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Increasing brain-computer interface media depictions: pressing ethical concerns


Gilbert, F and Pham, C and Viana, JNM and Gillam, W, Increasing brain-computer interface media depictions: pressing ethical concerns, Brain-Computer Interfaces, 6, (3) pp. 49-70. ISSN 2326-263X (2019) [Refereed Article]

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2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

DOI: doi:10.1080/2326263X.2019.1655837


This article explores how brain-computer interfaces (BCI) are depicted in the English-speaking media, especially by news outlets. We use the FACTICA database to analyze depictions of BCIs from the first time the term appeared in the media (1993) up until 31 December 2017. We found a sample of over 4064 articles on BCIs. Results indicate that 76.91% of articles portrayed BCI positively, including 25.27% that were overly positive, while 26.64 % of the total articles contain claims about BCI-enabled enhancement. In contrast, 1.6% of articles had a negative tone and only 2.7% of articles flag issues explicitly related to ethical concerns surrounding BCI technology. We propose: 1) A proactive effort by the scientific community to push-out to the media stories focused on the limits and actual capabilities of BCIs, separating science from science fiction; 2) More influence should be brought to bear on the technological risks and process of informed consent.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:AI, bias, brain-computer interfaces, enhancement, ethics, media, news
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 (Dr Frederic Gilbert)
UTAS Author:Viana, JNM (Mr Noel Viana)
ID Code:134686
Year Published:2019
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (DE150101390)
Web of Science® Times Cited:5
Deposited By:Office of the School of Humanities
Deposited On:2019-08-28
Last Modified:2020-03-11

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