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(io9)   Scientists claim we'll probably never be able to upload our minds into a computer. Millions of 'World of Warcraft' players unable for comment due to ongoing raid   (io9.com) divider line 103
    More: Sad, cognitive neuroscientist, Ray Kurzweil, catastrophic failure, cognitive sciences, virtual environments, Shutterstock, roboticist, David Eagleman  
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2944 clicks; posted to Geek » on 17 Apr 2013 at 5:41 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-17 04:48:51 PM  
A lot of these seem to be more philosophical objections than actual technical limitations. The "philosophical zombie" argument is meaningless. Whether we truly are self actualized, independent sentient conscious beings or "philosophical zombies" doesn't matter. We'd perceive no difference either way. Whether I have a true self motivated consciousness right now or am simply the product of an infinitely complex organic computation in my brain it doesn't change my experience of reality. Do we truly have free will or is that free will merely an illusion. It "seems" like we have free will either way.
 
2013-04-17 05:45:59 PM  
That makes sense to me. The ability to "upload" our minds into a computer would have to mean that our minds were like fluid, able to be poured from one container into another, leaving nothing behind in the first container. This would imply a spiritual component, a "soul" as it were being transferred from the body to the machine as consciousness was passed. I do not believe in the soul so I can't believe in this process ever being successful.
I do believe that one day it might be possible for a machine to copy and then imitate a very reasonable facsimile of your mind and persona, but it would not be you. You would still be trapped in your meat suit waiting to die.
 
2013-04-17 05:47:24 PM  
I guess that means true immortality is impossible.
...or that science still isn't sure what consciousness is and this is terribly premature.
 
2013-04-17 05:47:40 PM  
No Ray Kurzweil quotes in the article?
 
2013-04-17 05:53:52 PM  
My personal reactions:
(Note: I AM NOT A NEUROLOGIST. Or a comp sci major. Merely a physicist, but I have pondered the idea from time to time..)

From Objection 1)
"most of its important features are the result of unpredictable, nonlinear interactions among billions of cells. "
Uh-wouldn't, in theory, quantum computing get around that? It's sort of non-binary by nature.

Or, say, biological computing? (I know work on biological computing is being done).

Or, I.. can't you MAKE nonlinear processes? That interact with billions of other processes or variables? (Okay, maybe not 'billions' yet, but I can't see why you can't make processes that interact with multiple other processes at the same time. Granted, I'm not a computer scientist).

4).. Yes, 4 DOES sound like new age malarky. "Hameroff has suggested that consciousness is related to a fundamental component of physical reality - components that are akin to phenomenon like mass, spin or charge. According to this view, the basis of consciousness can be found in an additional fundamental force of nature not unlike gravity or electromagnetism.  " Perhaps it IS true, but fantastic claims require fantastic evidence, dude.

6) Is fair, in the sense that I also worry about AI development for ethical reasons (that is, we would treat an AI as a *thing*, and not a sapient being.

7) Is fair, in the sense that, while no one else might notice if I only make a duplicate of myself, I 'might'. Depending on whether conciousness is continual or not.
That said, I've sort of already toyed with ideas that could be a work-around.  (Basically, Instead of just uploading your brain, connect your mind/brain/whatever to the brain-mimicing system? Plasticity would hopefully allow you to slowly start using that/having it be like a part of your real brain. Then when your body goes corpsified, it would *hopefuly* be akin to having a damaging, but survivable stroke. Alternatively, slowly replace your neurons with artificial neurons?)

8) Is probably fair.
 
2013-04-17 05:56:22 PM  

Wolf892: sonable facsimile of your mind and persona, but it would not be you. You would still be trapped in your meat suit waiting to die.


Not necessarily. The mind can 'flow' in some ways, in that the brain is plastic, and knows how to *use* that plasticity pretty damn well. Instead of teaching a brain to use an artifical limb (which we have already started to do, it's nucking futs)-
Perhaps it would be possible to 'teach' (or 'nudge') a brain to slowly migrate its functions to a computer mind-analogue, were one connected to it constantly. Thus when your meat-sack form goes all corpsey, it would be more akin to a stroke-potentially debilitating,b ut not *necessarily* consciousness-ending. In this fashion, you haven't 'copied' your mind so much as slowly moved it.

But, not a neuroscientist. So this may be total malarky. Just a thought I've toyed with.
 
