Part 2 of the webinar series explored the dual-use and military applications of BCI technology and its implications in the context of international security.
Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) are technical means and systems that provide direct links and communication between the brain and external devices. BCIs have been used for decades in the medical field, mainly in rehabilitation, including by the armed forces to support the recovery of injured service members. Increasingly, however, the interest in the uses of BCIs has grown in scope, with novel applications exploring ways to enhance physical and cognitive functions in soldiers and weapon systems operators. Research areas include leveraging BCIs to monitor cognitive workload and performance, to enhance learning, to improve training, sensory and decision-making skills, as well as to enable remote direct control of weapon systems. Other areas of research explore convergences with the field of artificial intelligence, including using information and signal from the brain to train artificial intelligence systems.
BCIs can have a highly disruptive impact for the future of warfare, with significant legal and ethical consequences that deserve closer analysis.
UNIDIR is organizing a webinar series to unpack emerging questions related to the uses of brain-computer interfaces in the context of warfare and international security. This series will include three distinct webinars, which will cover the following topics:
An overview of the technology, including a discussion of existing and near-term capabilities and uses of BCIs; (watch Part 1 of the series here)
A session unpacking military applications, possible and anticipated security risks, including weaponization and misuses of BCIs;
A final webinar exploring key legal and governance challenges.
A recording of the event is available on UNIDIR's YouTube Channel or below.
Dr Riccardo Poli, University of Essex
Dr Margaret E. Kosal, Georgia Institute of Technology
Dr Frédéric Dehais, l'Institut Supérieur de l'Aéronautique et de l'Espace
This webinar took place on Wednesday 12 April 2023, 14:00-15:00 CET.