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jeffolie

Where is the soul in any of these technologies?

GK

#2, mind uploading, would presumably account for the soul.

#10, #8, #6, etc. do nothing to alter the soul of the person using the technology.

CT

I'm very skeptical of mind uploading. As I understand it, the human mind is essentially a standing waveform of particles (like RAM in a computer). To download it, you would need to know where every particle's exact location and exact velocity. However, the Uncertainty Principle says this is not possible. It seems to me we would need to develop a new kind of physics that would account for the Uncertainty Principle, which may well be centuries away.

Granted, we don't fully understand how the human mind works, so who can really say for sure?

jeffolie

The human mind and soul are difficult to know. There are brain operations where half the brain is removed and yet the persons mind remains; and, what happens to the soul when half the brain is removed?

Uploading a mind seems static, like taking a picture. Brains and minds change and adapt as well as decay and become demoralized. The brain is wet, meat that learns and is not a computer for uploading or backing up.

kraryal

You don't need exact accuracy of the particles in the human brain. Neurons are huge, warm and state shift *a lot*. The mind has to be quite robust vs. quantum effects for that; ergo you only need accuracy to a level somewhat smaller than a single neuron, but nowhere near each electron.

Your computer isn't static, Jeffolie. It changes all the time. A mind uploaded would be the same; the point is not that the mind *is* the computer, merely living in it the same functional way the mind lives in the brain now.

Dave

Now this is an interesting concept. CT- you made the mind uploading synonymous with RAM. This is only valid up to a point as scientist are currently looking at using certain liquid and gels to hold memory. This is a very exciting technology because unlike RAM, (or anything else that requires a single path for electricity to flow), the flow can go in any direction, as it is on a molecular level, a highly advanced multi-link processor in which the flow of information can go in any direction. Add to this the level of control we have over this, and you have one amazing little device.
So maybe when that form of technology comes out, it will not be cold as it sounds.
I do not know physiology all that well, so I cannot even begin to guess what makes us actually tick, but the soul and feeling we humans have, enables us to push well beyond the adrenaline point, into the realm of unexplainable acts on the physical plane. The question then becomes,will the mind and body (backed up by bio-engineering and mind uploading) be able to function at full capacity when the original body passes away? Furthermore, can the mind and body even exist without the soul? And if your soul leaves when you 'die', will all your backed up conscience thought even be able to function without your sub-conscience to keep it in check?
In the plane we exist in now, the emotion (or even soul in some cases) causes us to do things we do not always understand. So what happens when we remove that? Will it allow us to make better decisions in the future based on more logical thoughts? I do not think so, because then we will be bound strictly by our own experiences. Because we cannot know what others experience, and have nothing but logic to guide us, we will act only in accordance with what we know to be 'right or wrong' based off of that experience.
I am not a scientist by any means, but I do wonder if 'mind-uploading' will ever be able to fuse with bio-technology to form a perfect union.
Very interesting indeed.

CT

I agree that a neuron could be duplicated, but how could it read the human program? That's assuming there is a human program that can be translated into 0s and 1s, and that's the crux of the whole issue. The assumption is that the human mind is a kind of computer code that can be compiled into C++ or some other computer language. That's a huge assumption. What if it can't? What if the mind is not a program as we understand it?

Sure, we can duplicate the hardware, but the beast lives in the software.

