The Azerbaijan State News Agency


UNESCO to lead global dialogue on the ethics of neurotechnology

UNESCO to lead global dialogue on the ethics of neurotechnology

Baku, June 8, AZERTAC

The Member States of the Executive Board of UNESCO have approved the proposal of the Director General to hold a global dialogue to develop an ethical framework for the growing and largely unregulated Neurotechnology sector, which may threaten human rights and fundamental freedoms, according to the official website of the Organization.

A first international conference will be held at UNESCO Headquarters on 13 July 2023.

UNESCO’s international conference, taking place on 13 July, will start exploring the immense potential of neurotechnology to solve neurological problems and mental disorders, while identifying the actions needed to address the threats it poses to human rights and fundamental freedoms. The dialogue will involve senior officials, policymakers, civil society organizations, academics and representatives of the private sector from all regions of the world.

Lay the foundations for a global ethical framework

The dialogue will also be informed by a report by UNESCO’s International Bioethics Committee (IBC) on the “Ethical Issues of Neurotechnology”, and a UNESCO study proposing first time evidence on the neurotechnology landscape, innovations, key actors worldwide and major trends.

The ultimate goal of the dialogue is to advance a better understanding of the ethical issues related to the governance of neurotechnology, informing the development of the ethical framework to be approved by 193 member states of UNESCO – similar to the way in which UNESCO established the global ethical frameworks on the human genome (1997), human genetic data (2003) and artificial intelligence (2021).

UNESCO’s global standard on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence has been particularly effective and timely, given the latest developments related to Generative AI, the pervasiveness of AI technologies and the risks they pose to people, democracies, and jobs. The convergence of neural data and artificial intelligence poses particular challenges, as already recognized in UNESCO’s AI standard.

Neurotechnology covers any kind of device or procedure which is designed to “access, monitor, investigate, assess, manipulate, and/or emulate the structure and function of neural systems”. Neurotechnological devices range from “wearables”, to non-invasive brain computer interfaces such as robotic limbs, to brain implants currently being developed with the goal of treating disabilities such as paralysis.

One in eight people worldwide live with a mental or neurological disorder, triggering care-related costs that account for up to a third of total health expenses in developed countries. These burdens are growing in low- and middle-income countries too. Globally these expenses are expected to grow – the number of people aged over 60 is projected to double by 2050 to 2.1 billion (WHO 2022). Neurotechnology has the vast potential to reduce the number of deaths and disabilities caused by neurological disorders, such as Epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Stroke.

Without ethical guardrails, these technologies can pose serios risks, as brain information can be accessed and manipulated, threatening fundamental rights and fundamental freedoms, which are central to the notion of human identity, freedom of thought, privacy, and memory. In its report published in 2021, UNESCO’s IBC documents these risks and proposes concrete actions to address them.

Neural data – which capture the individual’s reactions and basic emotions – is in high demand in consumer markets. Unlike the data gathered on us by social media platforms, most neural data is generated unconsciously, therefore we cannot give our consent for its use. If sensitive data is extracted, and then falls into the wrong hands, the individual may suffer harmful consequences.

Brain-Computer-Interfaces (BCIs) implanted at a time during which a child or teenager is still undergoing neurodevelopment may disrupt the ‘normal’ maturation of the brain. It may be able to transform young minds, shaping their future identity with long-lasting, perhaps permanent, effects.

Memory modification techniques (MMT) may enable scientists to alter the content of a memory, reconstructing past events. For now, MMT relies on the use of drugs, but in the future it may be possible to insert chips into the brain. While this could be beneficial in the case of traumatised people, such practices can also distort an individual’s sense of personal identity.

Currently 50% of Neurotech Companies are in the US, and 35% in Europe and the UK. Because neurotechnology could usher in a new generation of 'super-humans', this would further widen the education, skills, wealth and opportunities' gap within and between countries, giving those with the most advanced technology an unfair advantage.

