Embodiment and Estrangement: Results from a First-in-Human "Intelligent BCI" Trial

F. Gilbert, M. Cook, T. O'Brien, J. Illes
2017 Science and Engineering Ethics  
While new generations of implantable brain computer interface (BCI) devices are being developed, evidence in the literature about their impact on the patient experience is lagging. In this article, we address this knowledge gap by analysing data from the first-in-human clinical trial to study patients with implanted BCI advisory devices. We explored perceptions of self-change across six patients who volunteered to be implanted with artificially intelligent BCI devices. We used qualitative
more » ... ological tools grounded in phenomenology to conduct in-depth, semi-structured interviews. Results show that, on the one hand, BCIs can positively increase a sense of the self and control; on the other hand, they can induce radical distress, feelings of loss of control, and a rupture of patient identity. We conclude by offering suggestions for the proactive creation of preparedness protocols specific to intelligent-predictive and advisory-BCI technologies essential to prevent potential iatrogenic harms.
doi:10.1007/s11948-017-0001-5 pmid:29129011 fatcat:xczucybsxfbhldcd63ntc24lku