Chile becomes the first country to legislate on neurotechnologies

With its revolutionary law passed unanimously by the Senate and approved by the Chamber of Deputies on Wednesday, September 29, Chile became the first nation in the world to revise its Constitution on the subject of brain rights. The authorities’ stated goal: to protect Chilean citizens from technologies wishing to interfere with their mental health.

The objective of this reform is simple: to preserve the psychological integrity of Chilean citizens by preventing an individual or a company from being able, through the development of a new technology on the human brain, “to increase, decrease or disrupt this integrity. individual without appropriate consent ”.

This sentence, taken from the speech of opposition senator Guido Girardi at the podium, is heavy with meaning because it should serve as an example to many other countries on this subject. “We are pleased that this is the start of a global assessment on how technologies should be used for the good of humanity,” detailed the politician in an excerpt posted on Twitter.

Long perceived as futuristic or in the field of science fiction, neurotechnology has nevertheless made great strides in recent years. According to Rafael Yuste, an expert from the Brain Project in Chile quoted by Courrier International, this technology is “1 or 2 years away from decoding our thoughts and probably 5 or 10 years from being able to modify our thoughts and our behavior”.

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Breathtaking results on A monkey

This innovative law therefore puts barriers to unhealthy use of this technology. “It means our free will is at risk. If someone can manipulate or control your mind, or introduce ideas that are not your own, you lose your freedom to be human, ”concluded Guido Girardi.

The start-up Neuralink, co-founded by billionaire Elon Musk, is currently working on brain implants that have already been proven on a monkey in April 2021. The animal was able to play the Pong game without a controller, just by controlling the movements of the racket with his thought thanks to the implant retransmitting the neurological signals emitted by his brain.

Conversely, used in a positive way, neurotechnology is capable of working miracles, such as allowing Alzheimer’s patients to regain their memory or helping people unable to walk and speak.

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