Embodiment and Estrangement

Results from First-in-Human “Intelligent BCI” Trial

F. Gilbert, M. Cook, T. O’Brien, J. Illes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

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 methodological 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83–96
Number of pages14
JournalScience and Engineering Ethics
Volume25
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Advisory system
  • Agency
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Assistive system
  • Autonomy
  • Brain computer interfaces
  • Brain implant, brain device, capacities
  • Brain machine interfaces
  • Control
  • Embodiment
  • Estrangement
  • Identity
  • Implantable device
  • Phenomenology
  • Predictive brain devices
  • Predictive device
  • Qualitative interviews
  • Self

Cite this

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title = "Embodiment and Estrangement: Results from First-in-Human “Intelligent BCI” Trial",
abstract = "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 methodological 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.",
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Embodiment and Estrangement : Results from First-in-Human “Intelligent BCI” Trial. / Gilbert, F.; Cook, M.; O’Brien, T.; Illes, J.

In: Science and Engineering Ethics, Vol. 25, No. 1, 02.2019, p. 83–96.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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