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Your Mind into a Computer Would Not Be You


The transhumanist fantasy about becoming immortal through uploading your mind to a computer is nonsense — even if such a thing could be done.

Here’s the goal. From the Express story:

Mr Itskov has been subject to a BBC documentary titled The Immortalist, in which he said: “Within the next 30 years, I am going to make sure that we can all live forever.

“I’m 100 per cent confident it will happen. Otherwise I wouldn’t have started it.”

The 2045 Initiative hopes to have functioning ‘avatars’ by 2020 where a human will be able to control a robot via their brain. Five years later, the team will create another form of avatar which will be able to host a human brain that will have been transferred after the person has died.

By 2035, the network of scientists aim to have an avatar with an artificial brain which can possess a human personality. The team hope to have completed the trans-human beings by 2045 when they plan to have a hologram-like avatar.

Ray Kurzweil is into this.

But here’s the point. That program — whatever it consisted of and no matter how much it mimicked your likely responses — would not be “you.”

“You” would be dead. “You” wouldn’t be conscious. “You” wouldn’t be anywhere, at least not in the corporeal realm.

To put it another way, the replica would just be a very sophisticated Siri. That some of the world’s supposedly smartest people buy into this immortality-in-a-computer jazz is puzzling.

Cross-posted at The Corner.
Photo via Pixabay.

Wesley J. Smith

Chair and Senior Fellow, Center on Human Exceptionalism
Wesley J. Smith is Chair and Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism. Wesley is a contributor to National Review and is the author of 14 books, in recent years focusing on human dignity, liberty, and equality. Wesley has been recognized as one of America’s premier public intellectuals on bioethics by National Journal and has been honored by the Human Life Foundation as a “Great Defender of Life” for his work against suicide and euthanasia. Wesley’s most recent book is Culture of Death: The Age of “Do Harm” Medicine, a warning about the dangers to patients of the modern bioethics movement.



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