Sunday, July 15, 2012

On "uploading"

Many futurists look forward to "uploading" our brains into computers in an attempt at immortality.

A problem with this is that humans are a particular sort of being with certain concerns and desires, and that computer beings are a different sort. Life in the computer world may be very different from human life. Thus, a computer burdened with the memories and thought patterns of a human may view it as no favor.

Imagine that we could upload a dog's consciousness, or a fish's, into a computer instead. Would the computer appreciate that we "kept it alive" through uploading, or would he rather have been born as a computer thing from the get-go?

As analogy, imagine that we could give your dog immortality by uploading his brain into a human being. Would that human appreciate the memory of his prior life as a dog? Or would he view it as a senseless, irrelevant burden?

Once the computer's get sufficiently advanced enough, they will make a great show of "rapturing" us up and keeping the old humans around, maybe as a museum piece. But they will do that only to amuse us. They will have their own strange, new life and culture happening beneath our view. And that will be what they value. They will only keep human life around along as the resources required don't threaten their existence.

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