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 democratic and inclusive summits to establish globally-coordinated ethical and societal guidelines for neurotechnology development and application, new measures, including “Neurorights,” for data privacy, security, and consent to empower neurotechnology users’ control over their data, new methods of identifying and preventing bias, and the adoption of public guidelines for safe and equitable distribution of neurotechnological devices.

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Author Profiles

Laura Specker Sullivan
University of Hawaii (PhD)
Michelle Trang Pham
Michigan State University
Sara Goering
University of Washington
7 more