One of my favored blogs I've previously mentioned is "Cop Car's Beat" (her cat's name). She mixes in some humor with accounts of her daily life, including gardening, primarily directed toward her family and friends.
She occasionally highlights some really thought-provoking items she's ferreted from sites with which I've not been familiar. Her background and work before retiring has been fascinating which I won't go into other than to say she has flown around quite a bit, then later she and her husband individually devoted themselves to helping others including in times of disaster.
One of her most recent posts captured my attention which she introduced for "Neuro Nerds" and prefaced with ...
"We better get on this or all sorts of things will occur automatically and we may or may not be alerted in a timely way to opt out if we're even given the choice."
The Slashdot article she briefly discusses notes that science has scanners now...
"...making manipulation of the human mind increasingly possible, creating a need for laws and protections to regulate use of the new tools, top neurologists said."
"If you can record and change neurons, you can in principle read and write the minds of people."
"This is not science fiction. We are doing this in lab animals."
This rather lengthy video is Dr. Rafael Yuste, a neuroscientist at New York's Columbia University discussing some of his research relative to this topic and AI (Artificial Intelligence):
Dr. Yuste said in a Reuters article:
"Usually people only start talking about ethics and regulations after a big scandal, but with neurotech I hope we can take on these questions before that scandal".
"Yuste introduced the NeuroRights Initiative, which advocates five "neuro-rights" to protect how a person's brain data is accessed and used, including a right to mental privacy and to free will."
Seems incredible to me now that mind reading is even possible, but Yuste describes the current scientific environment as being like "the Wild West". These are a couple cautionary views with more perspectives in the Reuters article:
"Ienca at ETH Zurich said major ethical issues could arise if the data commercial neurotech devices collect is widely shared and analyzed without proper safeguards, he said.
"We already have digital biomarkers that can indicate if someone is predisposed to developing dementia. Let's say (that) data is shared with a prospective employer, you could face discrimination on the job market," he said."
"In Chile, senate member Guido Girardi favors strict regulation. "We didn't regulate the big social media and internet platforms in time, and it costs us. We have lost control of all kinds of data, from our location to our romantic interests -- it's all up for sale," he said."
"If we allow for all this brain data to be taken, who knows what the consequences will be? We'll have algorithms deciding what it means to be 'happy'," Girardi said".
We should be concerned. Now is the time for action -- expecting and supporting our scientists to ensure criteria are established, determining what regulations may be needed and followed to protect the individual. Does privacy matter?
What are your thoughts on the potential of mind reading and the need to establish individual rights now to protect our brains, those of our children and grandchildren from future manipulation?