Traducir el pensamiento en acciónInterfaces cerebro-máquina y el problema ético de la agencia

  1. Aníbal Monasterio Astobiza
  2. Txetxu Ausín 1
  3. Mario Toboso 1
  4. Ricardo Morte 2
  5. Manuel Aparicio Payá 3
  6. Daniel López 1
  1. 1 Instituto de Filosofía

    Instituto de Filosofía

    Madrid, España

  2. 2 Laboratorio de Investigación e Intervención Filosófica y Ética)
  3. 3 Universidad de Murcia

    Universidad de Murcia

    Murcia, España


Revista de bioética y derecho: publicación del Máster en bioética y derecho

ISSN: 1886-5887

Year of publication: 2019

Issue: 46

Pages: 29-46

Type: Article

More publications in: Revista de bioética y derecho: publicación del Máster en bioética y derecho


The aim of this article is twofold: Firstly, we intend to describe the classical theory of intentional agency and to analyze how the neuro-technology of brain-machine interfaces (BCI) challenges the demands of that classical theory of agency and body consciousness. BCI neuro-technology works by implanting electrodes directly into the motor brain cortex that controls movement and detect neuronal signals associated with the intention to move, what is decoded by an algorithm on a computer in real time. Thus, someone could simply think about moving a leg or an arm and the tool (a prosthesis or exoskeleton) would receive the information to translate thought into action. This is yet feasible and its applications could involve rehabilitation of motor function and the possibility of enhancing human abilities. Both applications give rise to various several ethical implications but mainly to one that we call “the ethical problem of agency”. Secondly, we briefly explore the ethics of algorithms in the context of BCI neuro-technology and the way autonomy, responsibility, and informational privacy are understood. Finally, we advocate the need for an ethical framework of principles governing neuro-technology, such as the new neuro-rights.

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