2013-04-17 05:57:08 PM  
is it a raid-5
 
2013-04-17 05:57:46 PM  

Wolf892: That makes sense to me. The ability to "upload" our minds into a computer would have to mean that our minds were like fluid, able to be poured from one container into another, leaving nothing behind in the first container. This would imply a spiritual component, a "soul" as it were being transferred from the body to the machine as consciousness was passed. I do not believe in the soul so I can't believe in this process ever being successful.
I do believe that one day it might be possible for a machine to copy and then imitate a very reasonable facsimile of your mind and persona, but it would not be you. You would still be trapped in your meat suit waiting to die.


It's the same with teleportation/transporters.  You either make a copy and destroy the original, or you're left with identical twins...one of which may not have a functioning brain.  We, as beings, are our neural activity.  You can copy the brain perfectly, right down to every last neuron, but the chemical activity that makes us who we are at any given moment doesn't just magically happen.  You can replicate the neural structure, but how do you get the consciousness into it?  Even as a copy?  You might be able to make the new structure function as a brain, but you'd be starting a completely new sentience.  Nothing of the original's thoughts would exist.

We can't even reliably jump-start existing brains that have ceased function.  That's an absolute Step 1 in any method for containing and then moving a mind.  Can't even reliably make an otherwise healthy brain work after a brief shutdown?  Then you can't possibly make any worthwhile simulation.
 
2013-04-17 06:01:15 PM  
Wouldn't trying to read and position every neuron destroy the particles they're reading ala heisenberg's uncertainty principle?

Also, wouldn't heisenberg's uncertainty principle prevent you from "heating up" particles you've re-created and re-assembled? Since you could know the position, but not the momentum, and heat and our lives both rely on molecular movement?

//So, it sounds like you'd either always have to revive that guy you've just cloned (with mixed success since he's also frozen solid) or a different way to trap and recreate consciousness is needed..
 
2013-04-17 06:01:37 PM  
When scientists give you lemons, you have your engineers build combustible lemons to burn their houses down.
 
2013-04-17 06:01:58 PM  

Felgraf: Wolf892: sonable facsimile of your mind and persona, but it would not be you. You would still be trapped in your meat suit waiting to die.

Not necessarily. The mind can 'flow' in some ways, in that the brain is plastic, and knows how to *use* that plasticity pretty damn well. Instead of teaching a brain to use an artifical limb (which we have already started to do, it's nucking futs)-
Perhaps it would be possible to 'teach' (or 'nudge') a brain to slowly migrate its functions to a computer mind-analogue, were one connected to it constantly. Thus when your meat-sack form goes all corpsey, it would be more akin to a stroke-potentially debilitating,b ut not *necessarily* consciousness-ending. In this fashion, you haven't 'copied' your mind so much as slowly moved it.

But, not a neuroscientist. So this may be total malarky. Just a thought I've toyed with.


yea, I've thought about this too. like, you slowly over the course of many years replace parts of your brain with cyber parts. I often wonder, as the cyber parts take over, and your brain learns to use them, what is you? when the last of the organic brain is gone, would you even notice? or would it be like having a small stroke? If you have a stroke, and rehab, and the good parts of your brain take over for the stroked out part, are you no longer yourself?
 
2013-04-17 06:03:54 PM  

SuperT: Felgraf: Wolf892: sonable facsimile of your mind and persona, but it would not be you. You would still be trapped in your meat suit waiting to die.

Not necessarily. The mind can 'flow' in some ways, in that the brain is plastic, and knows how to *use* that plasticity pretty damn well. Instead of teaching a brain to use an artifical limb (which we have already started to do, it's nucking futs)-
Perhaps it would be possible to 'teach' (or 'nudge') a brain to slowly migrate its functions to a computer mind-analogue, were one connected to it constantly. Thus when your meat-sack form goes all corpsey, it would be more akin to a stroke-potentially debilitating,b ut not *necessarily* consciousness-ending. In this fashion, you haven't 'copied' your mind so much as slowly moved it.