Share news on social media

Follow us on social network

Müəlliflə əlaqə

Statement by Presidential Administration of the Republic of Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan sends medical aid for injured in fuel tank blast in Khankendi

Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry discloses list of military equipment, weapons and ammunition seized in Karabakh region

Explosion rocks petrol station in Khankendi

Baku hosts 3rd meeting of Working Group on Agriculture Cooperation of Organization of Turkic States

Azerbaijan represented at international art forum

Defense Ministry: Combat equipment once again seized in territory of Kalbajar district

President of Türkiye: We expect Armenia to accept hand of peace extended to it and be sincere

Erdogan: Our Azerbaijani brothers showed justice and mercy characteristic of Turkic people to the whole world

Egypt sets a presidential election for December with el-Sissi likely to stay in power until 2030

Azerbaijan administered 282 COVID-19 jabs over past week

President of Türkiye: Igdir-Nakhchivan gas pipeline project will contribute to energy security of Europe

President Erdogan: Turkish-Azerbaijani relations are at an exceptional level, unparalleled in the world

NASA capsule with 1st asteroid sample lands in US state of Utah

President of Azerbaijan: Important steps have been taken to increase our turnover with Türkiye

Azerbaijan logged 229 new COVID-19 cases over past week

Recep Tayyip Erdogan: I felt proud to see the progress achieved by Nakhchivan

Zelenskyy says 1st batch of US Abrams tanks arrived in Ukraine

Libya says Derna mayor, other officials detained as part of investigation into deadly dam collapse

President: Azerbaijan-Türkiye relations are at their highest

President of Türkiye Recep Tayyip Erdogan completed his official visit to Azerbaijan VIDEO

President Ilham Aliyev: Signing of protocol of intent on the construction of the Kars-Nakhchivan railway is a historic event

President Ilham Aliyev to Erdogan: Your statements expressing the interests of Azerbaijan at UN are yet another step of brotherhood

Official lunch was hosted in honor of President of Türkiye

From Volkan Bozkir, President of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Member of Nizami Ganjavi International Center

President: I am sure that the process of integration of the Armenian population of Karabakh into Azerbaijani society will be successful

Statement by Presidential Administration of the Republic of Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan Army Units seized various military equipment, weapons, ammunition in Aghdam district, Defense Ministry

Turkish and Azerbaijani Presidents attended inauguration of Nakhchivan Military Repair and Production Complex VIDEO

President: People living in the Karabakh region are citizens of Azerbaijan regardless of their ethnicity

President Ilham Aliyev: Five days ago, Azerbaijan fully secured its sovereignty

Azerbaijani karate fighters bring home five medals from France

President of Azerbaijan: Armenia had territorial claims against Nakhchivan

President Ilham Aliyev and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made press statements VIDEO

President Ilham Aliyev: Construction of Igdir-Nakhchivan gas pipeline will give a new impetus to our relations

Azerbaijan, Türkiye signed documents VIDEO

President Ilham Aliyev and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attended groundbreaking ceremony for Igdir-Nakhchivan gas pipeline VIDEO

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev held one-on-one meeting with President of Türkiye Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Nakhchivan VIDEO

Peruvian media highlights Azerbaijan’s anti-terrorist measures in Karabakh region

Edinburgh hosts awareness campaign on Armenian mine terror against Azerbaijan

Western Azerbaijan Community: We call on France to support the return of Azerbaijanis expelled from Armenia

Azerbaijan attends 12th Conference of Ministers of Culture in Islamic World

Azerbaijani female badminton player claims bronze in 2023 Peru Challenge

Official welcome ceremony was held for President of Türkiye Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Nakhchivan VIDEO

ANAMA: 40 more unexploded ordnances (UXO) detected on liberated territories over past week

Another meeting with representatives of Armenian residents living in Karabakh region wraps up in Khojaly

Azerbaijan’s Shusha city declared Cultural capital of Islamic world for 2024

President of Türkiye Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived on official visit to Azerbaijan
Turkish President was welcomed at Nakhchivan International Airport VIDEO

