News article by Rafael Yuste, Sara Goering, et al.
Published in Nature.
Artificial intelligence and brain–computer interfaces must respect and preserve people’s privacy, identity, agency and equality, say Rafael Yuste, Sara Goering and colleagues.
Consider the following scenario. A paralysed man participates in a clinical trial of a brain–computer interface (BCI). A computer connected to a chip in his brain is trained to interpret the neural activity resulting from his mental rehearsals of an action. The computer generates commands that move a robotic arm. One day, the man feels frustrated with the experimental team. Later, his robotic hand crushes a cup after taking it from one of the research assistants, and hurts the assistant. Apologizing for what he says must have been a malfunction of the device, he wonders whether his frustration with the team played a part.
This scenario is hypothetical. But it illustrates some of the challenges that society might be heading towards. [ . . . ]