Dave

CT-
The human mind is programmed with what is called 'learned behavior'. Each mind is different based off of the environment, and the lesson learned there-in. You also pointed out the 'uncertainty principle'. This is not a principle bound solely to mechanical workings my friend. We as people do erratic things on a daily basis somewhat outside of our 'programming'. Anyone who has ever done networking, or software development will tell you that unexpected errors are inevitable, and are often unable to be explained. Even the one time 'glitches'. O's and 1's are not the way anything 'static' operates. Computers included. A processor works because it is able to link one binary string to another in a fashion that is controlled by the OS. We as people operate in much the same way. Our body is set to receive and transmit electrical charges that go from the point of stimulation, to the brain. If I had to make any correlation here, it would be that our minds are the OS. Taking this a step further, if you could somehow 'back up' that bio-OS, all you would have to do in theory, would be to download that OS into a bio-mechanical (or perhaps just mechanical) construct. Here comes the catch. A computer cannot yet operate of it's own accord without some sort of user input at some point in it's mechanical lifetime. However humans are born already learning and working. So with a mind backed up into a bio-mechanical body or not, somewhere along the lines, an outside source will have give it it's initial programming. At that point, the 'back up' will be heavily reliant on that initial input, and therefore cease to be it's own true being, and thus have no true soul of it's own.
I read a very interesting bit on AI the other day on the website http://www.a-i.com . What they did was, take child's thought and learning algorithms and plug them into a machine. This experiment has proved highly successful, and is intriguing to read about.
So there is the answer to your question. 'Language' in computers means pretty much nothing. Like people, you can plug just about any language into any machine, and have it work. But that language is programmed into the machine via the OS. If you notice, the willingness of a person to learn and the environment they are in, greatly affect the rate at which they learn. This would make a AI being much like the human baby. It has been proven that a child learns, even while still in the womb. So it is growing, and receiving it's initial 'programming' at that time. An AI construct would be being built and programmed in a factory.Lets take this a step further- Network routing is largely based off of an algorithm that allows the routers to choose best paths based on environment. We as people tend to the same. I guess the only question about AI now, is if it will ever be able to develop a true soul?
I really love this string by the way :-)

GK

Dave and CT,

Good stuff. I am certainly learning a few things from your dialogue.

CT

You guys are giving me a lot to think about here.

When I refer to the Uncertainty Principle, I'm not talking about "the unexpected." I'm talking about Heisenberg's principle. I mean the ability to track individual particles' velocity and exact location--something you need to do if you are going to capture particles in flux (as the human mind appears to be, from what little we know of it). Yes, we can design artificial neurons to handle the load, but we still need to capture the program (i.e. the mind) and to do that we have to capture the mind in action (i.e. capture the motion of every electron exactly as it is in the instance you copy the mind). If we're going to bypass Heisenberg's principle, we're going to need a whole new kind of physics. So, maybe it's possible, but I question the time frame presented by transhumanists.

Now if we have no software, that's different. If our minds are nothing but the configuration of neurons, than all you have to do is copy that structure and you've got a perfect copy of the mind. However, I suspect we won't be that lucky. We need to know the program and how it is recorded (i.e. the mind and how it remembers things).

Sure, maybe AIs will learn how to figure things out in their own way with simulated human neurons, but what does that have to do with transferring a human mind to a machine and back again? It's going to be a little more complicated than networking Windows with Linux. More like networking Windows with a pear.

Now, lets suppose you had a computer that was basically designed like the human mind. These neurons a) function identically to real ones, and b) are placed in the exact same arrangement as the neurons in your own mind (since each of us has a unique brain, we would each need to have our own little artificial brain designed specifically for our needs).

A number of questions arise. First, how is the transfer accomplished? How are our memories stored? By analyzing EKGs, we can know what parts of the brain work when you think of certain things. If you could think of your whole life in an instant--every single detail, every single memory--then maybe you could capture that. Since that's virtually impossible for mere humans, we have to figure out how memory is actually stored. Again, we need to figure out the software, and so far we haven't a clue.

Let's assume we solve that problem. You can download a mind no problem. What good is it? Haven't you merely created a copy of yourself? You are still you and you haven't gone anywhere. A perfect copy of you is swimming through the Matrix while you stand there and go, "dude, where's my instant kung fu?"

I suppose back up copies could give the illusion of immortality. If you die, we can create a clone that looks the same and then download it with your memories. From everyone's perspective, you are back in black and nothing has changed. However, from your perspective, you are still dead. There's just an exact copy of you wandering around that's impersonating you. That doesn't do you much good.

Now, imagine that this happens to your parents. Or your wife. Or your children. They die and are replaced with an exact copy. Would that make you feel better? Could you really love the exact copy of your parent/wife/child when the real one is gone forever?

So, in order for downloading memory to be useful to us, we need to know that it is actually us and not a perfect copy. We need to know that if we upload/download into a machine and our imperfect bodies are eliminated that we won't actually die. And how can we know that the personality in the machine is actually the same person that was once flesh and blood? It's like the movie The Thing. "If I were a copy, a perfect copy, how would you know I wasn't really me?"

I don't know. A lot of the concepts of transferring minds to machines seems to be based on conjecture as opposed to actual facts (like a lot of transhumanism, I have to admit). We know about the brain, but not the mind. When we learn more about the mind, maybe then we'll have a better idea of the possibilities. And even if we do managed the technology, the philosophical and spiritual consequences will be with us for a long time.

