Mind uploading

From H+Pedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Xkcd understand the issues

Mind uploading is the hypothetical process of copying, moving, or simply reassociating one's memories, personality, consciousness, and/or personal identity from their original physical system (the brain primarily) to another physical system, most likely a computer of some sort.

Mind uploading is considered the likely long term solution to life extension to protect against physical harm. Such prospective technology and whether a 'self' or personal identity can be copied or moved to, or reassociated with, another substrate is a popular debating point amongst transhumanists and futurists.

Mind uploading is a key piece of technology required to go beyond potential biological immortality into posthuman transhumanism. It has proposed that mind uploading is the likely progression of alien intelligence wherever it arises in the cosmos and that we should conduct SETI along such lines[1][2][3]. Similarly, mind uploading has been proposed as a required prerequisite for feasible interstellar travel.[4]

Theoretical possibility

Much of the possibility of emulating a human or human-like mind assumes that such processes are computable in accordance with the Church–Turing thesis.[5]. The existence of non-computable neural functions such as soul or overly complex quantum state function would invalidate this possibility.

Even allowing for the possibility of a computer-based human mind, there are many challenges with regards to continuity of consciousness and personal identity which must be addressed in order to prevent a break in identity and self.

Methods

Destructive Whole Brain Emulation

'Scan and copy', sometimes advocated as the only way to create true artificial intelligence, whole brain emulation is a computationally intensive approach whereby an entire human brain from the neuron up is simulated within a computer system.

Existing and near-future MRI technology would be used to copy the running state of a brain in a fashion analogous to a computer undergoing a physical to virtual migration.

Unlike a computer however, current non-invasive imaging technology does not provide a sufficient theoretical resolution, only destructive methods do. If you don't believe the uploaded version is still you you may have a problem.

Non-destructive uploading

Non-destructive uploading looks at future technology which would allow consciousness to be transferred without the original brain being destroyed. Whilst this is good news for you, you end up with the trouble with transporters (CGP Grey) whereby there could be more than one of you!

Gradual in-place replacement

Gradual in-place replacement[6] is a method of increamenting augmenting a mind into a digital substrate. As minds receive more neutral enhancements, they may in time possess the ability to offload memories, process non-critical ideas remotely and allow your digital self to perform independent activities on your behalf.

'Division scenarios' include approaches such cutting a brain in two or more section, scanning each and replacing half with computerized sections.

Should a critical mass of storage and processing ever be offloaded to remote systems, this could allow the original body to die without interruption to consciousness.[7]

Uses

Mind uploading has a variety of utilities.

Immortality

Keith Wiley presents an argument map towards mind uploading in A Taxonomy and Metaphysics of Mind-Uploading

Immortality! Live beyond even the limited of biological immortality as a posthuman, cyborg or in a new body. Life extension to the max? You might need this.

Backup

You may be dead, but with a mind backup it doesn't need to mean you're gone! Whilst deceased-you may not be comforted by a backup version of you taking over your life, think of the many benefits to friends, family and society backup-you might have to offer! Possibly the last frontier of intellectual property. There are several projects of the Terasem Movement exploring this idea. Scifi epic Pandora's Star[8] explores this with an always on Internet connection.

Explore the final frontier

Existing in posthuman form which is long lived and resilient to space radiation may be the only realistic way long term space exploration can take place.

Simulated you is probably expendable

Simulations - the ability to simulate people in order to predict how they'll react is already a core technology in internet advertising and profiling. The logical conclusion is to copy or simulate whole people for perfect simulations. But does simulated you have rights?

Problems

See: Problems with mind uploading

See also

External links

References

  1. What if the aliens are looking fo are AI?
  2. Beyond Humanity: CyberEvolution and Future Minds
  3. The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence
  4. Mind Uploading and The Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church–Turing_thesis
  6. A Taxonomy and Metaphysics of Mind-Uploading
  7. It’s time to write about mind-uploading
  8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commonwealth_Saga#Longevity
  9. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panpsychism