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Brainhacking, ethics and fighting toxic prose

At the Hackathon in Dublin this weekend, I’m interviewing participants in order to understand their perspectives on the ethical and aesthetic implications of BCI art and technology.

It’s been fascinating to track the patterns of convergence and divergence in people’s responses; for instance, almost everyone agrees that scientists and artists have a great deal to teach each other, but I’ve heard a wide range of opinions about art’s role as a didactic tool.

One particularly fruitful line of questioning has had to do with mediation. In theory, could tracking brain data give us direct access to someone’s emotions and states of mind? Or is this kind of information essentially incommunicable except through layers of mediation and metaphor? I’m looking forward to investigating these questions in more detail. In the meantime, wish me luck in my battle (pictured here) against toxic prose!

By Veronica Alfano

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