Dave

Uncertainty Principle, (in reference to )Heisenberg's principle, is a quantum theory based principle. This means it is restricted to the laws that govern quantum physics because it follows the same principles. In quantum theory, no one has ever been able to explain the behavior of a quark, or even a stray electron flowing through a circuit.You have two types of elements that will encase a 'circuit'. As far as I know, no one has ever been able to create a working circuit at a sub-atomic element. This has been attributed to the flow of electrons not pursuing a straight flow through the circuit, but rather, a more side to side forward movement which has no pattern to it. This is why the Uncertainty Principle remains- because an action or flow of a particle, cannot be truly predicted at a sub-atomic level.
Thats where the String Theory comes in to play- to help explain why Quantum Law only works to a point, and is even in some case, a theory at best. A great site to read about it is http://superstringtheory.com/basics/index.html
So by Quantum standards, the Uncertainty Principle would side with you on your side of the Mind Uploading environment. However if String Theory can ever be recognized and understood at the same level of Quantum Physics, then a great deal of the Uncertainty Principle will then be invalidated, and progress could be made.
Moving on...
Get the whole movie thing out of your head please. The movies never have been able to give an accurate accounting for the technology in question, much less put it words Joe Shmoe would ever understand (if your out there Joe, I apologize :-) .
You have said, would it not just be a copy? And, Will it ever be like it was before?
Think about it. I have been clinically dead before, but here I am. I am no copy, and I feel no different now then I did then. It goes well beyond the physical part my friend. I believe that it is all up to the mind in question. Any doctor will tell you that if a patient in critical condition wants to die, then there is little they can do about it. However critical patient with a strong will to live, will recieve an unknown strength that aids the bodies physical being. Fact my friend.
Oh, by the way, do not ever use my analogy. You botched it. Windows with a pear? I have another analogy for you- DO NOT MIX APPLES AND ORANGES! :-) A pear is a fruit, not a bio gel or liquid with a strong current flowing through it that will control it, with a base program controlling it. Catch my drift?
Moving on...
The rest of your writing is all speculation. A bridge neither you or I will ever be able to cross until we get there. Also keep in mind that I am no genius, but average joe who pays attention. You sound very much alike. However, since you put in your two cents, so shall I.
The human mind is what controls the physical being. Without a thought, whether it be conscience or not, no action is made save for physical reaction to a stimuli. Taking this into account, we can safely assume that if only the memories and physical state are transfered into the new body, it is up to the mind in question as to whether it will inhabit the body, or reject it. Only the future will tell :-)

jeffolie

In my opinion the mind to computer comparision fails.

Much of human personalty has shown to be inherited as shown from identical twin studies.

How are you going to upload DNA? It is not going to happen.

CT

The more I hear about transhumanism and the technologies that go with it, the more I'm convinced it is a religion for people who don't believe in religion (including the ridiculing and talking down to people who don't agree). I'll believe it when I see it, but all I see and hear is conjecture with zero evidence.

Dave

jeffolie,
It is ok that you have an opinion of your own. And personality does indeed have a lot to do with genetics. However anything that can learn on it's own, will in some way shape or form, develop a personality. Just look at animals. And it has also been shown that DNA can be replicated. So all you have to do is put the replicated DNA in a bio-mechanical construct, and bingo. Of course it is not that easy, but then again, back in 1960, they said that by the year 2000, a home computer would be impractical because it would take up an entire room. Technology does have a limit of course, but we are far from reaching it. If you want to argue thats fine, but please make it fact based and relevant to the study.Tell me exactly how my computer analogy fail. I bet my bottom dollar you do not know much about computers anyway from the sound of it. I on the otherhand have been working with them for many years, both on the systems and network side, so good luck arguing this point.

CT,
I am a religious person. I love God, and we talk quite often. I have read the bible cover to cover twice, and have found it a book of good moral value if nothing else. Keeping that in mind, remember that even King Soloman said, 'there is nothing new under the sun'. It applied then, and it applies now. We are just learning to use what we have to our percieved advantage.
Some people do get carried away with it true enough. However, there is a lot of facts to back it up.
1-They now have mechanical limbs out that the amputee can use, that have full feeling and movement, that enable the amputee to fully function again. It's not as advanced as mind uploading, but it is a start in the right direction.
2-They can grow human heart valves for patients who had theirs fail out of organic tissue.
3- AI has made remarkable advancements in that sector of technology. Obviously you did not go to the site I put up in my last post.

