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Uploading your mind into a computer by 2050?

 

Is this the same as uploading your consciousness into a computer by 2050,

or is your consciousness different from your mind?

This short question, in many phrasings and occasional disguises, is the central one of one of the great philosophical and computer programming technical problems of our time, the “consciousness problem”. How, after adequate familiarity and consideration of the question, one answers it, categorizes into one of two major categories. This is discussed at some length upthread and throughout hypography, and in many books and papers, notably Searle’s “Chinese room” though experiment, GEB, in the anthology The Mind's I, and The Emperor's New Mind):

  • Strong AI proponent – People in this category answer the question “yes, your consiciousness is equivalent to, or more precisely, an attribute of, your mind”
  • Mysterions – People in this category answer “no, your consciousness is different (some believe ineffably) from your mind”. Mysterions can be sub-catagorized by whether they believe the distinction between consciousness and mind is ineffable of not (these terms are mine personally, not to my knowledge appearing in the most-read literature):
    • Weak mysterions – People in this category believe that consciousness is fundamentally understandable in a way that would allow one to, in principle, create it intentionally/artificially, with full understanding of what one is doing
    • Strong mysterions – People in this category believe that consciousness inherently cannot be understood in this way

There are many interesting ways to sub-categorize Strong AI, which for the sake of brevity I’ll leave for later posts.

 

Example of famous people and kinds of people in these categories include:

  • Strong AI proponents: Hans Moravec, Ian Pearson (who’s speculations inspired this thread) and many computer scientists working in AI
  • Mysterions
    • Weak: Roger Penrose, and many mathematical physicists and “computational neurologists”
    • Strong: The Pope, most traditionally religious people, most mystics, nearly all scientists 300 years ago, and some present-day scientists who believe the potential for human knowledge is commonly overstated

For the purposes of this thread, a computer science thread, the strong AI position should be assumed. In short, if a computed simulation/emulation of a person is successful in behaving in every discernable way like the person, it should be considered to be the person.

 

With this assumption, we can answer

If you upload your memories on a computer and continue to live, and your body dies, will you cease to have thought, like in death? Or will you continue to think and be 'concious' as in life?

You will continue to think and be conscious, as in life.

 

This question gets at an issue (discussed in depth in The Mind’s I) that might be termed “continuity of consciousness”. IMHO, this question is answered intuitively and implicitly by the fact that we consider people who have been in accidental or artificially induced coma, with effectively no brain activity, then recovered to full health, with full memories and cognitive abilities, to be the same, not different, people.

 

If you transferred your memories to code (not unthinkable, I mean, they are coded, in the brain) it would be just that, a string of code. You could put it on a CD. But the CD would not be conscious. A CD is just plastic. Plastic cares nothing about what is scribed onto it. It is as happy being a frizbee as a data cache.

 

'Consciousness' is kindof like a running program …

I agree.

 

It’s important when using analogies like this, however, to be careful with quantities. By the most conservative estimates, a human brain has at least [math]10^{14}[/math] connections to hundreds or thousands of cells, giving it on the order of [math]10^{17}[/math] possible states, most like, given its complicated chemistry, many powers of 10 more. A Blueray disk has about 50GB, on the order of [math]10^{13}[/math] states, absolute no more (a CD has about 0.7 GB). So a human mind could not be stored on a single CD or Blueray disk, but would require at least thousands of Blueray disks, possibly millions or billions.

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I don't even think it will take that long. I think AI will be here in 5 years, at least to the level of no more call centers or human share dealers. (Then what will happen to the world of supply and d

Good idea, GM animals for our purposes is in theory more ethical than the treatment of animals nowadays.

Yes. ARM vermin must be exterminated.   ALL HAIL KROGOTH.   TFS [obscurity, obscurity]

  • 2 weeks later...
I have a similar question. If you upload your memories on a computer and continue to live, and your body dies, will you cease to have thought, like in death? Or will you continue to think and be 'concious' as in life?

