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What is the Brain-Machine Interface
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The US Government has taken note of emerging technologies and wants to probe their policy implications. In 2010 it established the Emerging Technologies Interagency Policy Coordination Committee. A joint effort of the Office for Science and Technology Policy, the Office of Management and Budget's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs and the Office of the US Trade Representative, the Committee aims to "give special attention to technologies so new […] that their policy implications are still being gauged". You can bet that neurotechnologies have and will be discussed by the Committee.
Neurotech companies are active in the public affairs arena, their trade association being the Neurotechnology Industry Organization (NIO). Formed in 2006, the NIO is "spearheading creative and effective legislation focused on accelerating innovation, increasing funding and speeding regulatory approval". It recently spurred and participated in a Congressional Hearing on The Future of Neuroscience Research and Development.
While the public has at times shown discomfort over emerging bio- and nanotechnologies (see, for example, North Caroline State University, 2008), it is unclear how it will react to the latest (and future) neurotechnologies. But more information should be available soon. The Nuffield Council on Bioethics has established a Working Party to conduct public consultations on the ethical issues raised by novel neurotechnologies, with the report to be published in summer 2013.
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