But, not a neuroscientist. So this may be total malarky. Just a thought I've toyed with.

yea, I've thought about this too. like, you slowly over the course of many years replace parts of your brain with cyber parts. I often wonder, as the cyber parts take over, and your brain learns to use them, what is you? when the last of the organic brain is gone, would you even notice? or would it be like having a small stroke? If you have a stroke, and rehab, and the good parts of your brain take over for the stroked out part, are you no longer yourself?


only if you eat popcorn instead of fish
and your mother tells you your not the old Randy
 
2013-04-17 06:08:23 PM  
To know him is to love him is to know him.

static.thecia.com.au
 
2013-04-17 06:17:04 PM  

WippitGuud: To know him is to love him is to know him.

[static.thecia.com.au image 350x230]


Those who knew him loved him, and those who didn't know him loved him from afar.
 
2013-04-17 06:17:31 PM  

Felgraf: Wolf892: sonable facsimile of your mind and persona, but it would not be you. You would still be trapped in your meat suit waiting to die.

Not necessarily. The mind can 'flow' in some ways, in that the brain is plastic, and knows how to *use* that plasticity pretty damn well. Instead of teaching a brain to use an artifical limb (which we have already started to do, it's nucking futs)-
Perhaps it would be possible to 'teach' (or 'nudge') a brain to slowly migrate its functions to a computer mind-analogue, were one connected to it constantly. Thus when your meat-sack form goes all corpsey, it would be more akin to a stroke-potentially debilitating,b ut not *necessarily* consciousness-ending. In this fashion, you haven't 'copied' your mind so much as slowly moved it.

But, not a neuroscientist. So this may be total malarky. Just a thought I've toyed with.


I like this thought of yours, and do hope something like that could be possible. But I don't see it happening. On the other hand, what they say about us being new people every 7 years is kind of the same idea...is the person we were 7 years ago dead and replaced with something that thinks it is that same person? Does it matter?
 
2013-04-17 06:18:07 PM  

Wolf892: Felgraf: Wolf892: sonable facsimile of your mind and persona, but it would not be you. You would still be trapped in your meat suit waiting to die.

Not necessarily. The mind can 'flow' in some ways, in that the brain is plastic, and knows how to *use* that plasticity pretty damn well. Instead of teaching a brain to use an artifical limb (which we have already started to do, it's nucking futs)-
Perhaps it would be possible to 'teach' (or 'nudge') a brain to slowly migrate its functions to a computer mind-analogue, were one connected to it constantly. Thus when your meat-sack form goes all corpsey, it would be more akin to a stroke-potentially debilitating,b ut not *necessarily* consciousness-ending. In this fashion, you haven't 'copied' your mind so much as slowly moved it.

But, not a neuroscientist. So this may be total malarky. Just a thought I've toyed with.

I like this thought of yours, and do hope something like that could be possible. But I don't see it happening. On the other hand, what they say about us being new people every 7 years is kind of the same idea...is the person we were 7 years ago dead and replaced with something that thinks it is that same person? Does it matter?


Ah,t he good old Ship of Theseus.
 
2013-04-17 06:20:36 PM  

Kuroshin: Wolf892: That makes sense to me. The ability to "upload" our minds into a computer would have to mean that our minds were like fluid, able to be poured from one container into another, leaving nothing behind in the first container. This would imply a spiritual component, a "soul" as it were being transferred from the body to the machine as consciousness was passed. I do not believe in the soul so I can't believe in this process ever being successful.
I do believe that one day it might be possible for a machine to copy and then imitate a very reasonable facsimile of your mind and persona, but it would not be you. You would still be trapped in your meat suit waiting to die.

It's the same with teleportation/transporters.  You either make a copy and destroy the original, or you're left with identical twins...one of which may not have a functioning brain.  We, as beings, are our neural activity.  You can copy the brain perfectly, right down to every last neuron, but the chemical activity that makes us who we are at any given moment doesn't just magically happen.  You can replicate the neural structure, but how do you get the consciousness into it?  Even as a copy?  You might be able to make the new structure function as a brain, but you'd be starting a completely new sentience.  Nothing of the original's thoughts would exist.

We can't even reliably jump-start existing brains that have ceased function.  That's an absolute Step 1 in any method for containing and then moving a mind.  Can't even reliably make an otherwise healthy brain work after a brief shutdown?  Then you can't possibly make any worthwhile simulation.


I'm just going to say that we think along the same lines.
Best we could do is take the brain, throw it into a cyborg body, and then some how have stem cells converting to brain cells to constantly be replacing those that die off. So, create a regenerative brain that maintains the core essence of self.
 
2013-04-17 06:22:00 PM  
Three months clean and counting.
 
