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Is There Anything Wrong With Using AI Implantable Brain Devices to Prevent Convicted Offenders from Reoffending?


Gilbert, F and Dodds, S, Is There Anything Wrong With Using AI Implantable Brain Devices to Prevent Convicted Offenders from Reoffending?, Neuro-interventions and the Law: Regulating Human Mental Capacity, Oxford University Press, N Vincent et al (ed), Oxford, UK, pp. 114-127. ISBN 9780190651145 (2020) [Research Book Chapter]

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Copyright 2020 Oxford University Press

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DOI: doi:10.1093/oso/9780190651145.003.0005


The world’s first clinical trial using invasive ‘intelligent’ brain devices has been completed with significant success. The tested devices predict a specific neuronal event (epileptic seizure) allowing people implanted with the device to be forewarned and to take steps to reduce or avoid the impact of the event. In principle, these kinds of devices could be used to predict other neuronal events and allow those implanted with the device to take precautionary steps or to automate drug delivery so as to avoid unwanted outcomes. This chapter examines moral issues arising from the hypothetical situation where such devices are used to ensure that convicted criminal offenders are safe for release into society. We distinguish two types of predictive technologies: advisory systems and automated therapeutic response systems. The purpose of this chapter is to determine which of these two technologies would generate fewer ethical concerns. While both technologies present similar ethical issues, the latter raises more concerns. In particular it raises the possibility that individual moral decision-making and moral autonomy can be threatened by the use of such implants.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:brain implants, criminal, predictive devices, responsibility
Research Division:Philosophy and Religious Studies
Research Group:Applied ethics
Research Field:Ethical use of new technology
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Ethics
Objective Field:Bioethics
UTAS Author:Gilbert, F (Associate Professor Frederic Gilbert)
ID Code:113052
Year Published:2020
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (DE150101390)
Deposited By:Office of the School of Humanities
Deposited On:2016-12-09
Last Modified:2021-04-28

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