- In a much-cited 1993 essay, AI and nanotechnology researcher Ralph Merkle delves into the concept of "uploading2" - the term most commonly used before "substrate-independent minds."
- Much discussed in transhumanism3, the uploading4 idea is that we might eventually be able to transfer our minds and personalities from the fleshy neuronal processor of the biological brain to a more durable and extendable synthetic thinking substrate.
- Merkle analyzes how much computing power would be required to model5 your brain on a computer, based on his estimate of human memory capacity.
Footnote 1: Taken from "More (Max) & Vita-More (Natasha) - Transhumanism: Human Enhancement: The Cognitive Sphere - Introduction".
- Whatever the answer to this question, it has nothing to do with “uploading”. As it says, we are talking about “modelling” – not only of your brain – obviously so as the model isn’t wetware like the brain itself – but of the mind.
- It might well be possible to run a full simulation of a brain, and – for the sake of the argument – maybe this simulation (or the physical machine it runs on) might be as intelligent as you (quite possible) and even conscious (less likely) – but it wouldn’t be you, nor would you experience life when running on that computer.
- The computer itself might experience things, and maybe think it was you, but you yourself wouldn’t be “uploaded”.
Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2018
- Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)