OIC General Secretariat condemns desecration of a copy of the holy Quran in the Netherlands

TeslaBot shows off new skills

Azerbaijan’s MFA: France’s attempts to apply its egregious neo-colonial policies in South Caucasus are unacceptable

Azerbaijan’s MFA responds to statement by French President Emmanuel Macron

Kosovo declares national day of mourning after attack on police

Defense Ministry: Azerbaijani military truck hit anti-tank mine, two servicemen killed

® Kapital Bank took the initiative to host an event called “Data Talks”

Next meeting with representatives of Armenian residents living in Karabakh region kicks off in Khojaly VIDEO

Thailand receives first Chinese visitors under a new visa-free policy to boost tourism

Azerbaijani badminton players grab bronze at 10th LI-NING Zagreb Youth Open

Surgeons perform second pig heart transplant, trying to save a dying man

Azerbaijan extends special quarantine regime until January 2, 2024

Special programme tribute to "Uzeyir Hajibeyli": Father of Azerbaijan's Classical Music” broadcast by Pakistani radio on the occasion of the 15th Uzeyir Hajibeyli International Music Festival

Azerbaijani fencing team claim two medals in Satellite Sabre tournament 2023

Azerbaijan’s State Security Service calls on Armenian population of Karabakh region

Azerbaijani Para taekwondo team rank 3rd in Veracruz 2023 World Para Taekwondo Championships

Global Sustainable Transport Forum kicks off in Beijing

Heydar Aliyev Center hosts concert of famous pianist Elisso Bokvadze

Cuban Embassy in Washington attacked with molotov cocktails: Minister

Chile raises alert for Villarrica volcano to amber

Azerbaijani oil price rises in world markets

Oil prices surge in world markets

The death toll from a truck bomb at a checkpoint in Somalia rises to 21

10 killed, nearly 100 injured in Taiwan factory fire, explosions

S. Korea, US stage joint naval drills in East Sea amid N.K. threats

Morata brace gives Atletico Madrid bragging rights with impressive derby win over Real Madrid

Azerbaijan Greco-Roman wrestling team becomes world champion

Azerbaijani Para shooter claims gold at World Championships in Peru

Khankendi city connected to Azerbaijan's energy grid

Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry: Seizure of ammunition continues in Karabakh region

16 dead in SW China coal-mine fire

Azerbaijani judoka grabs bronze at Baku Grand Slam 2023

Germany considering short-term migration border controls with Poland and the Czech Republic

Russian peacekeepers to fully support restoration of peaceful life in Karabakh – Lavrov

Quadrocopter of Armenian armed forces formations detected, Defense Ministry

Clashes in Paris as thousands march against police volence

Italian President Sergio Mattarella, PM Meloni among many to pay respects to Napolitano

Leadership of Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry visits military hospital VIDEO

Western Azerbaijan Community strongly condemns report of Human Rights Watch

Defense Ministry: Weapons and ammunition seized in direction of Yukhari Veysalli village of Khojavend district VIDEO

Azerbaijan to ensure exit of Armenian armed forces personnel from Karabakh region, says Ministry of Internal Affairs

Azerbaijani Para-taekwondo fighter crowned world champion

After deadly climate disasters, public health crisis stalks Greece

Azerbaijani, Iranian FMs discuss latest situation in the region

UN Secretary-General informed about process of disarmament of Armenian armed formations in Karabakh

Azerabaijan's Defense Ministry: Ammunition found in territory of a company illegally operated in Kalbajar VIDEO

Armenian residents set houses on fire en masse in Aghdara, Defense Ministry

Biggest-ever Asian Games begin in China’s Hangzhou

BBC radio highlights Azerbaijan’s efforts towards improving humanitarian situation in region following local anti-terrorist measures

Jeyhun Bayramov: Despite to the 30 year-long military occupation, Azerbaijan initiated normalization agenda

Minister: Azerbaijan advocates for reinvigorated and reformed multilateral system

Foreign Minister: Azerbaijan’s role in global energy security has further expanded