Artificial Intelligence News World

Ethical Guideline for BCI Released by China

China introduced an ethical guideline for brain-computer interfaces (BCI) to improve the oversight of BCI research and minimize the ethical risks in the research and technological applications. The guideline, issued by the Ministry of Science and Technology, follows Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk’s announcement of the achievement of implanting Neuralink’s brain chip into the first human patient, according to the Emirates News Agency.

The guideline was compiled by the AI ethics subcommittee of the National Commitee for Science and Technology Ethics. It is meant to serve as a reference for research, as it outlines the basic norms for conducting BCI research. The goal is to safeguard health, overall well-being, and respect the participants in the research, as well as apply the technology moderately, fairly and while ensuring equity, safety, and informed consent.

The guideline states that clinical trials of advanced BCI products can be conducted with full informed consent under strict compliance with national regulations on medical devices and clinical research for rare diseases that have no other suitable treatment methods.

Further, it is said that BCI research must establish a safety risk prevention and control mechanism, which includes strict operating procedures, common error correction mechanisms, emergency plans, suspension procedures and emergency remedial guidelines as a way of securing the subjects.

BCI research also must improve system transparency, interpretability, reliability, and controllability. The guideline defines enhanced BCI as technologies improving users’ perception, cognition, and motor skills in normal bodily functions. They are usually non-invasive, but require close attention to minimize risks, as well as strict control over research potentially causing addiction or affecting human thinking and behavior, according to the Emirates News Agency.

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