Brain Implants Are Here

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"Brain Implants Are Here: Are They Terrifying or Exciting?" Episode of The 1A, broadcast 14 June 2023. NPR-DC, 47 minutes. Host: Jenn White. Link as of June 2023, here.[1]

By now, you may have seen the headlines: Elon Musk wants to put a computer chip inside your brain.

Musk’s brain implant company, Neuralink, recently received FDA approval for human trials. But it isn’t the only company developing brain chips. Other companies like Synchron and Blackrock Neurotech have already implanted patients with brain-computer interfaces in early trials.

The medical possibilities of brain implants are vast: from treating paralysis and blindness to depression and schizophrenia. Brain implants could also eventually help us learn new skills, improve concentration, motor skills, and more.

Is this a future that excites you? Or does it terrify you? And what ethical questions should we be asking now?

GUESTS Rajesh Rao: Hwang Professor of Computer Science and Engineering and co-Director of the Center for Neurotechnology at the University of Washington

Anna Wexler: Assistant Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, University of Pennsylvania

Kurt Haggstrom: Chief Commercial Officer, Synchron

Cf. and contrast handling of this theme in a number of works in SF, several listed here.[2]

RDE, finishing, 20Jun23