5.23.2005

 

Computers simulating the human brain

Ashes to ashes, brain to disk

From the article:The article leaves out the interesting part -- how this might be done?

Comments:
I have yet to decide whether immortality is worth sacrificing my humanity. I am willing to listen.
 
In my opinion it is important to study the definition of humanity. It appears to be a moving target. For example, people from another era might not consider test tube babies, people with artificial organs, or people with prosthetics to be human. The ability to clearly define a human will continue to become more difficult. At some point we will need to consider the rights of creatures that are not human.

Physical immortality will require us to become beings that in no way resemble modern humans. Contemplating that makes day-to-day decisions seem quaint.
 
" I have yet to decide whether immortality is worth sacrificing my humanity."

Well the alternative is having death forcibly sacrificing your living humanity :)

I agree with Richard. I'm pretty confident that with our track record of anthropomorphizing non-sentient things like Aibos or a flaky computer, once computers develop human-level intelligence (and especially if that intelligence is from a "downloaded" brain), they will also gain human rights.

These rights are the tangible change needed, solidifying unfortunately ambiguous definitions of humanity.
 
Sign me up! By 2030 I hope to be in a new SIT (Sentient and Intelligence Transfer) robotic body. The SIT is a pleasure machine. It will maximize pleasure and physical survival. Hopefully, surviving until the heat death of the universe (or some other cosmological end), with maximum pleasure uninterrupted.
 
I'd be careful about calling such a scheme immortality. It seems to me that uploading a copy of yourself into a computer is roughly akin to building a robot that looks like you, acts like you, is indistinguishable from the real you... Maybe you would appear to be immortal to everyone who knows you, and for them that might be good enough, but you yourself will still sicken and die (assuming some other longevity scheme hasn't come along meanwhile).

I'm not talking about souls or anything unquantifiable here, but simple continuity of consciousness. Any scheme that involves making a copy and then discarding the original doesn't qualify. A copy of me is not me, no matter how well it fools my mother.
 
I would only be happy with a neuron-by-neuron transfer.

That, and a continued sense of consciosness.

If, after 1/3 of my neurons are transformed, I feel that I am only "2/3 aware," then I would say, "Stop! And don't do this to anybody else!"

If, however, I feel fine, and I still have a sense of experiencing things, I'd say that soul was able to inhabit a non-carbon based machine, and I'd say, "proceed."

-- Lion
 
Doesn't it all come back to Plato's old argument about the boat? Where does the essence of consciousness go if all pieces are exchanged one at a time? This is a question that still hasn't been answered with some certainty, and it'll be hard for anyone to accept such a mind-transfer until this is resolved.

This is an essential question regarding teleportation as well.
 
Here's me trying to explain the Singularity to Ian Pearson:

http://betterhumans.com/Members/jwbats/BlogPost/588/Default.aspx
 
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