“Thou canst not touch the freedom of my mind,” wrote the playwright John Milton in 1634. But, nearly 400 years later, technological advances in machines that can read our thoughts mean the privacy of our brain is under threat. Now two biomedical ethicists are calling for the creation of new human rights laws to ensure people are protected, including “the right to cognitive liberty” and “the right to mental integrity”.
Scientists have already developed devices capable of telling whether people are politically right-wing or left-wing. In one experiment, researchers were able to read people’s minds to tell with 70 per cent accuracy whether they planned to add or subtract two numbers. Facebook also recently revealed it had been secretly working on technology to read people’s minds so they could type by just thinking. And medical researchers have managed to connect part of a paralysed man’s brain to a computer to allow him to stimulate muscles in his arm so he could move it and feed himself. FULL REPORT