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Futurists who advocate for immortality inevitably find themselves talking about uploading their brains into a computer, especially those who advocate for digital immortality. The latter is the camp that is squeamish about the human body and would opt for mind storage in more “durable” non-biological media, with a robot avatar representing them in the physical world.

They make it sound so simple. As of 2014, 250 Americans had cryogenically preserved their bodies (or just their heads) to wait out these imminent technological breakthroughs that would enable the digitization of their souls. 1,500 more people are waiting to be cryogenically preserved, quite confident that immortality is achievable.

Is there something that they know that we don’t? What would uploading your brain into a computer entail, exactly? Where does the rubber meet the road?

This is a very interesting area because it’s where the materialistic, deterministic, mechanistic, scientistic worldview will either be borne out or be proven wrong, once and for all – and this will probably happen by 2050. That’s a singularity all its own!

To scientists like Google’s Ray Kurzweil, memory, learning and consciousness are purely physical and electrochemical processes in the brain that are governed by applicable laws. The mind or “soul” is defined as the information state of the brain, or as the two neuroscientists, Christof Koch and Giulio Tononi wrote for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE): “Consciousness is part of the natural world. It depends, we believe, only on mathematics and logic and on the imperfectly known laws of physics, chemistry, and biology; it does not arise from some magical or otherworldly quality.”

From there, it’s not a big leap to think that if we can map the brain and faithfully duplicate neural networks, that we can create a working facsimile of a brain and replicate the mind therein. This is called Whole Brain Emulation (WBE) in the digital immortality business.

Immortality proponents say that many of the tools and ideas needed to achieve mind uploading already exist or are currently under active development, though they admit that others are still speculative. My guess is that immortality along these lines  would have to involve biological clones but that doesn’t seem to come up in these discussions.

Digital immortality is described more as the creation a digital archive of the knowledge, memories and mannerisms of a person that would continue to learn, evolve and interact with people through advanced artificial intelligence, as if the robot were that person, in which case “immortality” would be a misnomer, in my opinion.

If one believes in the existence of souls, one believes these are distinct and unique points of awareness. While a fancy robot might capture mannerisms, tone of voice, etc., it would not represent “immortality” any more than a high-resolution video would.

Why would someone who thinks he’s just a bag of chemicals want immortality, anyway?

shokkkwave

 

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Alexandra Bruce

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13 comments

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  • Being human is a miracle beyond ‘putting your ‘stuff’ into another container. The human body is an absolute marvel of ingenuity. Humans were created….not manufactured.
    Humans can sense subtle tones of music, colour, texture; feel a breeze on ones’ face; laugh at a joke & give love, appreciation & compassion. Humans give birth to other humans & care & nurture their offspring. They love their planet and all that exists on it…..they want life to continue after they have departed and trust that what we have loved will be there for others. Creation is a gift….our souls communicate this message to us every second, minute, hour of every day! Cherish life!
    Robotics are an invention….a smart one to be sure….but if I had my druthers I’d sooner be left on a desert island with another human than a robot….I think the conversations would be more interesting!

  • We are already immortal, it’s called a soul and when our rented body is finished the soul leaves so why anyone wants to freeze a soulless body is beyond me.
    As for robots we already have them – NPCs and although somewhat artificial they are certainly not of any intelligence.

  • Technology will NOT be what bring Immortality to Hu-Manity…Prime Source Creator will causing MELANIN Beings back to their Original state of BE-Ing.

  • I guess if you don’t believe in the soul, then “immortality” means something very different than if you do believe in the soul.

    For an atheist, “immortality” means a robot equipped with artificial intelligence software programmed with one’s memories and personality traits.

    • Нет сомнений, что всё имеет научное объяснение. Лучшим доказательством того, что человек создан учёными высокоразвитой цивилизации являются пирамиды Египта.

    • На мой взгляд слепая, бездоказательная вера в существование души, является показателем низкого уровня интеллекта данного индивидуума. Совершенно очевидно, что любой образованный человек, обладающий достаточными творческими способностями, всегда должен иметь научное объяснение того, что утверждает.

    • В отличии от человека искусственный интеллект (робот), никогда не будет обладать творческими способностями.

  • I would rather work on my spiritual evolution than on physical longevity. Who knows what’s beyond that veil. It might be infinitely more rewarding than physical life on a dying planet.

  • This may make overpopulation a even more serous problem than it already is, but it also could be a necessary to our evaluation and survival, as we destroy the nature of our planet.

  • Не вызывает сомнений тот факт, что технологии продления жизни возможны только на основе понимания физической сущности гравитации. По существу без гравитации нет науки, а наши знания просто ничтожны! Никакие математические расчеты и формулы не помогут понять как достигается резонанс во вращающемся магнитном поле и что является моментом импульса в движении и вращении всего во Вселенной. Именно для этого создателями жизни на Земле построены пирамиды, которые без всяких слов и формул, раскрывают устройство Мира и что наиболее актуально на данный момент, показывают что такое инверсия.

  • I would rather see us living more in harmony with nature by 2050 not this upload your brain dystopia. Anyway maybe death is nothing like we think it is.

  • If it ain’t human, it ain’t human. No thanks. You too could be a immortal machine. Not me thank you very much. I’d rather get on with being what I am instead of just changing programs, to no longer being a one of a kind. When it’s time for me to go, I will, because you can’t make a machine human, the spark will be gone, and if you don’t know what I mean, never mind, become one with the unlimited mileage. Don’t get me wrong, I’m gonna stretch this life out as long as I can. Maybe a few replacement parts here and there, LOL! U2 could be AI.

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