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Are BMI prosthetics uncontrollable Frankensteinian monsters?

Are BMI prosthetics uncontrollable Frankensteinian monsters? The growing use of brain-machine interfaces (BMI) raises a number of legal and ethical concerns, in particular, when the BMI controls a prosthetic or other robotic device. For example, mediating a BMI via artificially intelligent (AI) software – particularly predictive AI software that may even take over control of the device in the event of too much noise – can confound issues of cause and effect. Significantly, the determination of cause is necessary for ascertaining and assigning criminal guilt. Further, recent research has shown that BMIs interfacing particularly via the brain’s posterior parietal cortex (PPC) can result in smoother motions by the prosthetic, in part given the PPC’s role in broadly planning limb movements. However, in tapping directly into this area of the brain, a prosthetic arguably will move as a result of preconscious thought rather than conscious thought, an important consideration when applied to criminal law that sees automatism as a potential defense. This distinction between conscious and preconscious control over a prosthetic becomes even more relevant as such an interface may also circumvent important command and control elements downstream of the BMI’s collected neural impulses, those command and control elements being particularly relevant for our (at least colloquial) conception of free will. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Brain-Computer Interfaces Taylor & Francis

Are BMI prosthetics uncontrollable Frankensteinian monsters?

Brain-Computer Interfaces , Volume 3 (3): 7 – Jul 2, 2016

Are BMI prosthetics uncontrollable Frankensteinian monsters?

Abstract

The growing use of brain-machine interfaces (BMI) raises a number of legal and ethical concerns, in particular, when the BMI controls a prosthetic or other robotic device. For example, mediating a BMI via artificially intelligent (AI) software – particularly predictive AI software that may even take over control of the device in the event of too much noise – can confound issues of cause and effect. Significantly, the determination of cause is necessary for ascertaining and...
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Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
ISSN
2326-2621
eISSN
2326-263x
DOI
10.1080/2326263X.2016.1207495
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The growing use of brain-machine interfaces (BMI) raises a number of legal and ethical concerns, in particular, when the BMI controls a prosthetic or other robotic device. For example, mediating a BMI via artificially intelligent (AI) software – particularly predictive AI software that may even take over control of the device in the event of too much noise – can confound issues of cause and effect. Significantly, the determination of cause is necessary for ascertaining and assigning criminal guilt. Further, recent research has shown that BMIs interfacing particularly via the brain’s posterior parietal cortex (PPC) can result in smoother motions by the prosthetic, in part given the PPC’s role in broadly planning limb movements. However, in tapping directly into this area of the brain, a prosthetic arguably will move as a result of preconscious thought rather than conscious thought, an important consideration when applied to criminal law that sees automatism as a potential defense. This distinction between conscious and preconscious control over a prosthetic becomes even more relevant as such an interface may also circumvent important command and control elements downstream of the BMI’s collected neural impulses, those command and control elements being particularly relevant for our (at least colloquial) conception of free will.

Journal

Brain-Computer InterfacesTaylor & Francis

Published: Jul 2, 2016

Keywords: artificial intelligence; criminal law; brain-machine interface; mens rea; free will; prosthetics; posterior parietal cortex (PPC); readiness potential

References