Recommendations for Responsible Development and Application of Neurotechnologies

Sara Goering, Eran Klein, Laura Specker Sullivan, Anna Wexler, Blaise Agüera y Arcas, Guoqiang Bi, Jose M. Carmena, Joseph J. Fins, Phoebe Friesen, Jack Gallant, Jane E. Huggins, Philipp Kellmeyer, Adam Marblestone, Christine Mitchell, Erik Parens, Michelle Pham, Alan Rubel, Norihiro Sadato, Mina Teicher, David WassermanMeredith Whittaker, Jonathan Wolpaw, Rafael Yuste

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations

Abstract

Advancements in novel neurotechnologies, such as brain computer interfaces (BCI) and neuromodulatory devices such as deep brain stimulators (DBS), 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 (1) democratic and inclusive summits to establish globally-coordinated ethical and societal guidelines for neurotechnology development and application, (2) new measures, including “Neurorights,” for data privacy, security, and consent to empower neurotechnology users’ control over their data, (3) new methods of identifying and preventing bias, and (4) the adoption of public guidelines for safe and equitable distribution of neurotechnological devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-386
Number of pages22
JournalNeuroethics
Volume14
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V.

Funding

The authors would like to thank Adrian Carter and Judy Illes for their helpful contributions to earlier drafts of the paper. Special thanks to Belle Saar Lively and Emily Kate Abrams Einhorn for assistance with the manuscript preparation. Supported by NSF DBI 1644405 (“Coordinating Global Brain Project,”; R. Yuste and C. Bargmann, PIs.), the IBM- Columbia University Data Science Institute grant (“Noninvasive Brain Computer Interface Data: Ethical and Privacy Challenges”; R. Yuste and Ken Shepard, PIs.), and the Precision Medicine & Society Program, from Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons (“Genomic Data Regulation: A Legal Framework for NeuroData Privacy Protection”; R. Yuste, and G. Hripcsak, PIs). The authors would like to thank Adrian Carter and Judy Illes for their helpful contributions to earlier drafts of the paper. Special thanks to Belle Saar Lively and Emily Kate Abrams Einhorn for assistance with the manuscript preparation. Supported by NSF DBI 1644405 (“Coordinating Global Brain Project,”; R. Yuste and C. Bargmann, PIs.), the IBM- Columbia University Data Science Institute grant (“Noninvasive Brain Computer Interface Data: Ethical and Privacy Challenges”; R. Yuste and Ken Shepard, PIs.), and the Precision Medicine & Society Program, from Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons (“Genomic Data Regulation: A Legal Framework for NeuroData Privacy Protection”; R. Yuste, and G. Hripcsak, PIs).

FundersFunder number
Legal Framework for NeuroData Privacy Protection
National Science FoundationDBI 1644405
International Business Machines Corporation
Data Science Institute, Columbia University
Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University

    Keywords

    • Agency
    • Bias
    • Enhancement
    • Identity
    • Privacy
    • Public policy

    Fingerprint

    Dive into the research topics of 'Recommendations for Responsible Development and Application of Neurotechnologies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this