Culture & Ethics
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.
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.