Although brain chips are not yet at a stage where healthy individuals would benefit from them, they do have potential in improving deteriorating health. Another potential use might be that future criminals could be monitored by chips in their brains, according to experts.
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Legal theorists are bracing for a time when brain chips and augmented individuals will be widely adopted.
The topic of neurotechnology focuses on equipping electronic equipment for integration with the nervous system.
In a paper for The Law Society, Dr. Allan McCay proposed that courts may order criminals to accept microchips for behavior tracking or control while wargaming the potential effects of neurotechnology on the law.
“The political conditions might emerge for seeing neurotechnology as a broader solution to crime might come into place,” McCay wrote.
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Contrarily, a criminal might utilize brain-chip implantation as a defense against punishment.
“An offender, with expert witness support, might argue in their plea in mitigation that they have satisfactorily dealt with a mental condition that had a role in their offending by way of neurotechnological intervention,” Dr McCay wrote.
Dr. McCay also makes assumptions about the possibility of threat actors hacking into neurotechnology and defendants alleging hacking.
“In that eventuality the law would have to consider how this form of hacking did or did not fit into the scope of defences,” Dr McCay wrote.
It is essential to train legal professionals for the potential impact of neurotechnologies and artificial intelligence.
However, according to Nick Bostrom, the best-selling author on artificial intelligence, brain-computer interfaces are still a ways off because to the inherent risk of implantation.
“There are significant risks of medial complications – including infections, electrode displacement, hemorrhage, and cognitive decline – when implanting electrodes in the brain,” Bostrom writes in his book Superintelligence.
“For healthy subjects to volunteer themselves for neurosurgery, there would have to be some very substantial enhancement of normal functionality to be gained.”
One day, defense attorneys may contend that forcing offenders to undergo brain chip procedures while these dangers are present would be considered cruel and unusual punishment.
The article by McCay constantly emphasizes the tremendous aspirations for neurotechnology that come with well-known investors like Elon Musk and Meta.
Even looking far into the future, it is difficult to conceive there will not be better, more logical ways of reducing crime or tracking potential reoffenders than prying inside their brains.