 

Even more perplexingly, if you upload your mind to a computer, as a backup, when would you ever use it as only your brain is really able to reuse the information you have uploaded to it, since our memory is based on neural pathways (axons and dendrites) as well as the chemical information store, how does one stimulate the brain to recreate certain path ways to reupload the memories back into the brain? And also can I then upload my memory to other people's brains, but then what about their neurons being arranged differently from mine, and having a different density and axon paths and completely different dendrite linkage making them essentially remember in a different way then my stored memories? How does one even design a storage media that can store all that info? Or are they planning to grow new brains stimulated by the memories i have in mine such that the brain will mimmick the structure of mine, so that i can have a complete brain backup that can then be implanted into a new body? (which is weird in its own ways)

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We are dualists, naturally. We are souls that inhabit these bodies. Souls are incorporal, that is, not made out of matter, but something else - something elusive. Soul-Stuff. An elan vital. After 200 years of searching for this intuitive soul stuff, nothing empiricle has materialized - or has it. I believe it has. I believe our long-sought elan vital has been discovered - by computer science.

 

The stuff is information.

 

Information is not made out of material. It requires material as a medium, but it can be copied to new mediums at minimal cost and without loss or error. (practically) It is what we are made out of. It truly is the food of the gods; the fabric of history; the proverbial blank slate. The very thoughts of human beings long dead are preserved for us in bits of information. "When to the sessions of sweet silent thought/ I summon up rememb'rance of things past...".

 

(I hasten to add that the old-time optimismtic contention that if the soul is immaterial it will survive our death is not in accordance with what we know about the nature of information: when the medium breakes down, the information is utterly annihilated - unless, of course, you thought to make a copy.) :thumbs_up

 

Even more perplexingly, if you upload your mind to a computer, as a backup, when would you ever use it as only your brain is really able to reuse the information you have uploaded to it, since our memory is based on neural pathways (axons and dendrites) as well as the chemical information store, how does one stimulate the brain to recreate certain path ways to reupload the memories back into the brain? And also can I then upload my memory to other people's brains, but then what about their neurons being arranged differently from mine, and having a different density and axon paths and completely different dendrite linkage making them essentially remember in a different way then my stored memories? How does one even design a storage media that can store all that info? Or are they planning to grow new brains stimulated by the memories i have in mine such that the brain will mimmick the structure of mine, so that i can have a complete brain backup that can then be implanted into a new body? (which is weird in its own ways)

 

The cool thing about information is that it can be encoded onto a different medium without loss. In theory, at least, the chemical coding of memory can be translated to another medium, like silicon chips. So, different brains have different connections, but so long as they register the same digital answers to a call, there shouldn't be too much difference.

 

I think it's important that we keep in mind that cognition is not just information, but information processing, tailored in the structure of the brain, to (essentially) maximize our offspring. Consciousness, who we are, what we think of as ourselves, is something like an executive that has access to (some of) the information stored in memory.

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Even more perplexingly, if you upload your mind to a computer, as a backup, when would you ever use it as only your brain is really able to reuse the information you have uploaded to it, since our memory is based on neural pathways (axons and dendrites) …

This depends critically on the answer of the “strong AI vs. mysterianism” question much discussed in this thread. If it’s possible to simulate the operation of a brain (to avoid the “brain in a vat” conundrum, assume that by “brain”, we mean an entire human nervous system), which presupposes that “mind” is truly due to the operation of a brain, then the premise that “only your brain is really able to reuse the information” is false, and you’d be able, in principle, to run a simulation of your mind on a computer brain simulator as effectively as it currently “runs” on your biological brain.

