a1 Long Island Center for Ethics, Long Island University, New York
a2 Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden

Revolutions in semiconductor device miniaturization, bioelectronics, and applied neural control technologies are enabling scientists to create machine-assisted minds, science fiction’s “cyborgs.” In a paper published in 1999, we sought to draw attention to the advances in prosthetic devices, to the myriad of artificial implants, and to the early developments of this technology in cochlear and retinal implants. Our concern, then and now, was to draw attention to the ethical issues arising from these innovations. Since that time, breakthroughs have occurred at a breathtaking pace.

Scientists, researchers, and engineers using differing methodologies are pursuing the possibilities of direct interfaces between brains and machines. Technological innovations as such are neither good nor evil; it is the uses devised for them that create moral implications. As there can be ethical problems inherent in the proper human uses of technologies and because brain chips are a very likely future technology, it is prudent to formulate policies and regulations that will mitigate their ill effects before the technologies are widespread.

Unlike genetic technologies, which have received widespread scrutiny within the scientific community, national governments, and international forums, brain–machine interfaces have received little social or ethical scrutiny. However, the potential of this technology to change and significantly affect humans is potentially far greater than that of genetic enhancements, because genetic enhancements are inherently limited by biology and the single location of an individual, whereas hybrids of human and machine are not so restricted.

Today, intense interest is focused on the development of drugs to enhance memory; yet, these drugs merely promise an improvement of normal memory, not the encyclopedic recall of a computer-enhanced mind combined with the ability to share information at a distance.

The potential of brain chips for transforming humanity are astounding. This paper describes advances in hybrid brain–machine interfaces, offers some likely hypotheses concerning future developments, reflects on the implications of combining cloning and transplanted brain chips, and suggests some potential methods of regulating these technologies. a


a We are grateful to Prof. Michah D. Hester for helpful comments on this article

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  1. How do you think all these progress came in the last 100 years, especially in medicine? Experimented on chimps? These findings about human brain and body can enhance standard of living FOR THEM, in victims case it’s a hell. I wrote about who THEM are in my other comments.

  2. In my book “THE FREEDOM CHIP” I attempted to present a sense of what it would be like socially and politically in a world where brain implants in humans is the norm. I hope to generate a serious discussion on the issue as our world appears to be drifting to such an eventuality. As my book points our “what is mere speculation today can become fact tomorrow.”

    • Brain implants in humans ARE the norm already, see I found that PERPS or whatever you’d like to call them almost all have some sord of brain implant which allowes them to hear victims internal dialog but it is all done in secret. I think it has to do something with transhumanism. Sometimes in future THEY will be the only ones left in the World and it will all become publicly known (they pass this right to do this to MC victims via blood line).

  3. Greetings,

    I started researching and reporting on cloning and brain implants back in 1996 with noticeable results. A Wikipedia contributer, for example, credited my essay on brain implants as the basis for their article on the subject.

    Today, those papers can be found at:

    I’m also working on a book that incorporates this and other information relating to Mind Control. I just put together some information on EEG BCI over the weekend.

    I’m open to suggestions, collaboration, etc., to help get this realm of information out to the public.

    Keep up the good fight,

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