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Weaponising neurotechnology: International humanitarian law and the loss of language

Noll, Gregor LU (2014) In London Review of International Law 2(2).
Abstract
In the past years, research on military applications of neuroscience has grown in sophistication. We may expect that future neuroweapons will be advertised as resting on the most objective form of human cognition, leading to greater accuracy in targeting and better compliance with the law than traditional weapons. Are states using weapon systems that draw on neuroscience capable of applying IHL to that use? Only at the price of a decision review system so fundamental as to eradicate the temporal advantages neuroweapons are designed to create. I argue that the application of contemporary IHL presupposes that cognition is embodied in one single human being and coupled to language. Neuroweapons spread cognition across humans and machines... (More)
In the past years, research on military applications of neuroscience has grown in sophistication. We may expect that future neuroweapons will be advertised as resting on the most objective form of human cognition, leading to greater accuracy in targeting and better compliance with the law than traditional weapons. Are states using weapon systems that draw on neuroscience capable of applying IHL to that use? Only at the price of a decision review system so fundamental as to eradicate the temporal advantages neuroweapons are designed to create. I argue that the application of contemporary IHL presupposes that cognition is embodied in one single human being and coupled to language. Neuroweapons spread cognition across humans and machines combined, and largely eliminate the cognitive role of language. Both traits render the distinction between superior and subordinate unstable, therewith disrupting the premises of responsibility under IHL. By consequence, it is impossible to assess whether future uses of these weapons are lawful under IHL. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
in press
subject
keywords
international humanitarian law, brain-computer interface, neurotechnology, neuroweapons, laws of war, public international law, folkrätt
in
London Review of International Law
volume
2
issue
2
publisher
Oxford University Press
ISSN
2050-6325
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
53a554d3-ec1e-4c47-be96-906048826aeb (old id 4497660)
date added to LUP
2014-06-19 16:11:17
date last changed
2016-04-15 16:10:04
@article{53a554d3-ec1e-4c47-be96-906048826aeb,
  abstract     = {In the past years, research on military applications of neuroscience has grown in sophistication. We may expect that future neuroweapons will be advertised as resting on the most objective form of human cognition, leading to greater accuracy in targeting and better compliance with the law than traditional weapons. Are states using weapon systems that draw on neuroscience capable of applying IHL to that use? Only at the price of a decision review system so fundamental as to eradicate the temporal advantages neuroweapons are designed to create. I argue that the application of contemporary IHL presupposes that cognition is embodied in one single human being and coupled to language. Neuroweapons spread cognition across humans and machines combined, and largely eliminate the cognitive role of language. Both traits render the distinction between superior and subordinate unstable, therewith disrupting the premises of responsibility under IHL. By consequence, it is impossible to assess whether future uses of these weapons are lawful under IHL.},
  author       = {Noll, Gregor},
  issn         = {2050-6325},
  keyword      = {international humanitarian law,brain-computer interface,neurotechnology,neuroweapons,laws of war,public international law,folkrätt},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  publisher    = {Oxford University Press},
  series       = {London Review of International Law},
  title        = {Weaponising neurotechnology: International humanitarian law and the loss of language},
  volume       = {2},
  year         = {2014},
}