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Cognitive Connections, Ethical Reflections: Investigating the Ethical Implications of Brain-Brain Interfaces
  • Jad A. Atweh,
  • Tomeka Carroll,
  • Ronnie Hill
Jad A. Atweh

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Tomeka Carroll
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Ronnie Hill
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In the era of advancing neurotechnology, the emergence of brain-brain interfaces (BBIs) has opened up new frontiers in human communication and connectivity. BBIs are direct communication pathways between the brain of one subject and the brain of another subject that allow the users to extract and exchange information. Compared to traditional biomedical devices, brain-brain interfaces were originally more invasive between only two people; however, emerging research paves the way for new non-invasive interfaces between two or more brains. As this technology continues to grow with no current regulatory framework and cognitive connections between individuals become a tangible reality, a crucial question arises: What are the ethical implications of this remarkable technology? In this paper, we embark on a journey of ethical reflections, delving into the intricate considerations and moral dilemmas surrounding BBIs. We examine the fundamental values at stake, such as autonomy, privacy, and the potential for misuse, while drawing insights from established ethical frameworks. Analyzing the risks of this technology presents similar results, where we observe risks of safety from invasive neurosurgery, in addition to privacy-related risks upon the misuse of such an information network. Through a comprehensive analysis, we seek to shed light on the complex interplay between cognitive connections and ethical responsibilities, paving the way for informed decision-making and responsible development of this groundbreaking field.  Since the maliciousness of this interface highly depends on its uses, we conclude that its uses should be currently restricted to the medical field, where it is needed the most. We also provide additional recommendations and future work aiming to pave the way to referenceable standards and frameworks that prevent the exploitation of BBI users and protect their privacy.