xi's moments
Home | From the Press

Ethical guidelines set BCI research on right wavelength

China Daily | Updated: 2024-02-20 07:43

A visitor experiences the brain-computer interface technology from Tianjin University at the seventh World Intelligence Congress in Tianjin. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

The Ministry of Science and Technology has published on its official website the nation's first ethical guidelines on Brain-Computer Interface research, providing guidance for the emerging technology.

The guidelines provide clear definitions of the key terms related to BCI technology, assess the potential risks for different types of BCI technology, and lay out targeted regulatory details in response to the identified risks. For instance, while making general requirements for conducting BCI research, the guidelines emphasize the technology developers must comply with the relevant laws and regulations in China, adhere to internationally recognized ethical principles, and conform with the professional consensus and technical standards established by the scientific community, which is widely believed to have set a "bottom line" for the development of BCI technology.

On the basis of the "bottom line", the guidelines also draw a clear "redline" by prohibiting illegal activities such as infringement of the legitimate rights and interests of others and disruption of social stability through BCI research. Additionally, publishing advertisements that include information exaggerating the true effects of BCI is also prohibited.

These prohibitions embody research ethics that are a recognized consensus of the scientific community, which is also the principle that other emerging technologies need to comply with. To make it stricter, the guidelines also indicate that it will be "regularly evaluated and timely revised" to catch up with the latest breakthroughs in the technology. This indicates that the ethical norm itself may be updated at any time in order to construct an integrated mechanism that will best serve the emerging technologies.

Of course, the issuing of the guidance is only the first step in ensuring the healthy development of the emerging technology. To implement the guidance, it is important to establish a comprehensive governance framework that can guide enterprises to strengthen their self-discipline with regard to key aspects of the technology such as data storage, product development, early warning systems, and emergency response capabilities, so as to make the industry prosper on its own.

Emerging technologies such as BCIs possess immense potential to change the world, but the research also poses greater ethical risks, which highlights the necessity of timely releasing ethical guidelines to demarcate the boundaries for research. It is hoped that more guidelines will be established for more emerging technologies so as to ensure their healthy and orderly development.


Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349