2013-04-17 06:28:56 PM  

SuperT: Felgraf: Wolf892: sonable facsimile of your mind and persona, but it would not be you. You would still be trapped in your meat suit waiting to die.

Not necessarily. The mind can 'flow' in some ways, in that the brain is plastic, and knows how to *use* that plasticity pretty damn well. Instead of teaching a brain to use an artifical limb (which we have already started to do, it's nucking futs)-
Perhaps it would be possible to 'teach' (or 'nudge') a brain to slowly migrate its functions to a computer mind-analogue, were one connected to it constantly. Thus when your meat-sack form goes all corpsey, it would be more akin to a stroke-potentially debilitating,b ut not *necessarily* consciousness-ending. In this fashion, you haven't 'copied' your mind so much as slowly moved it.

But, not a neuroscientist. So this may be total malarky. Just a thought I've toyed with.

yea, I've thought about this too. like, you slowly over the course of many years replace parts of your brain with cyber parts. I often wonder, as the cyber parts take over, and your brain learns to use them, what is you? when the last of the organic brain is gone, would you even notice? or would it be like having a small stroke? If you have a stroke, and rehab, and the good parts of your brain take over for the stroked out part, are you no longer yourself?


If I took a ship and every time a piece broke I replaced that piece with a different, but functionally identical piece, is it the same ship when every piece has been replaced?

Likewise, if consciousness is a component of a physical system, if I replaced every neuron in your brain with a functionally identical but artificial component, are you the same person? Arguments could be made either way.

My personal favorite is the Swampman thought experiment.

Say I look at a picture on my wall. Then I go to the swamp, and am struck by lightning and die. At the same exact moment, by sheer coincidence, a bunch of atoms elsewhere in the swamp spontaneously form into exactly the same configuration that was my body. This new me goes home and remembers seeing the picture on the wall. Is that memory true or false? That copy of me has never actually seen the picture before, right? But is there a "me" that is distinct from the arrangement of physical components that make up my body and brain?
 
2013-04-17 06:30:54 PM  

Somaticasual: Wouldn't trying to read and position every neuron destroy the particles they're reading ala heisenberg's uncertainty principle?

Also, wouldn't heisenberg's uncertainty principle prevent you from "heating up" particles you've re-created and re-assembled? Since you could know the position, but not the momentum, and heat and our lives both rely on molecular movement?

//So, it sounds like you'd either always have to revive that guy you've just cloned (with mixed success since he's also frozen solid) or a different way to trap and recreate consciousness is needed..


No, neurons are too big for the uncertaintly principle to come into play. If  - and this is the crux of a lot of these questions - if the brain doesn't rely on quantum processes to create consciousness, then it should in principle be possible to copy the arrangement of neurons exactly and create a duplicate consciousness.
 
2013-04-17 06:31:33 PM  
So...will Moonguard be the default place for horn fetishists?
 
2013-04-17 06:33:26 PM  

Kuroshin: Wolf892: That makes sense to me. The ability to "upload" our minds into a computer would have to mean that our minds were like fluid, able to be poured from one container into another, leaving nothing behind in the first container. This would imply a spiritual component, a "soul" as it were being transferred from the body to the machine as consciousness was passed. I do not believe in the soul so I can't believe in this process ever being successful.
I do believe that one day it might be possible for a machine to copy and then imitate a very reasonable facsimile of your mind and persona, but it would not be you. You would still be trapped in your meat suit waiting to die.

It's the same with teleportation/transporters.  You either make a copy and destroy the original, or you're left with identical twins...one of which may not have a functioning brain.  We, as beings, are our neural activity.  You can copy the brain perfectly, right down to every last neuron, but the chemical activity that makes us who we are at any given moment doesn't just magically happen.  You can replicate the neural structure, but how do you get the consciousness into it?  Even as a copy?  You might be able to make the new structure function as a brain, but you'd be starting a completely new sentience.  Nothing of the original's thoughts would exist.

We can't even reliably jump-start existing brains that have ceased function.  That's an absolute Step 1 in any method for containing and then moving a mind.  Can't even reliably make an otherwise healthy brain work after a brief shutdown?  Then you can't possibly make any worthwhile simulation.