It is not a religion though. It is a combined field of study that has the remarkable potential to benefit all of man kind. Of course it can and probably will be abused. But once again, all technology is abused. As is every gift that we as people have, including freedom. Yes, at it's core in it's base parts, it is without soul. However the benefit to mankind has remarkable potential to aide in a better way of life.
Everything grows old and dies. From cars to people. Fact. Nothing can go forever. Now tell me, what point will you argue next? Make it factual, and in context please.

Dave

One more thing-
We do not fully understand why we are who and what we are. Science tries to with all their little 'studies and surveys', but all they do is come up with excuses for people to get away with bad behavior and murder. Noone uses responsibility and self-discipline anymore, which would fix alot of the problems we currently have. Anyway, just thought I would throw it out there. Also keep in mind the last paragraph I wrote 2 posts ago.
Thanks :-)

CT

Dave, I did go to the website you pointed out. I did not see the article you mentioned and I saw nothing to indicate we would be downloading our minds into machines anytime soon. If you care to point out actual evidence as opposed to conjecture, I will gladly take a look. Just because I fail to jump on the transhumanist bandwagon does not mean I cannot read.

Using robotic limbs has nothing to do with downloading our minds (totally different subject). And what does heart valves have to do with downloading minds? And AI? Again, what does AI have to do with downloading minds? I never said "we will never develop AI." I never questioned any of the technology presented above except memory downloads/uploads. In fact, I think all the other predictions are spot on. I maintain that memory download is too far down the road. We know a lot about the brain, but nothing about the mind. Predicting mind downloads is like predicting faster-than-light travel--there is no evidence on which to make concrete statements. Could happen next year or in a thousand years.

The only thing I questioned was mind downloading, nothing more. You assumed I questioned all of the singularity and began preaching to me the singularity dogma and then scolding me like a little child. Too many sci-fi movies? You know, perhaps there are some other things we disagree on. Would you care to hurl insults regarding those as well. It doesn't make you a good Christian, but it does make you a pretty typical transhumanist.

I'm afraid you have proven my point Dave. Transhumanism is a religion. It is based on faith that technology will elevate us from the human condition. It has dogma, which you must accept if you wish to be seen as intelligent. It makes promises that may or may not happen, and if you fail to believe in them you will be ostracized by the faithful (as you have attempted to do).

I think many of the technologies discussed here will happen. I submit that the singularity may happen. Even if it doesn't, the future is going to be a wonderful place, I believe that. And I think transhumanists are nothing but trouble.

Dave

CT,
I apologize that I came across the way I did, I am having a long day at work. I mis understood what you were trying to get across. Point well-taken. I will not sit here and hurl childish insults at you either. What I said about the movie thing was part of my mis-understanding of what you had written, I met no insult by it. And when I wrote 'Oh, by the way, do not ever use my analogy. You botched it. Windows with a pear? I have another analogy for you- DO NOT MIX APPLES AND ORANGES! :-) A pear is a fruit, not a bio gel or liquid with a strong current flowing through it that will control it, with a base program controlling it. Catch my drift?' I met to get across the idea that the analogy I used was to put another concept into another point of view. You twisted it, and it upset me. Once again, I am sorry that I gave insult, it was not my intention.
Now that I have apologized sufficiently, I will explain further.

First of, I am not a bad Christian. I admit that my communication skills need some work, but that does not make me a bad Christian. I admit my faults, and attempt to make amends when needed. Second, I am by no means a transhumanist. I just have an open mind. On a personal level, I think that the implications of any of that happening is disturbing. When consequence is taken away, actions become bolder.

