Science

Chile becomes the first country to legislate on neurotechnologies

With its revolutionary law approved unanimously by the Senate and approved by the Chamber of Deputies on Wednesday, September 29, Chile became the first nation in the world to review its Constitution on brain rights. The declared objective of the authorities: to protect Chilean citizens from technologies that wish to interfere with their mental health.

The objective of this reform is simple: to preserve the psychological integrity of Chilean citizens by preventing an individual or a company from being able, through the development of a new technology in the human brain, to “increase, decrease or disrupt this integrity. Without the appropriate consent. ”.

This phrase, taken from opposition senator Guido Girardi’s speech on the podium, is loaded with meaning because it should serve as an example to many other countries on this issue. “We are pleased that this is the beginning of a global assessment on how technologies should be used for the good of humanity,” the politician detailed in an excerpt posted on Twitter.

Long perceived as futuristic or in the field of science fiction, neurotechnology has made great strides in recent years. According to Rafael Yuste, an expert from the Brain Project in Chile cited by Courrier International, this technology is “1 or 2 years from decoding our thoughts and probably 5 or 10 years from being able to modify our thoughts and behavior.”

Impressive results in a jumpsuit

Therefore, this groundbreaking law puts barriers to the unhealthy use of this technology. “It means that our free will is at risk. If someone can manipulate or control your mind, or introduce ideas that are not yours, you lose your freedom as a human being ”, concluded Guido Girardi.

The startup Neuralink, co-founded by billionaire Elon Musk, is currently working on brain implants that were already tested on a monkey in April 2021. The animal was able to play the Pong game without a controller, simply by controlling the movements. of the racket with his thought thanks to the implant that relays the neurological signals emitted by his brain.

On the contrary, if used in a positive way, neurotechnology is capable of working miracles, such as allowing Alzheimer’s patients to regain their memory or helping people who cannot walk or speak.


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