You're begging the question. If you copy the brain perfectly, then by definition you're copying the state of all the chemicals in that brain too. There would be no reason to "start" the new brain, it's already in a running state. The original thoughts, assuming that they are encoded into the physical arrangement of the brain, would exist identically as well. To say otherwise is to say that at least part of our minds exists outside of our brains.

That being said, look at the swampman experiment for a similar question. :)
 
2013-04-17 06:37:17 PM  

Lord Dimwit: If I took a ship and every time a piece broke I replaced that piece with a different, but functionally identical piece, is it the same ship when every piece has been replaced?


That's all well and good, but you get screwed if someone gathers up all the broken pieces and builds a shoddy but just as identical ship. Now what are you left with? I'd say that that shoddy ship was the original, and the new one was the copy...both might claim to be the one true ship, but there is something to be said for the definition of the word "Original"
 
2013-04-17 06:38:24 PM  

Felgraf: My personal reactions:
(Note: I AM NOT A NEUROLOGIST. Or a comp sci major. Merely a physicist, but I have pondered the idea from time to time..)

From Objection 1)
"most of its important features are the result of unpredictable, nonlinear interactions among billions of cells. "
Uh-wouldn't, in theory, quantum computing get around that? It's sort of non-binary by nature.

Or, say, biological computing? (I know work on biological computing is being done).

Or, I.. can't you MAKE nonlinear processes? That interact with billions of other processes or variables? (Okay, maybe not 'billions' yet, but I can't see why you can't make processes that interact with multiple other processes at the same time. Granted, I'm not a computer scientist).

4).. Yes, 4 DOES sound like new age malarky. "Hameroff has suggested that consciousness is related to a fundamental component of physical reality - components that are akin to phenomenon like mass, spin or charge. According to this view, the basis of consciousness can be found in an additional fundamental force of nature not unlike gravity or electromagnetism.  " Perhaps it IS true, but fantastic claims require fantastic evidence, dude.

6) Is fair, in the sense that I also worry about AI development for ethical reasons (that is, we would treat an AI as a *thing*, and not a sapient being.

7) Is fair, in the sense that, while no one else might notice if I only make a duplicate of myself, I 'might'. Depending on whether conciousness is continual or not.
That said, I've sort of already toyed with ideas that could be a work-around.  (Basically, Instead of just uploading your brain, connect your mind/brain/whatever to the brain-mimicing system? Plasticity would hopefully allow you to slowly start using that/having it be like a part of your real brain. Then when your body goes corpsified, it would *hopefuly* be akin to having a damaging, but survivable stroke. Alternatively, slowly replace your neurons with artificial neurons?)

8) Is proba ...


Your objection to (1) is my objection to (1). There's a difference between saying "we can't compute the state of the system because it's too huge/has too many variables/etc" and "we can't compute it because it's not Turing computable even in principle." To say that the state of the brain isn't Turing computable means that the statistical nature of quantum mechanics is a fundamental component of consciousness.

For the record, quantum computing as it is currently defined is not a super-Turing process; it is exactly Turing equivalent. It's just faster at certain types of things than classical computers.
 
2013-04-17 06:38:26 PM  

Kuroshin: It's the same with teleportation/transporters.  You either make a copy and destroy the original, or you're left with identical twins...one of which may not have a functioning brain.


What if, instead of using some sort of matter/energy conversion to build a duplicate of a person in a different place we found a way to break reality and exchange the pieces?  Say you're trying to move somebody from point A to point B, so you sever a small space around A and B, swap their positions, and then allow them to reconnect?  Of course, if there's a glitch and the shapes aren't quite identical I could see it dividing by zero as reality attempts to repair the gaps and overlaps.  It's not much different from the functions of some theoretical "FTL" travel methods that use spatial compression rather than just speed.
 
2013-04-17 06:38:36 PM  
in the year 2525  if man is still alive......defragging and error correction is how the government controls our minds.
 
2013-04-17 06:39:28 PM  

Lord Dimwit: No, neurons are too big for the uncertaintly principle to come into play


That was factored, but they're still composed of the same particles that would have those level of effects. I think it rules out any known copying mechanism.
But, then again, considering many of heisenberg's contemporaries have either been debunked or are starting to have their theories put to the test via particle physics , there's also room to question whether or not heisenberg's would apply to more advanced non-invasive technologies for reading the same (or if it has any actual merit).

I guess the same arguments would affect teleportation as well, so if science can crack it - Good Bye, Airline travel..
 
