IEET > Rights > CognitiveLiberty > Personhood > Vision > Virtuality > Martine Rothblatt > Futurism
Reconstructing Minds from Software Mindfiles
Martine Rothblatt   Sep 19, 2010   teleXLR8  

Martine Rothblatt gave an ASIM Expert Series talk in Teleplace on “Reconstructing Minds from Software Mindfiles” on Saturday September 18, 2010.

Abstract: “I do think, however, there is a (natural) tendency to way overestimate the importance of copying our brain structure to copying our minds. I think our minds will be uploadable in good enough shape to satisfy most everyone by reconstructing them from information stored in software mindfiles such as diaries, videos, personality inventories, saved google voice conversations, chats, and chatbot conversations. The reconstruction process will be iteratively achieved with AI software designed for this purpose, dubbed mindware.“

Some questions and comments from the audience have been of a philosophical nature and related to preservation of self (whatever that is), but most of those who attended the talk were already prepared to accept that, depending on the amount of information stored and the accuracy of the reconstruction process, the upload copy may be (and feel like) a valid continuation of the original self. The talk and the discussion have been more focused on actual technologies and technical issues: How to extract enough information? How to prove that the information extracted is enough? How to quantify a critical treshold? How to make sure that nothing really important is left behind? How to reconstruct a thinking and feeling mind from a database? Martine gave a detailed presentation of the preliminary implementation of software mindfiles in her twin projects CyBeRev and LifeNaut (similar, but kept separate mainly as a fail-safe measure) and their forthcoming mobile clients and integration with social networks.

I generally don't post comments if I don't have something good to say, but I don't buy this at all.

Sure, you might someday have a computer powerful enough to SIMULATE a human consciousness. But, "replicate" a human mind from external records? Not so much.

And I think the word "uploading" as applied to a human mind is a real stretch here.

"A valid continuation of the self..."? Not a chance.

Even a simulation based on scanning an entire human brain AND body and then simulating its entire ongoing function in every minute molecular detail would still be only a simulation.

Even if you could slowly replace a human being one neuron at a time in order to achieve a TRUE continuation of consciousness (assuming a machine can be conscious, which is a big stretch) it would STILL not result in the continuation of the SELF, but in the metamorphosis of the self from one being into another. Would that new being want to limit itself to the personality traits and thought patterns of the original life form? Would you?

I'm prepared to become a cyborg, and potentially extend my consciousness beyond my physical body, maybe even for millions of years, but I certainly don't expect to wake up some day having been reconstructed from videos and diary entries (without any access to my inner thoughts and FEELINGS) and weep with joy that I've been resurrected to spend eternity with my loves ones.

Last thing. If you could create an AI that's so incredibly smart that it can faithfully simulate a personality at a molecular level then it would have to have far greater processing and thinking power than the original human being, in which case, why would it want to? It's utter nonsense.
Better question, would AI get bored with its own reality and seek out viruses to "alter" its reality the same way we humans seek drugs?
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