The Ethics of Cognitive Interventions

Recently there has been a great deal of public discussion on the advances in artificial intelligence and the societal implications these advances portend.  A parallel set of developments in the technical abilities to influence human cognitive processes has not received a comparable degree of discussion.  A wide range of cognitive interventions are now available, with more being worked on.  We need to think through carefully the many ethical issues associated with these capabilities.  Some of the interventions are wholly positive.  Some appear to be ethically neutral, while some appear to have significant potential social downsides.  We need to consider on what basis do we make ethical choices in this area?  And who do we allow to make the choices?

A relatively new field of Neuroethics is emerging (see the Wikipedia article for an overview).  However, I believe that the ethics questions we need to consider go beyond the topics currently addressed by Neuroethics as it is currently considered.

The Excel workbook provides information describing the landscape of cognitive intervention capabilities and endeavors to lay out some of the ethical issues with which we need to grapple.  See the different tabs in the workbook.

Cognition Intervention Ethics–DLH8

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