2013-04-17 06:40:42 PM  
Talking about mind transferal at our current knowledge of the workings of the human brain is about like a caveman postulating a nuke would be possible if he could only get enough sappy wood onto the fire.
 
2013-04-17 06:47:11 PM  
The Mind/Body Dualism is really at the heart of this debate. If it's true, then we have to open a Hogwarts and start studying the practical application of metaphysical science.

If it's not, carry on New Age hippies. You guys will still be useful for growing high grade pot and making Indian hair tampons.
 
2013-04-17 06:48:03 PM  
And Lord Kelvin said heaver-than-air machines could never fly.
 
2013-04-17 06:51:04 PM  

Wolf892: Lord Dimwit: If I took a ship and every time a piece broke I replaced that piece with a different, but functionally identical piece, is it the same ship when every piece has been replaced?

That's all well and good, but you get screwed if someone gathers up all the broken pieces and builds a shoddy but just as identical ship. Now what are you left with? I'd say that that shoddy ship was the original, and the new one was the copy...both might claim to be the one true ship, but there is something to be said for the definition of the word "Original"


That's one of Thomas Hobbes' arguments. Which ship is the original?

Solutions to the dilemma range from "both ships are the same ship" to various others.

My argument is that continuity of identity is not necessarily the case, or, more accurately, that as soon as the first piece is replaced it ceases to be the original ship, and becomes a new ship that is very similar to, but not identical to the first. The original ship has ceased to exist at all. Following this argument, the first ship ceases to exist until every piece is replaced and the old pieces are used to reconstruct the ship, which is now the "same ship".

But that raises further questions. If my toddler builds a house out of blocks and then takes it apart, and then later puts the same blocks in the same positions, is it the "same" house? In other words, does temporal continuity come into play?

Then you get into the real weird areas of "what is identity, really?" and "does the axiom of choice hold at all?"
 
2013-04-17 06:52:10 PM  

the opposite of charity is justice: Talking about mind transferal at our current knowledge of the workings of the human brain is about like a caveman postulating a nuke would be possible if he could only get enough sappy wood onto the fire.


So you'd prefer that we wait on the theoretical speculation stage until we get somewhere within a few centuries of practical experiments?  Personally, I'd rather have the wild fantasies phase done with so we have lots of jumping off points ready to go when we get to the point where we can start tinkering with the "nuts and bolts" of a potential technology.
 
2013-04-17 06:52:36 PM  

MusicMakeMyHeadPound: And Lord Kelvin said heaver-than-air machines could never fly.


And if history serves me right, any aircraft that went past the sound barrier would be instantly destroyed by the forces involved..
 
2013-04-17 06:53:57 PM  
My responses:

1. Considering the developments in quantum and organic computers, this is not going to impact the development of such.
2. If the basis of the brain functions are digitized, there is nothing other than to use the feedback loops capable of producing this "phenomenal experience" by linking memories to subroutines that release feel-good chemicals and mild natural brain hallucinogens.
3. Our brain just processes a lot of things as it has to route pathways through other pathways. This can be virtualized inside a computer given sufficient time. Complex patterns happen in computers all the time and can be programmed to do such.
4. Consciousness is not a fundamental aspect of the cosmos, it is a fundamental aspect of us and thus we see the cosmos with our conscious perspective. While there exists the definite possibility and statistical certainty that some other conscious beings exist somewhere in our universe, not everything is conscious. Everything is, however, chaotic. And the chaotic nature is a contributing factor to consciousness but not consciousness itself.
5. The mind is located inside the body and does not reside outside of it. While it has the ability to think about the things outside of itself by stimulus input from senses and even itself using meta-cognition, the mind is not outside. It is a viewer watching a screen and nothing more.
6. This is important to consider, but many of the early developments have been done with great care on willing people with physical limitations such as quadriplegia. The basic notion of mind-apparatus interface has been done already in that respect and is increasingly developing. While the risk for abuse is there, it is with all things.
7. We could be are sure of it working as much as understanding that any other person we meet is "real" and "working". For the most part we see their human form and assume consciousness. (WBC members and Republicans aside) Many who fall into the uncanny valley of human form such as those with physical disfigurement used to be and are still seen as difference. Especially those with severe disabilities. Now once we realized they were conscious beings, we treated them differently. Same goes for this.
8. This is mostly a mute point. Current minds are vulnerable to hacking and abuse in the forms of peer pressure, culture, society, brainwashing, religion, business, recreation, drugs, and so much more. While the type might change a little with a digitized consciousness, it is all still there.

