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A direct connection to the human brain

Developing brain-computer interfaces

Where technology and ethics meet

Advances in neuroscience over the past twenty years have enabled us not only to better understand the human brain, but also to envision new technologies that promise to increase brain potential. These include direct brain-computer interfaces that enable certain areas of the brain to be connected to a machine.

The opportunities for innovation are staggering, but so are the ethical questions that they raise, which means that we must proceed with caution.

© Thomas Béhuret
Daria La Rocca, research engineer at the ThereSIS Lab

Brain-computer interfaces: no innovation without ethics

Daria La Rocca is a research engineer in the Data Science team at the ThereSIS Lab.

"Connecting a human brain directly to a machine in order to enable it to move a prosthesis, to optimise a workload or to communicate with a computer just using brain activity… What might have sounded like science fiction twenty years ago is gradually starting to take shape, with the first concrete applications of what scientists call brain-computer interfaces (BCIs)

Thales firmly believes that this new field of exploration will drive a broad range of potential innovations aimed at enhancing humans, which will monitor and reduce a pilot’s stress-levels, for example, or improve human cognitive functions during certain tasks in critical environments. 

However, in a field that affects the most personal thing that human beings possess, such technologies cannot be developed without an irreproachable ethical framework. For this reason, the “ethical design” approach to which Thales is committed in the development of its applications is of paramount importance."

With technology developing so quickly, it is vital that the legal framework keep pace.

Johan de Heer Segment Manager, Brain Computer Interfaces, at Key Technology Domain Systems

Brain-computer interfaces: a world of possibilities

BCIs are no longer a science fiction dream - they have real potential to transform our lives in fields ranging from medicine and healthcare to critical decision making.

Tomorrow's Technology: neuroscience

Explore the work of our researchers.

Human Behaviour Analytics.

Meet Thomas de Groot, Researcher.

Systems will work together with their operator in a human-machine team, where the machine will know the cognitive state of their operator in order to assist and support them in their decision-making and help in their well-being.

Brain-computer interfaces for detection and control.

Meet Daria La Rocca, Research Engineer.

Brain-computer interfaces will enable thoughts and intentions to be decoded and translated into commands and actions for external devices.