When I started to explain about AI, the incorporations of robotic limbs, and all that other jazz, I was using it as an example of what technology is getting capable of. In addition to this, it should be noted that all these will have a psychological effect on us. AI in a robot that is in theory more durable then the human body is scary to some because of the thought that a stronger being that can think, may oppose them.
Robotics is a now thing that can both hurt and help. It can hurt because in the future, it will become cheaper. When that happens, a person will be less careful because if they lose a limb, they'll just get a new one. It can help because if a drunk driver clips you, you will not be permanently damaged. AI can be good for...well, I am not quite sure, but it would be differant I'll say that much.
All this about mind downloading, I could care less about. I have had a hard enough life, and would not want to prolong it past it's natural existence. The concept in and of itself is interesting though for all those who would want to stay alive though.
I appreciate you calling me out on my word. However, I am as far from transhumanism as one can be.AWhen you said 'faith in', you greatly read to much into what I was saying. I have an open mind about it. Not faith. I have faith that God will allow me live long enough to accomplish everything I set out to do. I have an open mind that the above discussed concepts may or may not happen.
I gotta get back to work though. Hope to keep this string going.

jeffolie

Dave

It is true that I have only a working knowledge of computers. But one does not have to be an auto mechanic to have a working knowledge of cars. Besides, insulting me by stating that I do not know much about computers shows that you really do not know much about me and that you would lose your bottom dollar. Shame on you.

Dave

jeffolie,
Once again, I gave you no more insult then you did to me . You stated that in your opinion, my computer analogy fails. Making no proofs for this statement, I was a little confused on how you may have an opinion on something, yet barely have a working knowledge of it.
As for the identical twin studies- you make a valid point. The twin studies do indeed show that a child has a probability of developing a personality like their kin. Now let me ask you this- If a programmer sets in a certain behavioral pattern into a construct, does it not then become a hard wired personality like we inherit?
As for uploading DNA, I do not know how they would do it. I do not even know if they ever will be able to. All I was merely trying to say, was that once the DNA code is broke (which modern day science is making major discoveries), it may not be that hard to replicate it in program form if need be.
I apologize to you to for coming across the way I did. I did not mean to. Like I told CT, I was having a bad day coupled with poor communication skills. However, I would ask tat in the future when you disagree, at least state a reason why like you did with the identical twin studies case. I thought that was great comment, and I appreciated hearing about it as it gave me something new to chew on. Thanks :-)

PS-if you only have a working knowledge of computers, how did I lose my bottom dollar?

jeffolie

Look up RNAi. RNAi controls the expression of DNA. Even if you were able to upload DNA, then you would have to deal with the reality of RNAi. Humans are dynamic, changing creatures that respond and change with exposure to their environment and social dramas.

Tanshumanism can not replicate humanism. Machines do not live.

Humans change as they age. Obviously, uploading a teenager would not give you the dynamic maturity of a 35 year old. How would a uploaded personality mature? It would not. This is only one reason the computer method of uploading would not be able to duplicate a human.

For example, when a woman has the urge to have babies as her biological clock passes her through towards when she can no longer have babies, would a computer experience this urge? Would a computer upload feel the urge pass as the biological clock ends the urge?

Dave

Jeffolie,
I do not know...I believe that if the technology sector was left to its own devices, that it would eventually figure out the physical, and even part of the mental part. However I have a hard time contemplating the fact that the human spirit could be moved from one being to the next. I guess what you would have would be a being with a physical body, intelligent mind, and a constantly developing personality, but no soul. Very interesting concept hear. Would such a being have a conscience?

Al Fin

Uploading of human consciousness may occur someday, but not on the same time scale of the other 9 technologies mentioned.

Uploading is exponentially more difficult than any of the other 9 technologies. It is frequently referred to as a likely possibility by many who call themselves transhumanists. But it is extremely unlikely that any of those THs who make the claim know very much about how human consciousness emerges from the human brain.

They simply do not care. They say that once AGIs are created, the AGI will solve all these other problems and make them trivial. But that is magical thinking, and particularly unscientific. (pseudoscience)

The other 9 technologies may very well come about within this century. AGI will be much less important in this century than in the next, however.

Michael Anissimov

Nice overview. Folks -- there is no such thing as a "soul". Grow up from what you were taught in church as a child. The mind consists of dynamic electrophysical patterns in neurons. "Consciousness" is another magic-word people sometimes use instead of soul. Whatever consciousness is, it's reflected in brain structure.

"to achieve true transhumanism, we'll need to build 1,000-mile structures"? Funny use of the word transhumanism, I suggest you go read the Transhumanist FAQ!

Thanks again for looking over this.

Ian Adams

>This is a technology that is frightening, due to the ease at which humans could be quickly driven to extinction through a malfunction that replicates rouge robots.

