NeuroTechX and Future Considerations for Neurotechnology
|Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
As society has seen bursts of activity in the technology sector, we are continually discovering ways to harness these new advances. While some fields, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, have already been massively exploited by industry, neurotechnology hasn’t fully broken into consumer markets1. Generally, neurotechnology refers to any technology associated with the brain. Consumer products that use brain activity to modulate behaviour, such as the Muse headband, do exist, but neurotech remains predominantly in the hands of researchers and the science community1. As neurotechnological advances begin to take centre stage and become a part of the 21st-century zeitgeist, the ethical implications of these technologies must be fully appreciated and addressed2. One area of concern is the fear that limited access to neurotech will create further discrepancies between regions with regards to quality of life.
Access is not the only problem to address with regards to neurotechnology. As with many research endeavours, another consideration for neurotechnology is variability in research regulations between countries. Ethics approval is a fundamental component of both animal and human research, but the stringency of these regulations varies widely across regions.10 As neurotechnology progresses, some countries may be tempted to further relax ethical standards in an attempt to gain an advantage for publication purposes. Alternatively, some regions may allow procedures that are deemed illegal in other areas to capitalize on the financial prospects of these technologies. Elizabeth Parrish, the CEO of BioViva, travelled to Colombia to self-administer a gene therapy procedure that was not FDA approved in America11, highlighting the potential consequences of divergent regulations. Clearly, it will be important to maintain an open dialogue across economic strata and cultural lines regarding the future of neurotechnology to ensure everyone can properly benefit from these resources.
|NeuroTechX consists of seventeen chapters spanning four
continents with fifteen affiliated student clubs
We have developed an international channel for communication and collaboration through our chapters initiative. Chapters are local community groups, which act as points of entry for anyone with an interest or expertise in neurotechnology. While each chapter is unique, they share a common goal of facilitating the exchange of ideas and collaboration on projects. Chapters can take advantage of the tools and resources available across our worldwide community through our online platforms. NTX leverages social media as an information exchange platform to unite and inform our members across the globe. We believe that by establishing global connections, we can mitigate disparity in the neurotechnology sector and help ensure everyone has an equal opportunity to benefit from these advances.
|Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Until recently, information on neurotechnology was highly scarce and primarily restricted to academic institutions. Recognizing that these difficulties are likely exacerbated in areas with limited access to educational channels or neurotech industry NTX developed an education platform. NeuroTechEDU is an online, open-source learning portal consisting of informative blog articles, lessons on all facets of BCI, teaching webinars on YouTube, and an extensive resource list. By creating a consolidated portal with relevant neurotech information, we hope to accelerate the learning phase for new members and provide useful resources to our more experienced constituents. By keeping NeuroTechEDU online, free, and open-source, we ensure neurotechnology is not merely limited to those affiliated with prestigious institutions. We hope our educational resources will give access to interested parties all over the world. We expect significant neurotechnology advances in the coming years, and our goal is to train the future professionals of this industry. We hope that by providing uninhibited access to educational resources, we can ensure everyone is equally prepared for the upcoming neurotechnology boom.
We invite you to check out our monthly Neurotech Newsletter to stay informed on recent advances in the field, Also, join us on the NTX Slack workspace to engage in further neurotech discussions.
Want to cite this post?
Marano, M. (2018). NeuroTechX and Future Considerations for Neurotechnology. The Neuroethics Blog. Retrieved on , from http://www.theneuroethicsblog.com/2018/09/neurotechx-and-future-considerations.html