Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies

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Technoprogressive? BioConservative? Huh?
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What will your next body be like?


The more accurate guide to the future

December 24, 2012

Many engineers, including me, think that some time around 2050, we will be able to make very high quality links between the brains and machines. To such an extent that it will thereafter be possible (albeit expensive for some years) to arrange that most of your mind – your thinking, memories, even sensations and emotions, could reside mainly in the machine world. Some (perhaps some memories that are rarely remembered for example) may not be suited to such external accessibility, but the majority should be.


Complete entry


Posted by AlonzoTG  on  12/24  at  09:32 PM

This is a pretty good article. I especially appreciate how it gets out of some of the mental traps that other authors fall into, especially the one that says that any additional bodies must be controlled by uploaded copies. THANK YOU!! I also think the question is interesting for a number of reasons. I have my own very specific ideas. I want a bio-nano organic body. I would put 95% of the development effort into cellular and physiological issues. This effort is required so that the body is entirely self-maintaining and can be operated in a civilization collapse scenario for centuries. Beyond that, I’m probably in the sexy school of thought. I don’t think I’ll need multiple bodies, at least at first. In the longer term, I might have a fanciful, immobile home body and a few highly efficient robotic bodies for practical tasks (only when necessary). I have a few conflicting ideas as to how to develop that home body but that’s a bit beyond where I want to go in this reply here.

My biggest fear is that the uploaders will take over and turn everything into computronium where re-designing your body becomes impossible. =(

Posted by Christian Corralejo  on  12/24  at  09:57 PM

With so many options people are bound to get overwhelmed.  I wonder how tall people can make these bodies.  Oh, and do you think it will be possible to make bodies that just shape shift so you don’t have to buy multiple ones?

Posted by Chrontius  on  12/25  at  03:08 PM

In reply to the post title, “Nonhumanoid”. 

I think I’d like to spend a while in an art body.

Posted by SHaGGGz  on  12/25  at  03:49 PM

“I don’t think it will be ethically acceptable to grow cloned bodies in some sort of farm and remove their brains”
Why not grow the body without the brain to begin with?  We will soon be doing this with our foodstuffs to get around the various ethical issues of carnivory. Won’t be long until we do so with human bodies and other exotic synthetic creatures.

“Do we really want to allow adults people to assume the bodies of children, with all the obvious paedophilic dangers that would bring?”
When the technology is at such stage where any mind can inhabit any physical form, banning the appearance of child-like traits is unworkable and useless. Concomitant with the physical world would have to be an informational cryptographic mirrorworld for purposes of authentication, rising as we speak. Banning certain conduct with child info signatures would make more sense than occupying childlike forms. Likewise with police and other restricted identities.

Posted by consciousnessisnotacomputation  on  12/27  at  05:37 AM

To me this is such an engineering point of view. Concepts like authenticity and love are being trampled by machine fetishism. This is all highly inspirational but also frightening as hell. Why not approach futurism from a more natural standpoint? To quote Prince Charles (of all people):

‘If we do not work within nature’s system, nature will fail to be the durable, continuously sustaining force she has always been. We have to put nature back at the heart of the equation.’

Posted by Christian Corralejo  on  12/31  at  06:46 PM

Two comments.  One, I really like the pic of the black android body, especially how the legs look with the digitigrade position.  Where did you get it?  Two, would an option for merging human and machine be to incorporate the enhancement technology into one’s biological systems?  For example, say you have nanobots add artificial neurons to the brain and carbon nanofibers into muscles rather than just replacing them then have the nanobots remain as a secondary immune system (and maybe oxygen carrier).  That way people won’t be too worried about their self sense the original substrate is still there (just added to).  Latter on, if they want to, they could fully replace the organic with inorganic parts.  For me personally, If I ever decide to do anything, I find it more desirable to retain the best qualities of organisms (food & drink, sex & reproduction, making independent complex decisions, etc) with the best qualities of machines (better memory & information storage, faster calculative processing, greater strength and speed, more invulnerability, etc).  Tell me what you guys think.

Posted by GamerFromJump  on  01/02  at  08:59 AM

I’ve always thought that the generation that grew up on gaming would have the easiest transition to form freedom, since we’ve already experienced, at a degree of remove, any number of different forms, from hominoid to animal to vehicle to things that don’t exist. In fact, the process of adapting to new forms or abilities will likely be training in the form of a game.

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