Neurorights By Design, Are The Most Important Technological Frontier

Luis Cruz Huertas, SVP, Head of Infrastructure –BigData, Group Consumer Banking and Big Data Analytics Technology, Tec,DBS Bank

Luis Cruz Huertas, SVP, Head of Infrastructure –BigData, Group Consumer Banking and Big Data Analytics Technology, Tec,DBS Bank

In a world where personal identity, there is a new vertical, and it is a digital one; it expands every day, and it constructs with more and richer information. In return, this new identity, our digital identity, is more intimate and sensible.

Through smart devices and more intelligent IoT, people generate data that brings precision to personal aspects of vulnerability. Our personality, location, wishes, family ties, work, states of mind, health, gastronomical preferences, esthetics, music, political beliefs and religious ones.

Today, this information is processed in near real-time with advanced methods such as artificial machine learning and big data.

Today joint international groups are promoting laws and regulations that can protect the true meaning of personal digital information and its intrinsic relation of this protection with personal human rights and democracy. This has obligated countries to take steps forward in regulating data.

However, our obligation as technologists does not end with personal information, which is a sign of external digital footprints and traces of our identity and personality. There are companies in the field of health transportation and technology that are developing technologies that directly impact our neural activity. Using information exposed to the readers can influence and modify decisions and perceptions.

So question to what end technologies of this nature are used in human beings set up a profound ethical discussion that points to the necessity to legislate promptly on our Neurorights. I propose that we need a Neuro by design code framework to protect the integrity of the human brain and its neural activity and, in return, safe keep its personal identity and human integrity.

The creator Rafael Yuste, a neurobiologist and creator of NeuroRights Foundation (NRF), assurers that for the very first time, you will be able to see what is inside the human mind and change it.

The scientific community proposes an ethical regulation to take advantage of these technological advancements. We need to understand that these technologies are compelling and valuable to heal many neurological ailments of extensive data, such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease and many others.

Organisations like the NRF have raised the inclusion of Neurorights in the declaration of universal human rights. Five rights conform to this proposal the right to mental privacy, personal identity, free will, an increase in neurocognition and the protection against bias.

In the absence of a global jurisdiction framework for Neurorights, we should, just like we propose privacy by design, also have Neurorights by design that places development and technologies of any system that touches any of the rights as mentioned above to include design considerations on how to address each one of them.

We must be ethical once we establish connections of data through the use of artificial intelligence; if it would be possible to identify emotions and introduce different states, the thought of having a system that could read people's thoughts and access their memory is a potential danger to humanity.

Today we live in a world of big data techniques that influence people by providing neuromarketing and influencing them to make additional purchases end political stances. This violates the fundamental principles of human rights, and in return, it means that new rights are not fiction but our actual real and present danger.

Suppose Neurorights is trying to define a framework for international legal human rights aimed to protect the brain. Then we as technologists need to guarantee that system design considers Neurorights as part of the basic code principle when this software is being created.

The concept of neurotechnology is not new, and it goes back to the fundamental idea of recording information from our brain activity. Now, if these records of information can be altered by external influences that are such as neuromarketing power forces of influence that can alter society, these elements should be governed and framed in such a way that it protects the five Neurorights. 

“It is my point of view that Neurorights are directly associated with some of the existing fundamental narrow AI problems we face today.”

It is my point of view that Neurorights are directly associated with some of the existing fundamental narrow AI problems we face today. These models are biased. The questions we ask ourselves are how we can create AI models that are neutral in the position from the start.

AI models today are narrow enough that they ignore fundamental Neurorights, And this is because there is an emptiness of consciousness behind those models; however, the ongoing technological pressure corporations face today to have systems with an ability to frame and reframe has expanded to a list of mental influence that can in return affect our neurological state of mind.

We need to accept there is a new frontier, and that to provide precise definitions with scopes and strengths of existing rights and context and detailed policies with comprehensive proposals for a large variety of competing interests in a large diversity of the domains.

To protect our human rights, enterprises should look, instead of waiting for initiatives such as the NRI to take action, look inside and establish centres of excellence to create neuro-technology centres of advocacy to work at the grassroots of policy levels and promote ethical software development with the consciousness of defending Neurorights.

The call to action is for us as technologists to interpret these Neurorights and debate at the same time with the progress of new technological advancements of future virtual worlds such as gaming and metaverse that have a higher level of influence on our human brain and design to teach and filter the levels of ethical information we should present to the humans living inside the digital world. 

We are just in time to tackle the harsh truths of our digital transformation and digital personas and design to safeguard technologies that could alter people's thoughts by using algorithms that could impact our patterns, consumptions and preferences. 

In every good human intention, there is always an opposite; just like Neurosciences are doing good for humanity in cases that treat auditory nerves like cochlear implants to do brain stimulation, it is hoped that new future technologies can help with other deceases. 

It will be a great asset to humanity if we can control this perfect storm of technologies and prepare those that are least prepared by including design principles in code that I call Neuro By Design.

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