Embodiment and Estrangement: Results from a First-in-Human “Intelligent BCI” Trial

Publication/Creation Date
November 11 2017
Media Type
Journal Article
Persuasive Intent

While new generations of implantable brain computer interface (BCI) devices are being developed, evidence in the literature about their impact on the patient experience is lagging. In this article, we address this knowledge gap by analysing data from the first-in-human clinical trial to study patients with implanted BCI advisory devices. We explored perceptions of self-change across six patients who volunteered to be implanted with artificially intelligent BCI devices. We used qualitative methodological tools grounded in phenomenology to conduct in-depth, semi-structured interviews. Results show that, on the one hand, BCIs can positively increase a sense of the self and control; on the other hand, they can induce radical distress, feelings of loss of control, and a rupture of patient identity. We conclude by offering suggestions for the proactive creation of preparedness protocols specific to intelligent—predictive and advisory—BCI technologies essential to prevent potential iatrogenic harms.
HCI Platform
Location on Body
Hand, Brain

Date archived
August 7 2019
Last edited
August 7 2019
How to cite this entry
Frederic Gilbert, University Of Washington, University of Tasmania, Mark Cook, University Of Melbourne, St. Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne, Terence O'Brien, Judy Illes, University of British Columbia. (November 11 2017). "Embodiment and Estrangement: Results from a First-in-Human “Intelligent BCI” Trial". Science and Engineering Ethics. Springer Nature Publishing. Fabric of Digital Life. https://fabricofdigitallife.com/Detail/objects/3992