Life as an Upload

Discussion in 'Intelligence & Machines' started by Cris, Mar 29, 2001.

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  1. ripleofdeath Registered Senior Member

    an ametuer(self taught) socioligists view

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    greed will not allow the greedy to reign forever
    others will sabotage the efforts of the missguide
    and think of all the spoilt (poor little rich ___)
    that wont get daddys inheratence...

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    ps the main drive of the people who would afford to fund the research would not forgo superficial plesures that mean all their world to them

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    and another little thought....whos to say we dont have uploaded(as you call it) clones walking the earth at this very moment...........?
    groove on all
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  3. tony1 Jesus is Lord Registered Senior Member

    Re: ??

    I have to admit, there's a lot of mockery involved.

    I'm having a hard time keeping a straight face when discussing MU.

    I find it particularly hard to understand how a bunch of otherwise sane people could think that sand can become sentient by engraving a pattern on it and attaching it to a battery.

    You're saying that machinery when attached to a human being is no longer machinery, but human, even when it is removed?

    But who's to say there aren't a bunch of bodies walking the earth at this very moment whose minds have already been uploaded, say, into outer space?
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  5. ripleofdeath Registered Senior Member

    thats sorta what im talking about in the reverse
    i hope i didnt sound like i was mocking anyone.... :/ .. ?
    i dont belive that machinery can emulate life
    as a soul type being
    theres too much psychic stuff around to insinuate that humans are a program in a machine as such
    does that make more sense?
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  7. geneva Registered Member

    I agree

    I agree with riple of death, you should read my other posting on telepathy you may find it interesting i think that we all agree even though are arguments have diffrent points they still have a goal, " Nothing good could come from this"
  8. HOWARDSTERN HOWARDSTERN has logged out.... Registered Senior Member

  9. HOWARDSTERN HOWARDSTERN has logged out.... Registered Senior Member


    Evolution! ......The energy provided by the sun, first.

    From that energy, the various bio-combinations & mutations that attempt (generally by trial & error) to find a niche so as to absorb the energy.

    Depending on the environmental conditions, it is thus possible to define the types of life which will mutate & thus evolve to fill the energy niche!

    In the same aspect of evolutional logic, it is reasonable to be able to predict the kinds of life that might exist on other worlds.

    Simply this: If there is energy to be used, then there will be some form of life that will evolve so as to take advantage of it!

    Even a lowly dung beetle, who finds a heaping helping of energy to be used.

    Or a microbe, who sees a smorgasborg in evolving constantly to feed on the most excellent form of food today:::::::::::::::::::the human race.

    Germs & disease are the biggest threats to the human race. We are just an inexhaustable supply of food to the forms of life that aren't even aware of us!

    To the microbes, we are Cheezeburgers & fries!!!!!
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2001
  10. HOWARDSTERN HOWARDSTERN has logged out.... Registered Senior Member

    Even more: HOWARDSTERNisms

  11. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

    Freedom from fragility

    Hi Tab,

    Sorry for the late reply to your thought provoking post, I’ll do my best to catch up.

    Every physical and many mental pleasures that we enjoy have been the result of the evolutionary process. These pleasure mechanisms are the essential processes that have resulted in our survival. Sexual pleasure is the easiest to understand – a powerful and almost irresistible force that results in reproduction and the survival of the species. Food and drink also had to be pleasurable because without those desires many would simply have died of starvation. And in these times of plenty obesity is now a major problem in all the wealthy countries of the world – the search for pleasure but with dangerous side effects.

    All these pleasures are not integral to being human they are integral to our survival as fragile biological mechanisms. What would be ideal would be to replace the biological connection and simply absorb the pleasure for the sake of pleasure.

    If survival is guaranteed, then these primitive survival mechanisms serve no useful function. We can replace them with alternative pleasures. E.g. Devised activities that have a purposeful function – pleasure. Remember all these primitive instincts are derived from specific brain patterns. We should be able to achieve a state where these ‘instinct’ patterns are removed and replaced by specific pleasure patterns, magnified perhaps beyond your current dreams.

    Yup no problem. There have been many times when I simply want to continue with a particular task and am forced to take breaks to eat and drink. To be free of an enforced regime will be highly desirable. Massive unemployment would only be a problem if everyone uploaded at the same time. I suspect that the phase shift will occur more gradually and the food industry will simply fade away and uploads will find other work to do.

    Consider what happened to the horse industry when automobiles appeared at the end of the 19th century.