You're right; self-replicating reddish-coloured robots IS a frightening idea! ;)

I wonder if gene therapy will ever, in our own lifetimes, get to the point of having gerontological treatments available on a massive scale, a la Kim Stanley Robinson's 'Mars' trilogy.

brokerdavelhr

Micheal,

‘Nice overview. Folks -- there is no such thing as a "soul". Grow up from what you were taught in church as a child. The mind consists of dynamic electrophysical patterns in neurons. "Consciousness" is another magic-word people sometimes use instead of soul. Whatever consciousness is, it's reflected in brain structure.’

Actually what you just described is the central nervous system that gets interpreted by the brain in response to the stimuli. There has never been a proven connection between this, and ‘soul’. Let me ask you this. Why is it that a human being can train themselves not to feel certain amounts of pain? Better yet, why is that a person can program themselves to react in a manor other then what is natural to this stimuli? I will tell you this- When such a person does this, the patterns that take place in the brain do not change. The stimuli is still recorded and mapped to the correct area of the brain, yet the person will react in a manor that goes against the natural reaction. This is an action that cannot be explained, and I doubt ever will be.

Taking things to the next level, behavior in and of itself does correspond to the level of activity in one portion of the brain. However when a change in behavior is made, or when such a person goes against this ‘programming’ the activity is still recorded in the brain.

These are things that scientists have never been able to explain. They just happen.

I will tell you this Mike. If you believe that science is the be all end all, and everything can be explained away using it, then you do not know your science that well. Furthmore when you die, you indeed be dead, and that is the end of your story. However, if you open yourself up to a spiritual plane, you will find that not only will you pick up on things faster, but that you will be able to over-ride your bodies natural instincts. This is what separates us from animals. An animal is controlled by their nature. We have a pre-programmed nature, but unlike animals, we can control our natural urges.

Explain that Mikee.

prosperable.com

I found your post really interesting and it has really improved my knowledge on the matter. You’ve assisted my understanding on what is usually a hard to tackle subject. Thank you!

Stan

Yes, Rouge robots would be horrible! Why would you want to put makeup on robots anyways?

Far scarier would be rogue robots, I think. Then again, at least the robots would probably be able to spell properly.

Snarf

Re: #5, Autonomous Self-replicating Robots:

What do we have to fear from the replication of rouge robots? Is their color really a determinant of their good/evil? ;)

"Rogue" not "rouge"

Arnold - Mr.Gadget

Thanks for sharing.

I think robotics in particular will be a booming industry in years to come. With the power chips contain today it's not very hard to see why.

Keep up the great work,
Arnold

aka Mr.Gadget

number0091

simultaneous experience- that could possible bridge the gap from being one's self, or just being a perfect copy. Consider a hive mind. Imagine you are able to send your consciousness to another body, while still holding court in your original body- in this other body you have experiences that you simultaneously experience in both bodies. Once that connection is gone, I would argue there are now two people. However, while connected and sharing simultaneous experiences... Perhaps this would be a way for one person to expedite themselves into a better physical copy without becoming merely a copy?

Infected-Daemon

I have read and heard of numerous problems with, for example, mind uploading. This taking consideration of what number0091 says. There is an example that can possibly be done in the future (If ethics comities permit it): You are held in suspended animation right before they show you a piece of pie, during your suspension, some scientists make an exact copy of your body atom by atom. Then they exchange 50% of your atoms with the clone, and you receive 50% of his atoms at random. In front of the clone, the scientists put a piece of cake. Then they wake you both up. What will you see? The Pie or the Cake?

As this problem, the mind upload has the same, and bigger problems.

chropi

simultaneous shared experience- so each copy could be seen as an appendage sharing a hive mind... would they then become two after seperating (losing the simultaneous experience)? Or, if one is lost, then the whole is not-

annon

mind uploading is a silly scifi plastic space suit wearing little green men kind of notion.

apart from not preserving experience / identity (although you could create that illusion for other people)

the brain isn't a computer with a hard drive and files. it's a piece of celular wires that passes signals around , you might as well remake the neurons to work better and then just physically move them around if you want to go to space and leave your body behind or w/e

tl;dr
you can either extend or move around your minds implementation , or make a copy of it(not exact one) and kill the original to make veryone "wow it's the same guy" while ur dead.

annon

and for the record the most rational materialistic view of mind and consciousness is that it is what is is now and only now .
hence can't be recreated physically for what we know only fluidly manipulated.

john

Most comments are extremely pessimistic, without reason i'd say.