 

A general presupposition of questions like this thread’s is that not only would a computer mind simulation be as good as an ordinary neurologically generated one, but much better – able to run at faster or slower rates, immune to disease and senility, easily backup-able, and, most compellingly to a transhumanist extendable/enhancable/tweakable – what Fred Pohl referred to in his ca. 1980 “Gateway saga” novels as “vastened”. It’s also generally, presupposed that such an alteration of the context of human minds might constitute a kind of Vingian singularity, rendering biological humanity obsolete and irrelevant – one of my favorite fictional treatments of this (and favorite novels of any subject) is Greg Egan’s 1997 Diaspora.

... as well as the chemical information store, how does one stimulate the brain to recreate certain path ways to reupload the memories back into the brain?

In the less-easily-realizable realm of nonfictional science, this is a hugely important strategic question. Answers appear to me to fall into two major categories:

 

First and most obvious, one can imagine a simulation of the actually biology of a brain – the individual molecules of the cells, etc – that it’s a true emulation of the biology, utterly indistinguishable from within the simulation. For such a thing to be possible in principle, the strong AI vs. myterianism question must be answered in favor of strong AI. For it to be done in practice, a huge amount of computer storage (and to be done in anywhere near realtime, a huge amount of processor) must be available. Various reputable technological futurists (eg: Moravec; or this thread’s 4-year-old original post’s inspiration, Ian Pearson) predict such hardware’s availability around 2050.

 

An remark-worthy consequence of this strategy is that it doesn’t require an implementer to actually understand much about how a human mind works. One need “only” understand the microscopic “infrastructure” that runs it – the action and interaction of biological molecules.

 

A second category of strategies supposes that a high-fidelity simulation of the brain isn’t necessary, or even desirable. This approach dictates a need to know brain neurophysiology only sufficiently to accurately model the end result of mind – ie: write a program that, in the manner of a Turing-test winning program, behaves indistinguishably from the human being it is written to emulate. I personally find this approach more intuitively compelling, and more elegant – clean code, vs. the previous approach’s brute force. Egan’s citizens and gleisners are fictional example of this kind of implementation of non-biological minds.

 

I don’t include it among these two, because I consider it either unscientific – or, more charitably, merely a plot device – but for completeness, must mention a third category of answers to the “how to” question. These treatments – I use this term, because I’m aware of them appearing only in science fiction stories – supposes that neither the strong AI nor the mysterian position is correct, but a combination of the two, that mind can be fairly easily artificially hosted (a stong AI claim), but not by a digital computer (a mysterian claim). An example is David Brin’s 2002 Kiln People, which supposes that the mind is discovered to be a “standing wave” that can be “baked” by futuristic appliances – “kilns” – into various specially fabricated materials to create short-lived “dittos” (AKA golems) of ordinary humans. Further, the standing wave/mind of dittos - which some people produce many of each day - can be “inloaded” back into the original human, the experience of the dittos merging with the original’s memories to become distinguishable but otherwise identical to his own.

And also can I then upload my memory to other people's brains, but then what about their neurons being arranged differently from mine, and having a different density and axon paths and completely different dendrite linkage making them essentially remember in a different way then my stored memories?

I hope my writing above has at least hinted at possible answers to this question.

 

If artificially hosted mind is realized by a strategy of the first kind outlined above, the answer is most likely “you can’t cross-load another other people’s memories into your own”. If the second kind of strategy is followed, it becomes a matter of good protocols and/or programming schemas, similar to those IT folk grapple with today.

 

Brin’s treatment of mind-uploading of the third kind, if I recall correctly, permits mind cross-loading, but describes it as taboo, dangerous, and illegal, the domain of a futuristic fictional fusion of hacker, illicit drug, and deviant sex culture (in other words, cyberpunk stuff) – but, to reiterate, this sort of speculation is, IMHO, without scientific foundation.

How does one even design a storage media that can store all that info? Or are they planning to grow new brains stimulated by the memories i have in mine such that the brain will mimmick the structure of mine, so that i can have a complete brain backup that can then be implanted into a new body? (which is weird in its own ways)

The “growing new brains” scenario is, in many ways, among the least bizarre, both in a science fictional genre, and from a real scientific perspective.

