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The Social Impact of Brain Machine Interfaces: Closing Remarks

By Tim Brown and Hannah Martens
With the generous support of the MacArthur Foundation, the Center for Neurotechnology and Tech Policy Lab (both at the University of Washington) hosted a series of three online, exploratory workshops on the social impacts of brain-machine interfaces (BMIs). Existing work in this area examines the privacy and security dimensions of BMIs as well as questions of personal identity, authenticity, free will, and responsibility. Substantially less work interrogates BMI research, development, and commercialization from the perspective of social justice. These workshops were an attempt to do just that by foregrounding concerns such as human rights, civil liberties, structural inequality, representation in research, and inclusive design. These workshops were meant to place technologists and humanists in direct conversation about how current and future BMIs will impact society. Panelists and invited discussants included interdisciplinary neurotechnology researchers…

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