"We know a lot about the brain, but not enough abut the mind."
This is a rather bad aphorism. Neuroscience has made tremendous progress, and we have solid evidence that long term memories are stored as structural changes in the neural connections. There is no evidence so far to support what a lot of people bring up here time and time again. Sub-atomic quantum effects and the uncertainty principle seem to not play any role at all in cognitive function. Modeling the human brain at the neuron/synapse level will be well within our capability in a few years and it is the most promising approach to "mind uploading".
For more information, see the IBM blue brain project which has
shown tremendous promise with modeling parts of the rat brain.

"Much of human personalty has shown to be inherited as shown from identical twin studies.
How are you going to upload DNA? It is not going to happen."

DNA has nothing to do with our daily cognitive functions.
It is a structural blueprint that dictates how we evolve.
It is well known by now that all hard-wired and learned behavior takes place/arises from the brain and nervous system. Modeling the DNA does nothing to help with modeling these processes. For the feasibility of doing so, see the human genome project.

"The assumption is that the human mind is a kind of computer code that can be compiled into C++ or some other computer language. That's a huge assumption. What if it can't? What if the mind is not a program as we understand it?"

The human mind does not need to be akin to computer code in order
for it to be modeled/emulated successfully. We have emulated parts of the brain in order to achieve success in the cognitive processes that these parts control. Speech and image recognition have been improved because we understood the biological processes behind them in humans and applied them to our technological creations. Also, you should familiarize yourself with emergent phenomena. The movement of birds in a flock, the behavior of ants in a colony are complex behaviors that seemingly can not be directly mapped to "computer code". However, by emulating the individuals (birds, ants) in the computer we managed to demonstrate that the same high-level behaviors are present and they manifest in the same way virtually. In other words, by emulating the simple units
we can see very complex, high-level behavior manifest in the computer without us needing to explicitly "implement it".
Emergent behavior is key and i have seen nobody here bring it up.
The same can be applied to the human brain. It is assumed that by emulating the brain at the neural/synaptic level will allow the "emergent" behavior of the human mind (self-awareness) to manifest out of the interaction of these simple units. This may be wrong assumption, but till now nothing has proven it wrong and it is a very promising first step.

Finally, i will not comment on the presence of soul (laughable)
or identity issues with clones etc. These are philosophical at best and of no importance to the "great work" (excuse the pun).
My personal view of such matters is that we are information
and that we can never truly die as long as the information
remains somewhere in some form. Questions about identity/duality/soul/death seem very juvenile when examined under this frame of mind.

JOSEPH ANTHONY SMITH

THIS IS A VERY INTERESTING SITE ! HOW DOES ONE SUBSCRBIE ? I FOUND THIS ON STUMBLEUPON.COM , ONCE I LEAVE THIS PAGE , I PROBABLY WILL NOT BE ABLE TO FIND THIS AGAIN ! HELP !

caseywollberg

"My personal view of such matters is that we are information
and that we can never truly die as long as the information
remains somewhere in some form."

You lost me here. This is just the same silly old dualism dressed up in modern language. There is no immortal soul, you say, but there is immortal information. Listen, information is not the experience of consciousness. The experience of consciousness is an illusion that emerges from brain processes and is wholly dependent on them. An exact copy of those processes will necessarily restart a new emergent illusion of consciousness, but how can you assert that it will be continuous with the illusion of consciousness that ended at the death of the original brain?

The only way around this non-continuity problem that I can see (other than platonic mysticism) is to replace the original brain with artificial simulacra *gradually* so that wholesale death never actually occurs (i.e., the processes that give rise to a continuous consciousness are never shut down). What you have on the other side of that is a continuation of the original emergent experience of consciousness arising now from a non-biological substrate (which can itself be replaced in the same manner, ad infinitum).

caseywollberg

Also, research on telomeres was not mentioned and is relevant and in progress.

GK

caseywollberg,

You lost me here.

Note that you are addressing john. It is not me who said that.

jizzohn

OP: you are kind of stupid. also, its "rogue" not "rouge". and no, you can't see the great wall of china from space any better than you can see interstate highways from space.

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