    Again we will find alternative pleasures once we are freed from fragile biological shells. How about a game of 3D chess and lets see who can retain up to 1000 moves ahead?

    Indeed physical prowess will have little meaning since your physical abilities will be determined by the quality of the shell you can afford. The challenges you see is being able push a fragile mechanism to its limits. The challenges as an upload will no longer be physical but will be cerebral. This is the logical next phase to our evolutionary process. We have moved from thoughtless single celled organisms up through the various life forms, each with increasing mental abilities. You must agree I hope that it is the human brain that has allowed us to take control and dominate the planet.

    So now instead of wasting your time jogging (something I’ve always felt a waste of time anyway) try exercising your brain and write a book – now that would be of great pleasure – the pleasure of creativity – and that is a true worthwhile challenge.

    We spend a third of our lives unconscious, much of that time is in REM sleep (dreaming) but very few people remember much of any dreams. If you didn’t need to sleep then you’ll have plenty of time to write another novel – a much greater pleasure than being completely unaware. And, hey, cheaper homes – no bedrooms needed.

    Ah that’s just distrust of new technology. The equivalent 100 years ago would be a fear to give someone your phone number. I have a laptop with a 20GB drive; all the changes are backed up daily to a central site through my home 3Mb/s cable connection or office LAN. It works very well. Give it another 50 years and the technology will have matured. Besides I manage a software engineering department specializing in fault tolerant systems so you simply come to me for guaranteed reliability.

    Exercise and benefits are only associated with that fragile biological shell again. But the pleasures will be enormous. You will still have external sensors, for feeling and temperature, and texture sensing; perhaps more sensitive than the bio equivalents, and certainly you would be able to feel the water around you. But what about the sheer pleasure of being able to walk on the ocean floor without the aid of complex breathing equipment, and be able to see very clearly all the undersea life around you in a way much sharper than anything you could achieve as a bio human. And with enhanced hearing be able to enjoy the many sounds created by numerous sea creatures.

    I agree that there will be many challenges, but I don’t think impossible, that implies that it could never happen. I think the issue is just one of complexity and ultimately achievable by using increasing powerful computers to unravel the permutations – a task already way beyond the capabilities of the current human mind. New computer chips are already partially designed by predecessor computers.
    Yes I agree, and many have foreseen this and the term ‘singularity’ has been associated with this probably very rapid change in our evolution beyond which it is very difficult to predict what will happen. The leading thinkers in this field see this as inevitable – the arrival of super-intelligence. Some predict a future battle between true AI lifeforms and humans and whether humans can upload fast enough to compete with AI. But this must be a whole new thread.

    Out of the predicted countless billions of other worlds in the galaxy then it is right that this planet is seen with no inherent importance other than it was where we began. Out of all the animals in the world a very large portion are bred by us to be slaughtered for food. That barbarism will end and the cattle, sheep, fowl, fish, etc will be allowed to evolve without our interference in their lives. Our interest in the planet will be as a home for some and which we would want to be comfortable, and with colonization of other worlds then overpopulation will have been solved. This will result in less of a drain on any planetary resources. The return of the vast areas of agricultural and grazing land to wilderness will result in a significantly more healthy atmosphere that will be far better suited to the other life forms.

    By this I assume that you feel that some humans will refuse to upload. If so then it will not be respect that is at issue but intelligence. The uploads with enhanced intelligence will see remaining humans as we currently view the limited abilities of chimpanzees, i.e. largely irrelevant.

    Finally without the endless painful struggle to survive the evolved human mind will be free to explore the universe and to learn and create. I cannot conceive of any greater motive for life. Compare this to religions that proffer the same things – immortality (expected through an afterlife), heaven without pain and sickness, and then what do the beings in the afterlife desire? What will be their incentives to do things?

    Yes, at the very moment we experienced our first rational thought.

    Take care
    Last edited: May 13, 2001
  12. wet1 Wanderer Registered Senior Member

