The amplifications of cognitive inequality could lead to social tensions and far reaching political turmoilTan Le, Emotiv\nThe future of our bodies will be determined by technology, says Tan Le, CEO and founder of Emotiv.\nEmotiv, founded in 2003, is a bioinformatics company advancing understanding of the human brain using electroencephalography (EEG).\nThe company produces \u2018brainwear\u2019, headsets that can measure and translate brain activities.\nWhile EEG is not new, the new versions can be taken on and off in minutes, and are as affordable as smartphones.\n\u201cWe can use the data to understand how the brain behaves, and how to use the brain more efficiently,\u201d says Tan Le.\nIn sports, the technology can see how how football players process information and react to different stimuli under stress. \u201cThis allows players to up their game,\u201d she says.\nNo caption\nIn the workplace, brainware can be used to study how successful problem solvers think and roll out this process to the workforce to see how individuals can best work with stress.\nNo caption\nShe says integrating humans and machines can produce hybrids that combine the analytical processing power of computers with the creativity of humans.\nNo caption\n\u201cThe possibilities of making ourselves better in what we do are almost endless,\u201d says Le, who delivered the opening keynote at the Gartner Symposium\/ITxpo at the Gold Coast.\nBut she says these technologies bring their own intrinsic challenges. \n\u201cHow do we ensure they are widely accessible and do not promote the creation of a newer elite, a small group of people who have the resources to monopolise the benefits while leaving the majority on the margins?\u201d\n\u201cWe are already seeing polarisation with massive disparity in global wealth,\u201d she says.\n\u201cIf this divergence is accelerated by limiting access to neurotechnologies, the amplifications of cognitive inequality could lead to social tensions and far reaching political turmoil.\u201d\n\u201cWe have to ensure they are widely accessible or else this will lead to the creation of an elite that can monopolise the benefits of the technology.\u201d\n\u201cWe have worked to create headsets that are as affordable as smartphones and can be used in any environment but this isn't just a social goal,\u201d says Le, who was born in Vietnam and migrated to Australia as a refugee with her family in 1982.\n\u201cIf we fail to make these technologies available to everyone, then we will have failed to fully harness the power of the human brain.\u201d\nShe says the challenge is to build inclusivity in the business models from the ground up.\n\u201cWe can not rely on technology itself to do the heavy lifting to benefit humankind,\u201d she says.\nWe need to have ensure these waves of advancement will be available to all, she adds.\nShe says the most imminent challenge from automation and the rise of machines is mass unemployment with automation of jobs previously done by humans.\nShe says the World Economic forum has estimated five million jobs will be lost to automation across the globe by 2020. But additional studies show the scale of replacement will be greater.\nThus, she says, the challenge is how to ensure the future is one in which everybody can participate.\nNo caption\nIf we fail to make these technologies available to everyone, then we will have failed to fully harness the power of the human brain\nAt the moment, she says, 80 per cent of neuroscience research is carried out in Western universities. The typical research subjects are drawn from students in these institutions.\nBy relying on data that only studies a very very narrow band of the population, we risk building bias into our development cycle, she says.\nIn order to mitigate these risks, Emotiv is working with organisations around the world to \u201cseed neuroscience labs\u201d by creating affordable neurolab kits with easy to use hardware and software, and making these available to researchers around the world.\n\u201cWe are seeding and creating the foundations for a truly global research culture that will enable us to study the brain in all its myriad forms.\u201d\nThe neuroscience hubs in developing and underserved regions is not just a question of being socially responsible, she says.\n\u201cWe aim to build democratically accessible technologies that empower and augment the human brain.\u201d\nShe acknowledges not everyone who plays a role in shaping future technology will share these goals.\n\u201cMany decision makers will ask whether a focus on inclusivity will benefit their organisations and companies in the short and medium term.\u201d\n\u201cAfter all, what is the ROI on social responsibility?\u201d\nShe says in all areas of machine learning, deep learning and cloud analytics, organisations are drawing from the same small pool of candidates.\n\u201cIt is in all our interests to work together to make something positive in the coming effects of automation,\u201d she states.\n\u201cWe need to create education programmes that will help to retrain the large number of talented individuals who will be displaced from jobs and start filling the skills gaps," she says.\n\u201cWe also need to retool our industries simplifying the tools platforms and technologies required will enable many more people to participate."\nEmotiv CEO Tan Le: 'Many decision makers will ask whether a focus on inclusivity will benefit their organisations and companies in the short and medium term...After all, what is the ROI on social responsibility?'\nFollow Divina Paredes on Twitter:@divinap\nFollow CIO New Zealand on Twitter:@cio_nz\nSign up forCIO newsletters for regular updates on CIO news, views and events.\nJoin us on Facebook.