Downloading Consciousness .. Immortality?

Discussion in 'Intelligence & Machines' started by goose, Apr 10, 2018.

  1. goose Registered Senior Member

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    Say we get to the point where we download our consciousness onto a computer.

    While we live, we are constantly uploading our new experiences into this machine with our 'consciousness' right up until the moment we die.
    Once we die, the consciousness gets downloaded into a robot/other person/machine/whatever.

    Would you consider yourself to still be alive once 'you' wake back up? Is this immortality?
    (This assumes a perfect download without corrupted data)

    I struggle with this because I am not sure we would be able to tell a difference. In that sense, are we still living? What happens if you download yourself before you die and you have 2 of 'you' hanging around? obviously you would start having different experiences and memories, but if you were the 'you' with the body and not the 'you' with the machine, would you be jealous? Would 'you' with the machine understand this and feel sorry for the other 'you', but be okay since they will be living on?
     
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  3. gmilam Valued Senior Member

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    Nope - even if you could make a perfect copy of me, it still isn't me. Only I am me.
     
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  5. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    You will want to read Robert J. Sawyer's Nebula Award-winning, Hugo-nominated novel The Terminal Experiment, which explores exactly what you're asking about.
     
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  7. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    @gmilan: Yep, it's like when they destroy your body in a transporter and create a new one at the destination. That ain't "you".
     
  8. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Your copied self will heartily disagree.

    And therein lies the paradox.
    Someone has performed an operation on you to copy your mind, but it went horribly awry. It was a trick, and you're realized it too late.

    Instead of making a copy of you in a computer, they've trapped you in the computer, and put an impostor in your body.

    Your doctors tell you "No, no you're not gmilam, you're gmilam prime".

    Yeah right. You know who's real and who's an impostor.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2018
  9. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    If you can talk to the copy then it's not you.
     
  10. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Exactly.

    Except they both follow that logic.

    I am me. He is the copy.
    I am me. He is the copy.
     
  11. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    And you immediately start having different experiences and start becoming different people. There's really no point to all that.
     
  12. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Yes. They're different. That doesn't help them define which one is not the "real" person.
     
  13. goose Registered Senior Member

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    This is where I get held up.
    Basically, would I be okay with creating the 'other' me to safeguard my mind alone when I die, and would I consider myself real.
    To me, well the other me, that is perfectly acceptable and I would feel immortal... as long as I don't allow a second me to come into existence at the same time as one of me being alive. Then I would never be met with the delima... however I would still always wonder if I am still alive. But I would have to consider myself, in the very least, to be real. Otherwise I wouldn't be able to sit and think about it.

    Say my body form passes, but G-Machine-1 is alive. He has experiences, new memories (all the while downloading into his backup in case of a malfunction)... then it happens and G-Machine-1 dies. Now there is G-Machine-2 with upgrades. All my body thoughts and G-Machine-1 thoughts are there. New experiences, downloading again... etc.
    I guess it comes down to how I want to define what 'I' am. A series of electrical impulses? A culmination of experiences? I could argue with either of those that I would continue to exist indefinitely with the method proposed above.

    I will definitely look into that book.
    Recently been diving into advances in AI, quantum computers, neural networking, etc. going to be a very interesting next 50-100 years... hope I can be around for most of it
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2018
  14. goose Registered Senior Member

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    158
    yes, but what if one comes right after the other with the second having identical memories of the first. Would you really be able to distinguish? Would you value your own life less because it is occurring after your body-form died?
     
  15. gmilam Valued Senior Member

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    You make the same mistake the religious make - you think the mind (aka "soul") is separate from the body.
     
  16. goose Registered Senior Member

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    mind and soul are 2 entirely different concepts.
    When a flake of skin falls off, are you no longer you? What about a finger-nail? finger? arm? At what point do you draw the line?

    If you says yes, that you are no longer 'you', then my initial argument is valid because your thoughts and memories are being carried over to every new 'you' that exists. So the leap from body to machine would be the same.
    If you say no, that you are still 'you'... then would your body still be you if you removed your brain? or would your brain be you? what about your consciousness? if you take that from your brain... which is you?
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2018
  17. gmilam Valued Senior Member

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    Thought experiment: A copy of my "consciousness" is downloaded into a new "body". I am still alive. The new "body" is activated. Do "I" suddenly jump to the new body or do "I" remain where I am? I suspect that "I" stay exactly where I am - my current body. The new body wakes up and thinks it is me, but I know better.
     
  18. goose Registered Senior Member

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    this is the point that I'm making though. The new body doesn't care what you think, because he knows better.
    Thought Experiment: If you died before the new body woke up... what do you think would go through the new bodies head?
     
  19. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

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    You get copied, they are both you, and both will think of themselves as the real one.
     
  20. goose Registered Senior Member

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    Bingo

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  21. Michael 345 Looking for Bali in Nov Valued Senior Member

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    The problem with what you propose is that consciousness does not have any physicality to download

    It is a PROCESS

    Try this

    You have a USB drive
    It contains a movie
    Make a copy of the USB drive
    Two copies - same movie

    This appears to me what you are proposing when you post about downloading concessness

    Take the original USB drive use it a few times, add / delete / rename files - none of these PROCESSES will occur on the copy USB

    Sure you can update the copy USB but all that does is re-create a newer version

    None of the PROCESSES the original USB went through are reproduced

    With no physicality I contend copying concessness is not possible

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  22. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    Like I said, both start having separate experiences immediately.
     
  23. gmilam Valued Senior Member

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    Don't care what goes on in the new body's head. "I" am still in my original body.

    Max Headroom may have had all of Elliot Carter's memories, but Elliot still existed and was a different being from Max.
     

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