Final word: Human beings like doing things. If they want to they'll do it. We'd destroy the face of a thousand planets if we could to accomplish our goals. That's just the nature of the human rice. While it may not be very ethical in that sense, we will do it if we want to do it.
 
2013-04-17 06:55:24 PM  
Objection #6 is the big one -- the moral issue.  Specifically, when you have an artificial person, you will consider that person to have rights -- otherwise why are you trying to upload your brain?  If you consider the artificial construct to be a person then you have the moral obligations you would have towards a person.

So what do you do when you get it almost right.  Turn it off and start again?  We can turn a living person off with a bullet, but you'll spend a long time as a guest of the state if you do so.  You can't just kill your child if you don't like the way they turned out.

An artificial person won't age and die -- how long do you keep it running.  What if it's a person whose existence is extreme suffering because you got it almost right?
 
2013-04-17 06:57:43 PM  

Somaticasual: Lord Dimwit: No, neurons are too big for the uncertaintly principle to come into play

That was factored, but they're still composed of the same particles that would have those level of effects. I think it rules out any known copying mechanism.
But, then again, considering many of heisenberg's contemporaries have either been debunked or are starting to have their theories put to the test via particle physics , there's also room to question whether or not heisenberg's would apply to more advanced non-invasive technologies for reading the same (or if it has any actual merit).

I guess the same arguments would affect teleportation as well, so if science can crack it - Good Bye, Airline travel..


Depends. This comes back to the Ship of Theseus argument. If the copying mechanism were of reasonable fidelity, that is "this subatomic particle is in this location with 80% probability" or whatever, which given the scale and temperatures we're dealing with is certainly very reasonable, then whatever came out of the copying process would be "very much" like you. How much like you does it have to be for it to still be you? If I heat up the room by 20 degrees, that causes the particles in my head to heat up and move around faster, am I still me? If one of the atoms in my brain quantum tunneled through my skull and out of my head, am I still me?

More importantly, am I the same person I was five minutes ago? Every single particle in my body has changed positions in those five minutes - some particles have even left and others come in. If the fidelity of the copying process is such that I would be "just as different" if I had just stood there for the same amount of time the process takes, then I'd argue that the copy is equally "me".
 
2013-04-17 07:02:34 PM  
As for the how... C'mon people, start with a worm and work your way up!  We're all just worms with really good option packages.
 
rpm
2013-04-17 07:02:49 PM  

Lord Dimwit: You're begging the question. If you copy the brain perfectly, then by definition you're copying the state of all the chemicals in that brain too. There would be no reason to "start" the new brain, it's already in a running state. The original thoughts, assuming that they are encoded into the physical arrangement of the brain, would exist identically as well. To say otherwise is to say that at least part of our minds exists outside of our brains.


(1) The brain is a chaotic system
(2) No process is perfect

Small perturbations = different output. You aren't getting the same person back.
 
2013-04-17 07:06:28 PM  
Why copy or instantaneously replace the whole brain?  If the conversion process was gradual enough...neuron by neuron, it seems to me we could replace the mind and consciousness while remaining who we are.
 
2013-04-17 07:07:15 PM  

rpm: Lord Dimwit: You're begging the question. If you copy the brain perfectly, then by definition you're copying the state of all the chemicals in that brain too. There would be no reason to "start" the new brain, it's already in a running state. The original thoughts, assuming that they are encoded into the physical arrangement of the brain, would exist identically as well. To say otherwise is to say that at least part of our minds exists outside of our brains.

(1) The brain is a chaotic system
(2) No process is perfect

Small perturbations = different output. You aren't getting the same person back.


Right, but then what does it mean to be the "same person"? If I just sat around for five minutes, my brain is still in a drastically different configuration at the subatomic level. If the copying process were sufficiently good such that I would be "just as different, although maybe in a different way" from the copy had I just sat there for the same length of time, then I would argue that both copies are "me".
 
