Human Rights in the Age of Neurotechnology: Impact, Opportunities & Measures


An XRSI report based on responses to the Questionnaire on Neurotechnology and Human Rights to United Nations

The rapid advancement of neurotechnologies presents a unique intersection of opportunities and challenges in the realm of human rights. While these technologies hold the promise of revolutionizing healthcare, education, and alleviating human suffering, they also pose significant risks, particularly to privacy, personal agency, freedom of thought, and non-discrimination. The development of consumer-oriented neurotechnologies further amplifies these risks, potentially infringing on the rights of vulnerable groups such as individuals with neurological or psychiatric conditions, young people, and those within the criminal justice system.

This groundbreaking report, “Human Rights in the Age of Neurotechnology: Impact, Opportunities & Measures”, report by X Reality Safety Intelligence (XRSI) delves into the complex intersection of neurotechnology, human rights, and ethical considerations. As neurotechnology continues to advance at an exponential pace, the report explores the potential benefits and challenges, including the enhancement of human potential, mental well-being, and the alleviation of suffering. It also highlights the urgent need for robust frameworks and laws to safeguard fundamental human rights.

The report is a collaborative effort, featuring contributions from multi-disciplinary XRSI Advisors that are leading experts in the field. It emphasizes shared responsibility and the need for preventative measures, drawing insights from the Chilean case of regulating neurotechnologies and the XRSI Privacy & Safety framework version 2.0 research. The report introduces innovative informed consent models, focusing on the four core principles of Context, Control, Choice, and Respect and Autonomy, as essential components for risk mitigation.

“Human Rights in the Age of Neurotechnology: A Report by XRSI” serves as a critical guide for governments, policymakers, scientists, technologists, and global citizens. It calls for a proactive approach to recognize future neurotechnology misuse potential, enshrine neural rights, and build robust safeguards against misuse. The XRSI invites readers to explore the report and join the conversation on shaping the responsible development and use of neurotechnologies. The full report is available for download, providing a comprehensive understanding of the current landscape and a vision for a future where technology serves humanity without compromising our rights and values.

This report is prepared in accordance with responses to the mandate by the Human Rights Council resolution 51/3, to the Advisory Committee to prepare a study “on the impact, opportunities and challenges of neurotechnology with regard to the promotion and protection of all human rights” to be presented to the Council at its fifty-seventh session (September 2024).