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Here Comes The Hive

from The Guardian

What happens if your mind lives for ever on the internet?

by Michael Graziano

Scene from The Lawnmower Man
FacebookTwitterPinterest The Lawnmower Man (1992) stars Pierce Brosnan as an unethical scientist who traps the consciousness of his gardener (Jeff Fahey) inside a computer. Photograph: Allstar/New Lin/Sportsphoto Ltd

Imagine that a person’s brain could be scanned in great detail and recreated in a computer simulation. The person’s mind and memories, emotions and personality would be duplicated. In effect, a new and equally valid version of that person would now exist, in a potentially immortal, digital form. This futuristic possibility is called mind uploading. The science of the brain and of consciousness increasingly suggests that mind uploading is possible – there are no laws of physics to prevent it. The technology is likely to be far in our future; it may be centuries before the details are fully worked out – and yet given how much interest and effort is already directed towards that goal, mind uploading seems inevitable. Of course we can’t be certain how it might affect our culture but as the technology of simulation and artificial neural networks shapes up, we can guess what that mind uploading future might be like.

Suppose one day you go into an uploading clinic to have your brain scanned. Let’s be generous and pretend the technology works perfectly. It’s been tested and debugged. It captures all your synapses in sufficient detail to recreate your unique mind. It gives that mind a standard-issue, virtual body that’s reasonably comfortable, with your face and voice attached, in a virtual environment like a high-quality video game. Let’s pretend all of this has come true.

Who is that second you?

[ click to continue reading at The Guardian ]

Posted on October 20, 2019 by Editor

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