And then there is the question of who is entitled to enhancement technologies. Cochlear implants may have been around for decades, but 75% of all implants have been fitted in people in developed countries, 25% of which are in the US. Is this fair? When it comes to newer technologies like tDCS, Cohen Kadosh says it is, because it depends on the price of neural enhancements. Once new and expensive technologies become as cheap as caffeine, everybody will have the chance to get them.
So, at least for the next decade, brain implants will focus on specific areas. The more brain regions we understand, the more such devices can be built. But scientists also need to think about how to make them reliable, safe and secure. And affordable. If their work succeeds, how smart we can be could depend on one’s financial means. Is this really the kind of world we want to live in?