Securing the exocortex: A twenty-first century cybernetics challenge

Bonaci, Tamara and Herron, Jeffrey and Matlack, Charlie and Chizeck, Howard Jay (2014) Securing the exocortex: A twenty-first century cybernetics challenge. In: Norbert Wiener in the 21st Century (21CW), 2014 IEEE Conference on.

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An exocortex is a wearable (or implanted) computer, used to augment a brain’s biological high-level cognitive processes and inform a user’s decisions and actions. In this paper, we focus on Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCIs), a special type of exocortex used to interact with the environment via neural signals. BCI use ranges from medical applications and rehabilitation to operation of assistive devices. They can also be used for marketing, gaming, and entertainment, where BCIs are used to provide users with a more personalized experience. BCI-enabled technology carries a great potential to improve and enhance the quality of human lives. This technology, however, is not without risk. In this paper, we address a specific class of privacy issues, brain spyware, shown to be feasible against currently available non-invasive BCIs. We show this attack can be mapped into a communication-theoretic setting. We then show that the problem of preventing it is similar to the problem of information hiding in communications. We address it in an information-theoretic framework. Finally, influenced by Professor Wiener’s computer ethics work, we propose a set of principles regarding appropriate use of exocortex.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: cybernetics, exocortex, neural engineering, Brain-Computer Interfaces, privacy, communication system, information theory, game theory
Subjects: A Neural Engineering > AB BCI Security and Privacy
Divisions: Department of Electrical Engineering
Depositing User: Jeffrey Herron
Date Deposited: 16 Jun 2015 18:09
Last Modified: 16 Jun 2015 19:36

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