2013-04-17 07:08:50 PM  

Lord Dimwit: Somaticasual: Lord Dimwit: No, neurons are too big for the uncertaintly principle to come into play

That was factored, but they're still composed of the same particles that would have those level of effects. I think it rules out any known copying mechanism.
But, then again, considering many of heisenberg's contemporaries have either been debunked or are starting to have their theories put to the test via particle physics , there's also room to question whether or not heisenberg's would apply to more advanced non-invasive technologies for reading the same (or if it has any actual merit).

I guess the same arguments would affect teleportation as well, so if science can crack it - Good Bye, Airline travel..

Depends. This comes back to the Ship of Theseus argument. If the copying mechanism were of reasonable fidelity, that is "this subatomic particle is in this location with 80% probability" or whatever, which given the scale and temperatures we're dealing with is certainly very reasonable, then whatever came out of the copying process would be "very much" like you. How much like you does it have to be for it to still be you? If I heat up the room by 20 degrees, that causes the particles in my head to heat up and move around faster, am I still me? If one of the atoms in my brain quantum tunneled through my skull and out of my head, am I still me?

More importantly, am I the same person I was five minutes ago? Every single particle in my body has changed positions in those five minutes - some particles have even left and others come in. If the fidelity of the copying process is such that I would be "just as different" if I had just stood there for the same amount of time the process takes, then I'd argue that the copy is equally "me".


I guess that probably digs further into the philosophical aspect, but that would raise some fundamental questions about how you address that "new" person from a legal standpoint. It' the classic nixon/robot body loophole..
 
2013-04-17 07:30:36 PM  

Nuclear Monk: Why copy or instantaneously replace the whole brain?  If the conversion process was gradual enough...neuron by neuron, it seems to me we could replace the mind and consciousness while remaining who we are.


i483.photobucket.com


1) map
2) emulate
3) upload
4) start at 1)
 
2013-04-17 07:35:08 PM  
Lots of bs in tfa about things we'll "never" be able to do.  Don't believe that nonsense for an instant.
 
2013-04-17 07:35:56 PM  
Solution: linked holodecks where you can actually run around in an MMO environment with millions of other people and cast magic missiles.  All you really need is high volumes of data transfer.
 
2013-04-17 07:40:46 PM  
Transhumanism has about as much scientific basis as Christianity.  Which is to say:  none at all.

Pursuit of it, though, will yield some wonderful, wonderful toys.
 
2013-04-17 07:48:55 PM  
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
network.mymiddleearth.com
 
2013-04-17 07:49:03 PM  
Scientists add, we'll probably never be able to get anywhere with Dr. Selar.
i.imgur.com
 
2013-04-17 07:53:52 PM  

DjangoStonereaver: Transhumanism has about as much scientific basis as Christianity.  Which is to say:  none at all.

Pursuit of it, though, will yield some wonderful, wonderful toys.


Which makes all the difference, really. Nobody says transhumanism IS true, merely that we'd like it to be, and that we hope someday it can be.

As opposed to your bog-standard normal religion which usually insists it's got the inside scoop on not only the future, but the past and present as well, and that failure to adhere to its tenets gets you the booby prize.

Transhumanism may be looney tunes, but it's a philosophical goal, not a science. If we can't figure out direct mind uploads, we can regroup and aim for something else. Whereas if the existence of an afterlife were conclusively disproved, most religions would simply fall apart or retreat further into denialism.
 
2013-04-17 07:57:15 PM  
I've never understood the apprehension behind the problem associated with mind-uploading and teleportation destroying the original.

Let's say they do find a way to perfectly emulate your mind, down to every detail, inside of computer system. For all intents and purposes that is me. The only difference being I've transitioned from a physical being to a digital one. Keep in mind, we're assuming that the transition is perfect. Now, certainly I could be left with two copies of myself which may cause all sorts of existential crisis'. Which one is really me?

The answer isn't as hard as some make it out to be. I believe that  bothwould have equal claim to being "me."

So let's say that when I upload myself to the virtual world, the system is designed to terminate my physical body. So in reality I have died, and a copy of me is created. Many people have a problem with this. But I don't get it. From my personal perspective, I have not died. From my perspective I've just jumped ship. It is only from  yourperspective that I have died. And if the human condition is anything to go on, it's my perspective that matters on a personal level. Not yours.

If they ever perfect mind uploading, I'll be first in line. Kill me so that I may live forever.
 
2013-04-17 08:09:08 PM  
ws.assoc-amazon.com
I think it's this book where the galactic civilization already has a presence in WoW space...
 
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