AI-Controlled Brain Implants for Mood Disorders Tested in People


From Nature: Two teams funded by the US military’s research arm, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), have begun preliminary trials of brain implants that record neural activity and automatically stimulate the brain to treat mood disorders.

“One challenge with stimulating areas of the brain associated with mood, he says, is the possibility of overcorrecting emotions to create extreme happiness that overwhelms all other feelings. Other ethical considerations arise from the fact that the algorithms used in closed-loop stimulation can tell the researchers about the person’s mood, beyond what may be visible from behaviour or facial expressions. While researchers won’t be able to read people’s minds, ‘we will have access to activity that encodes their feelings,’ says  Alik Widge, a neuroengineer and psychiatrist at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and engineering director of the MGH team. Like Chang and Goodman’s teams, Widge’s group is working with neuroethicists to address the complex ethical concerns surrounding its work.”

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  1. This is some sick shit. Emotions are an organism’s guide to survival. What arrogance to believe that somehow another person is going to be able to improve on nature’s guidance system! Is it going to be helpful to a soldier to be “happy” during a battle? Should the domestic abuse victim be “calm” while being beaten nearly to death by her abusive partner? Should a person crossing the road be “content” despite the danger of being hit by a car on the way across?

    Very dangerous idiocy! I can only hope that the trials will be so disastrous as to prevent any attempt to apply this kind of futuristic nightmare to the general run of humans!