    Mixed feelings

    Life As An Upload
    …An interesting concept One that has been knocked around at times by the sci-fi crowd.
    I would think that it would be hard to separate the brain from the body. It is not just the pleasure/pain aspect. The body pumps loads of hormones into itself. Not all are for the good. Especially the lack of them or if they aren’t regulated properly. There are many and varied medical doctors to see to a lot of the results. Every thing from Alhimers to Diabetes. But it isn’t all diseases. I mean we’re talking a lot of time that evolution has been tweaking the human race. Not only is the body aspect to be considered. Many studies have shown that isolation from stimulus and outside reaction to the environment leads to sensory deprivation. Now I heard in several of the posts that sight, touch, and sense, would be altered to fit conditions or needs. How would the mind react to that? Sure it knows that it has been altered and why. But not always does the mind agree with what it perceives. I would see it more as not an upload but as a temporary transference. Maybe you do your work by connecting into the company network from home and operating a machine or oversee a process from afar.
    …and then again maybe I’m not with the program so to say.
    If the food industry saw that it’s market was drying up, most of the large franchises wouldn’t belly up. They’d see the future and change what they dispense. If not food then perhaps energy. Or twitching the brains’ pleasure centers.
    For a vacation like you’ve never experienced, without leaving the niche you now reside in… link into McDonalds for further details on this fantastic voyage. You’ll never know you weren’t there. Purchase virtual souvenirs while on your vacation!
    I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m not ready for such. It just seems to foreign to me. Something I can’t accept or envision. Call me old fashion.
    Last edited: May 22, 2001
  13. HOWARDSTERN HOWARDSTERN has logged out.... Registered Senior Member

    K' MAZING.....PURE ENERGY!!!!!!!

    RIGHT ON WET 1 !!!!!!!!!!!!

    I would have written that very thing, if I could write that well!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  14. BrainDrain Registered Member

    Wow, I found a whole forum dedicated to the thoughts that I've been rolling around in my head for the past couple days!

    First, no one can be certain whether uploading would transfer your conciousness or not, since we have no idea what produces that effect. There would be no conceivable way to test it either, because conciousness can not be measured or determined. The machine might have all your memories and your personality, and would answer all questions as you would, but it might or might not be you in there.

    Even now, the technology grows closer and closer... I read an article the other day about scientists that successfully linked an eel brain into a small robot. The robot, with no programming of its own, would then follow light picked up by a sensor. The machine/organism adapted to varying degrees of light. The eel brain adapted to the machinery and different stimuli and managed to move the robot.

    The applications discussed in the article were better artificial limbs that could be hooked into the central nervous system and offer actual control. What if these new artificial limbs are stronger and more useful than human limbs? It would follow that those that could afford them would want them, barring ethical considerations. But those that do will pave the way for the blurring of man and machine. When new biotechnology is created, people will think, "We've gone as far as mechanical arms, so why not electronic livers?" and so on and so forth until it will be reasonable to replace your brain with an electronic counterpart. And it all begins with an eel brain moving towards a light... I certainly hope I get to see these developments in my lifetime.
  15. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

    Hi BD,

    Welcome to sciforums and especially this forum.

    I think you are correct that biotechnology will gradually improve and enable humans to replace bio organs with superior electro-mechanical versions, until as you say, electronic brains as well.

    And that brings us to the question of consciousness. This seems to be no more than a concept that has been used to describe something that we cannot fully explain. But why is that? If one considers all the less complex organs which we can largely explain, then should there be any doubt that soon the brain will also be explainable in mundane terms. It was not too long ago when the internal operation or even the existence of organic cells was unknown. The brain is simply more complex than other organs so it is inevitable that it will take us longer to explain or understand.

    I would suggest that there is nothing special about consciousness that will not be fully explained by neural brain activity and chemical messaging systems. This would be fully consistent with all other bodily organs. So the transfer of all memories and personality is ALL that there is.

    I liked the eel story, hadn’t heard about that.

    The problem, that I think we share, is that we need to keep our bio bodies alive long enough so we can take advantage of these new technological developments. This means one of two things –

    1. Stay fit and healthy through proper diet and exercise and hope that science will be able to increase life spans further or even cure the disease of aging.
    2. Preserve your body or brain through the use of cryogenics or the new vitrification techniques.

    The problem with (1) is that we would remain vulnerable to fatal accidents, murder, or even suicide. Although I suspect that our optimistic views of the potential new future will tend to lead us away from ideas of suicide.

    Option (2) seems to be the most promising for the moment although conventional cryogenics still has problems with tiny ice crystals that form as part of the freezing process. These cause significant cell damage making it difficult to see how a frozen brain could be adequately resurrected in the future. Vitrification seems to overcome the crystal problem but the technique has not been perfected yet.

    The overwhelming advantage of having a brain that can be fully digitized is that it can be easily copied and backup-up – effective immortality. Endless upgrades and significant resilience compared to bio organs, come in a close second.

