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You own your own thoughts. But maybe not for long!

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Imagine you had a brain interface that could read all of your thoughts, conscious and subconscious. Who would own that data? Who would you give access to? Who could make money on it?

Given that we’re building brain interfacing technology at Kernel, and others are also building this technology, this is an important thought exercise that has been weighing heavily on my mind.



    Psychonaut, Aspiring Mathematician and Anarchist

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Some countries have already ruled that humans have complete jurisdiction over their own bodies and external ownership/tampering is a violation of fundamental human rights. I hazily remember a lawsuit where a biohacker sued their doctor for refusing to release software access to their cochlear implant because the plaintiff wanted to change the settings to allow themselves to hear sounds normal ears can't. The plaintiff won that case if I remember right, and even if they hadn't, draconian control over an individual citizens body is good enough reason for inssurection/revolution as any. That won't stop private corporations and corrupt governments from trying to do shady things with this tech though. This is one of the primary reasons I became a leftest actually. I saw amazing technology and refused to give up on the tech just because of potential avenues for abuse. I decided that society had to fundamentally changed for any of these wonderful inventions to flourish.

Out right now or I'd link stuff. But for anyone curious go find the anarcho-transhumanist manifesto on the net, and for that matter read some of William Gillis's work.

Current status: slaving away for the math gods of Pythagoras VII.




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This reminds me of the whole controversy concerning patents of genes.  Corporations that where the first describe the sequencing of a particular gene argued that they should be given a patent for that gene.  Eventually, at least as of my last reading on the subject, the courts ruled that what could be patented was the process of sequencing the gene, not the gene itself.


Off the top of my head, it would seem that your question can be seen as an analogy to that situation.  Humans should still have the right to the economic benefits of their own thought process.  Devices that help to facilitate and communicate those thought processes are fair game for patents and the property rights that proceed from such patents.  


I suspect this does not totally answer the question(s) posed by the opening post, but it seems like an appropriate place to at least start.

The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls

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