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How linking our brains to computers could change humanity

A researcher uses a Brain-Computer-Interface helmet, which detects the signals of the brain with electrodes placed on the scalp. Photo: Jean-Pierre Clatot / AFP via Getty Images.

"Neurotechnology: The next frontier ... Using thought to control machines Brain-computer interfaces may change what it means to be human," per an Economist editorial.

  • Why it matters: "[A]s uses move to the augmentation of abilities, whether for military purposes or among consumers, a host of concerns will arise. Privacy is an obvious one: the refuge of an inner voice may disappear. Security is another: if a brain can be reached on the internet, it can also be hacked."
  • "Inequality is a third: access to superhuman cognitive abilities could be beyond all except a self-perpetuating elite. Ethicists are already starting to grapple with questions of identity and agency that arise when a machine is in the neural loop."
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