I Know You Did It...

Your brain told me so. A fascinating article about the concern over emerging technologies that map the brain and as a result can detect "guilty knowledge". Talk about opening up a gigantic can of ethical worms. A lot of the questions that leapt into my mind were penned in the article: "We could have pictures of everybody's head on file. Is that a good idea? Who would run it? How would you get access to such a thing? Somebody may say, 'I want to take a picture of my head to show you that I'm innocent, but it may cost something.' Will it be just a gimmick for the rich? Should we insist that everybody have fair access if it comes up for legal matters?"

A new branch of ethics, called neuroethics, is taking a front seat to see that society understands the implications of neuroscience and the new devices that it enables. In a related article, the authors of "Bioethics and the Brain" (from the June issue of IEEE Spectrum), voiced that the consequences of new technologies are hard to predict, however - "Even if we can never fully anticipate the impact of employing these technologies, it is important to try." I agree.

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