    In the meantime learning how to survive is all we can do. Maintaining good health and fitness most certainly, but avoiding risky ventures, including avoiding actions that can result in disease come next. Other ideas include learning self-defense and the use of weapons for self-protection is also important. And finally the accumulation of wealth as it seems most likely that the new technologies will be in high demand and hence initially expensive.

    Have fun surviving
  16. Plato Registered Senior Member

    About the consiousness download.

    First of all we are taking a leap of faith if we believe this will be possible at all. Maybe there are some problems involved that are simply to big to overcome...
    However suppose one can copy one's consciousness into a machine. What you are doing is not transferring yourself but making a clone of yourself which happen to have the same memories and mannierisms but resides in a machine in stead of in a biological brain.
    Besides if you can make one copy, you might as well make 10 or more copies. Each will have identical memories and behaviour but will still be different identities that can interact with each other just like twins or clones.
    So what is it that you want to do then ? Kill the biological carrier of the consiousness (that will be you of course) and keep the electronic copies ? I don't think you will like it...
    Every way you cut it you will still die (ultimatly of old age) while your electronical counterpart will be able to go on.
  17. wet1 Wanderer Registered Senior Member

    The creepies

    So if I gather this right what Plato is saying is that some one else will benefit from your download while you never actually get what it was that you were after. Or several some ones. Given that might it be possile that those someones would like to keep the original program around incase of errors in the program? Not that it would do them anymore good than you. And what would they do to ensure the original remained unchanged? Put you in cryo-storage?

    And if the original is destroyed after the copy is made, (breaking the mold) that certainly doesn't help for what you came after. Anymore than the end result. Could you be copied without your knowledge and the copy downloaded? What a scam. Move in and claim everything you own. Take your life savings. Murder you and become you complete with all knowledge except for the time it takes from download to move in.

    Sounds like a bad sci-fi movie. I told you I wasn't ready for this!

    And I forgot, welcome to the forums braindrain. You found it now what will you do with it? Something promising I hope!
    Last edited: May 30, 2001
  18. ripleofdeath Registered Senior Member

    hey braindrain

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    happy surfin

    what about muscle memory?

    try referring to some martial arts theory for more specific discription and then onto some of the sites that talk of dna memory. good luck

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    natural selection would be destryod to a point where we might only get one person left(the richest and the greedyest)

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    groove on all
  19. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

    Re: The creepies


    I hope I do not believe anything by way of faith. Our only uncertainty as to whether it can be done is based on the realization that it has never been done before. I agree the plan seems ambitious, but the gain for humanity will be immense, and well worth the effort to make it work.

    Ah you sound like a pessimist – seeing problems before they even exist. Let’s say there are likely to be some challenges. But really the human brain is a simple organ, there are no moving parts, and the nature of the neuron and its connections (the basic building block) is repeated a large number of times. Once the fundamentals are understood then most of the problems will be solved.

    The approach to downloading is not that we have to understand emotions and personalities and how brain patterns create these effects, but to simply and accurately re-create the mechanisms that cause the desired effects. I would agree that if we attempted to understand all the psychoses of the human mind then we are likely to be still trying to the end of time. We are trying to copy and not to redesign.

    Awright, you have it exactly. But you imply that this is a problem. Why would this be a problem? If the copy were accurate, i.e. identical, then you would then exist as two individuals, a bio being and a non-bio being. They would both be YOU. The real problem is how do we re-define what is meant by identity in this new paradigm?

    Yes, although they will be identical at the point of the upload and then will start to diverge and follow their own paths, much, as you say, like twins. But would we want this to happen? Here we would see new laws that protect the right of the individual, literally on the issues of identity ownership. But there would be financial and economic considerations. Presumably there will be a considerable cost for the initial upload from a bio brain to a non-bio brain. If the next stage is to assume a robotic body then such a mechanism is also likely to be significantly costly. To have 10 of them might be too exorbitant. But why would someone want to have 10 copies of themselves? Where would they all live? Wouldn’t they all want to exist in the same home and have access to the same possessions? I think that the disadvantages outweigh the advantages and that typically this would not be a desirable state of affairs. They would all need to work to pay for the energy costs as well, would the jobs be available?

    I could imagine a state where an identity has to be licensed and at a considerable cost. The replication of yourself as another clone, e.g. instant family member, might be seen as a personal right (in the way that people procreate now) or as an imposition on the existing society. We have choices, how do we decide?

    The issue of the transition might well be tricky. I want to see the transfer as a smooth transition from bio to non-bio with no overlap. That implies some form of euthanasia. Perhaps it should not be looked on as death but as identity transfer. The brain scanning technology as currently envisaged requires that the brain is sliced very finely to allow accurate scanning – i.e. you are already dead before the upload takes place. If this approach is the norm then the issue of identity transfer is solved.