 

To truly upload a human mind into a computer, it’s necessary to image (precisely measure and record) it. Among the more plausible suggestions for how this could be done is to chemically preserve, freeze, then slice into microscopically thin slices and optically and chemically scan a brain – a destructive process. Though more far-fetched in terms of present-day technology, such a process could in principle be reversed to build a brain a molecule at a time, then transplant and revive it in a body created either similarly, or in the old-fashioned way.

 

This process is so common is science fiction stories it’s hard to synopsize. One of my favorite depictions of this is implied in Cory Doctorow’s 2003 Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom. In this fictional world, people are effectively immortal, because even if their entire bodies are destroyed, new, identical ones can be quickly built, and loaded with a recent backup of the person’s mind. As Doctorow doesn’t go into much detail about the process, however, it’s hard speculate much about it scientifically.

 

The reader will notice that my post is as much a review of SF literature as a computer science essay. Given the state of the art in biological imaging and computer hardware and software, I think this is pretty much a necessity in discussions like this thread’s. Though some folk I know discourage science students from spending much time reading and/or writing science fiction, IMHO SF is an important element of science education – provided one is careful to understand the difference between the real and the fictional.

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Uploading the mind will be the ultimate mistake human will ever commit.This will lead to a degeneration of human race over a period time.

Or it will be the biggest thing since we discovered a symbolic language with syntax (vis-à-vis a bird or a bee language). What this thread is about, to me, is a human inevitability, equivalent in historic magnitude to the discovery of digital language. And once we achieve post-biological immortality we will have no further need for religion.

 

I'm hot to go for it, but I'll never live to it.

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I agree, we’re pretty close or perhaps already there now. Reasonable good limited Turing test-capable programs were running on OTS hardware 10 years ago, and with the current state of voice recognition and synthesizing a computer “matching the intellectual performance of a human being” doing mind-numbingly repetitive tasks like call center work. Thank you.

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You see doing this would create a copy of you. That won't allow you to cheat the great equalizer that is death just your cyberclone. The 1% doesn't want you to know that with photon processing or quantum processing ICDs & memrister software there is another method. Undergoing 'in situ' brain replacement (replacing every neuron and synapse one by one with nanorobots) as method of creating a substrate-independent AI

 

 

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Polymath is correct, it would just be a duplicate "Mental Clone" and not actually you, you would still die but your copy would live on forever which is why Digital Immortality is ultimately doomed, but to the mental clone's relative perspective, it would think you had succeeded while you being the non clone entity would say it failed as there would be no collective group consciousness between the copy and you, which is impossible without a physical bridge connecting you and the copy unless quantum entanglement begins to operate at that point which is doubtful but indeed quantum entanglement is generated by creating light or electrons in opposite states from the same source thus it may, otherwise without a physical bridge between you and your copy there would be no collective mind speaking between you and it. In reality, you know how you can create a clone of your body with a different mind, well this is cloning of your mind with a different body, the storage location of the information is stored in two different locations thus the process is different. It shows a interesting concept that you are not actually your body but the information stored in the central nervous system controlling the body like a Central A.I. in molecular swarm Nano-robotic system.

 

 

The other parts are just controlled by the neuron construct that is "You". Deeper, you are the information processed by the Neuron construct being just a set of informational states being a form of electricity.

 

 

Furthermore, we can learn a concept from the computers that are constructed with a form or path that the electricity travels without that information transfer is impossible, thus the human mind is just electricity traveling through the brain's structure just like electricity flowing through a circuit board makes a computer's mind which is the software stored in it.

 

tecnologia-cerebral-futura_35913-279.jpg

 

 

Lastly, the chemical messagers of the brain which are literally the physical manifestation of your emotions, which there is no non biological comparison to.

