Singularitarianism 101: What’s the point of uploading your mind?

Paul Raven @ 03-02-2009

exploding mind statueTranshumanist thinker Michael Anissimov has decided to attempt answering the question that almost everybody asks about the the idea of universal mind uploading – namely, why the hell would we want to do it?

His seven reasons include economic growth (topical), greater subjective well-being and environmental recovery, but the one that will probably surprise most of all is his suggestion that mind uploading would forge closer connections with other humans:

Our interactions with other people today is limited by the very low bandwidth of human speech and facial expressions. By offering partial readouts of our cognitive state to others, we could engage in a deeper exchange of ideas and emotions. I predict that “talking” as communication will become passé — we’ll engage in much deeper forms of informational and emotional exchange that will make the talking and facial expressions of today seem downright empty and soulless.

It all sounds a bit like a Greg Egan novel, doesn’t it? Personally, I’m first in the queue for upload (assuming it becomes possible within my lifetime), as I find corporeal existence to be massively distracting – I could get so much more done if I didn’t have this bag of meat to worry about… [image by Alex // Berlin]

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4 Responses to “Singularitarianism 101: What’s the point of uploading your mind?”

  1. Adam Rakunas says:

    I just want to live in a body that doesn’t have allergies. Sneezing is overrated.

  2. Madeline says:

    My first thought upon reading this is, “Great, now we’ll know the foulest of one another’s thoughts.” But without the meat, would we even have them? And without the meat, how would we proceed with thinking? Aren’t hormones in some way responsible for the direction our thoughts take? I can’t help but imagine that our post-Singular head-chats will be rather…dry.

  3. Paul Raven says:

    I believe the functionalist argument postulates that all thinking processes can be simulated by a complex enough system, Madeline; in other words, it doesn’t matter exactly what causes the thoughts, only that they happen and can be modelled. The caveat here is that I am neither a neuroscientist or AI programmer… 😉

  4. Rolf says:

    I would see that as a life insurance. If my body dies I can just get
    a new one. Of course we still have to solve the question what and
    where is the “ME”. I doúbt that a recover as we now it e.g. from
    databases will really give the feeling that “I” continue to exist.

    Another application could be that we could e.g. load our mind into a
    Ferrari and experience the speed and action really 1st hand.