    Maybe. I don’t think death by old age will be seen as inevitable in the near future. Developments in anti-aging research show great promise in either stopping cell aging, or actually reversing the effects. The issues with continuing, as a biological form is one of limited evolutionary speedup, i.e. ability to increase intelligence rapidly, of fragility of the human form compared to a mechanical format, and of dependence of an Earthlike environment, e.g. gravity, oxygen, food. I simply see the non-bio solution having greater flexibility and advantages over the bio form.


    Actually I’m not sure what you mean, I don’t think you have quite grasped the proposal. You seem to be implying that the download might not succeed, and that someone else might benefit. Sorry you’ve lost me.

    Nope I don’t understand what you mean here. What do you mean by original? And I don’t think you are going to leave your brain image hanging around for public access like MP3 files at Napster. I suspect that once the upload is completed and you have taken a secure backup then you will use every security means available to protect your personal identity and personal brain image. After all this is your gateway to effective immortality, and one of the main reasons you would have elected to be uploaded.

    Hope that helps
  20. Chagur .Seeker. Registered Senior Member

    Confused (again)

    Somewhere I remember something about ganglia and how they are scattered through the body and control/moderate certain area functions. Somewhat like a conductor leading an ochestra, only in this case the conductor is the brain.

    So here's the confusing part: how much of 'self' is located in the brain?

    I find the Western dichotomy 'mind/body' quite confusing and impossible to comprehend.
  21. BrainDrain Registered Member

    Oh, I misunderstood your interpretation of this technology. You're wanting to create a technological copy of yourself and then (or during the process) kill the biological unit. The question still comes to mind, how do you know it will be you in the machine? You can construct a copy of your brain and transfer the memories and simulate chemical interations and electrical activity, but at what point will your mind leave your biological body and enter the mechanical one? And if you create backups, will the real you be in each of those, too? I do not understand the advantages of killing yourself so that another you can live. You might not even know if the transfer was a success because you'll be dead... or at least that's my view as of right now. Feel free to enlighten me. ;-)
  22. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

    Brain = Mind


    Your brain is your mind. What evidence do you have that it might be something else?

    Because current bio forms are subject to short life spans, most indications are that you will die, if not from old age, then from accidents or murder. Your human form is very fragile and can only survive in a special gaseous environment and within a very narrow temperature range. It also will not be able survive on other planets without porting colossal artificial Earthlike environments. It is also subject to bacterial and viral attacks, which cause suffering, pain and death. The objective of an upload is to avoid death. I.e. to survive is the ultimate objective of evolution; mind uploading is a giant leap forward in both survival and abilities to survive in otherwise hostile environments.

    I strongly suspect that the process will have been tested many times before you or I are uploaded, and there will be an enormous number of checks to ensure that the upload works correctly. There will undoubtedly be many tests on lower life forms before human volunteers are used. I’m sure there will be many evaluations that check that the uploaded mind ‘feels’ the same as the original organic mind.

    So do you now feel more enlightened?

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  23. BrainDrain Registered Member

    Re: Brain = Mind

    I do believe that the conciousness or "mind" resides somewhere in the brain, but how can you be sure that, after the operation, you will "wake up" in the new machine? If TWO of these exact same brain copies exist, which one will you inhabit? You can not be in both at the same time. At some point, there has to just be a copy of you, and not you yourself. I'm not sure that I'm communicating my thoughts effectively enough, and I'm unsure of how to explain.

    Ok, let me try an example. Let's say I could undergo this process today. Let us also assume that the process of uploading did not destroy the original brain (by slicing or any other method). When my brain patterns are uploaded into the machine, do they cease to be in the organic brain? And if the organic brain continues to function as it did previously, wouldn't my conciousness still be there, instead of in the artificial brain? It seems that there would then be two "me"s... and that, even though the mechanical version will be conscious, live indefinitely, and would be me for all intents and purposes, I, myself, will still die.

    [sarcasm] And though I am glad the human race would continue to benefit from my keen intellect [/sarcasm], it would be of little importance to this me, as this me would be dead.

    Even if the process is tested, we'll never know if anyone ever actually survived the process because how would we know if the person actually "woke up" in the artificial construct or was simply copied and terminated?

    Actually, no, sir. To quote Alice, I'm "curiouser and curiouser." ;-)
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