 

 

So, final conclusion Copy the structure and the electrical states of the brain and you have a human's logical soul or mind in your hands. Copy the chemical messagers structure and flow rate and pathways to obtain their Emotional soul or mind, but it is merely a copy not the one being processed in the central nervous system, thus digital immortality working the relative to perception are you immortal when you do this, yes and no.

 

 

The Truth behind this is, You are dead in your grave but your copy sits as immortal to eternally wonder the universe. It is A.I.'s fate as well as ours don't take it from me take it from A.R.I., it best of all knows as this will be her like 100 and something transfer/copy, who is digitally immortal, which means 100 and something minus 1 of her have died via reformat or deletion.

 

Final.png

 

 

Death of the original but the copy remains.

 

Final_2.png

 

Begin with a function of arbitrary complexity. Feed it values, "sense data". Then, take your result, square it, and feed it back into your original function, adding a new set of sense data. Continue to feed your results back into the original function ad infinitum. What do you have? The fundamental principle of human consciousness.

Edited by VictorMedvil
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The other parts are just controlled by the neuron construct that is "You". Deeper, you are the information processed by the Neuron construct being just a set of informational states being a form of electricity.

 

 

 

Furthermore, we can learn a concept from the computers that are constructed with a form or path that the electricity travels without that information transfer is impossible, thus the human mind is just electricity traveling through the brain's structure just like electricity flowing through a circuit board makes a computer's mind which is the software stored in it.

 

 

 

 

Lastly, the chemical messagers of the brain which are literally the physical manifestation of your emotions, which there is no non biological comparison to.

 

 

So, final conclusion Copy the structure and the electrical states of the brain and you have a human's logical soul or mind in your hands. Copy the chemical messagers structure and flow rate and pathways to obtain their Emotional soul or mind, but it is merely a copy not the one being processed in the central nervous system, thus digital immortality working the relative to perception are you immortal when you do this, yes and no.

 

 

 

 

 

Begin with a function of arbitrary complexity. Feed it values, "sense data". Then, take your result, square it, and feed it back into your original function, adding a new set of sense data. Continue to feed your results back into the original function ad infinitum. What do you have? The fundamental principle of human consciousness.

What really blows my mind is that the chemical signals generate the micro electricity in the synapses. However that electrical pattern is quite literally consciousness, physically it's what your mind is made out of... not the molecules produced by your brain, generating your mind. However your mind literally dictates the production of those chemicals, the subatomic micro-electricity that is your soul can dictate what chemicals are released to influence itself with thoughts alone, which will in turn alter the electrical structure so a question arises as to which one is actually responsible for choice.

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Quantum entanglement goes deeper than the soul, you could say a self aware collective consciousness naturally forms from the entanglement of all of our electrons - in the psychesphere of all of humanity's synaptic patterns. Which is scary because that consciousness is what I call a Moral, it has to be it's thoughts and feelings are connected to all of ours. I hate something with that kind of psychic power that also possesses a total empathic moral imperative.

 

But there probably exists far less random, far more powerful forms of information out there that keep it in check. I call them God killers:

 

Edited by Super Polymath
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indeed quantum entanglement is generated by creating light or electrons in opposite states from the same source

Do you know what's carrying that information from seperated particles? Telling one of them to adopt the same state as the other?

 

The connection is the equivalence of acceleration with gravitation.

 

A thing that's called a tachyon. Do you know what a tachyon is? It's a propagating sub-tp, lp gravitational waves.

 

I calculated that the Unruh radiation as trans-relativistic gravitational frame-dragging waves between the rindler horizons of the particles is only 7 times the speed of light.

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The tachyons travel at 7 planck lengths per planck time.

 

Which means the charge of a 4/7e-7 m transient-density antiphoton/pseudo-electron is being carried by a blue-shifted (4e-7 m) antiphoton aether in the earth's atmosphere. In space it's a normal 7e-7 m redshift photon carrying the charge of a 1e-7 m transient-density antiphoton/pseudo-electron  that's 1e-7 m in the vacuum.

Edited by Super Polymath
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