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Science & Technology

Can we upload ourselves to a robot brain ?

By T.K. Randall
December 26, 2014 · Comment icon 30 comments

Would you want to live forever within a computer ? Image Credit: YouTube / Smithsonian
Neuroscientist Randal Koene envisages a future in which the mind could live forever within a computer.
Stephen Hawking recently warned that humanity may end up being superseded by artificial intelligent machines, however there is another possible future scenario involving a world dominated by computers in which we could still play an important role.

Randal Koene, who has been working towards building a way to emulate the human brain using machines, believes that we will eventually be able to upload our own consciousness in to a computer and effectively live on forever.
Koene's idea of the future could see our minds existing within an artificial brain that could either be connected to a physical machine body or to a virtual world existing within a networked cloud.

Everything from emotion to self-awareness would remain intact and we would be able to interact seamlessly both with the computer environment and with the minds of other people.

"A worm's mind has already been uploaded, but their brains work in a very different way to mammals," he said. "But, in ten years, I think it'll be possible to upload the mind of a fruit fly. From thereon, the human brain is a little hard to predict, but I really hope it will be in my lifetime."

Source: Vice.com | Comments (30)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #21 Posted by UFO_Monster 10 years ago
But it's still you even if it's a copy. If I made a dozen copies of the same movie, it's the same movie, right? It's a rather complicated thing. If all your doing is simply saving your memories to some kind of mind bank. Then it's just memories. If it's your memories and personality it's more you. If it's the elusive soul then it's you entirely, correct? The only true way to know is successful experimentation. So right now it's just speculation. It all depends on what the definition of "self" is. Ultimately, from my perspective, it wouldn't be me. Because I would not be alive, This machine tha... [More]
Comment icon #22 Posted by Frank Merton 10 years ago
It's not terribly different from the problem of some religious groups (I have in mind particularly Jehovah's Witnesses but no doubt there are others) who teach an earthly resurrection where God builds a new body for you and puts "you" in it. The "you" that is resurrected would have all your memories and personality and so on, but is it really "you?" There are also the transporters of Star Trek, which always seemed to me to present the same issue.
Comment icon #23 Posted by joc 10 years ago
There are computers. There is living human tissue called 'brain'. The two are nothing alike. Not in reality. Computers and all AL is a set of numbers. The brain is not. You simply cannot transfer thought activity into a numbers based program. What you CAN do is take human thought and program a computer with similar thought ...i.e. voice recognition...smell detection...etc. But to upload thought activity is not possible. Not in this current technological reality.
Comment icon #24 Posted by XenoFish 10 years ago
Then the question would be, could a human brain be transferred into a robotic body and function? Perhaps at some future point, we'll have discovered many of the mysteries of the self and soul.
Comment icon #25 Posted by Ashyne 10 years ago
But it's still you even if it's a copy. If I made a dozen copies of the same movie, it's the same movie, right? It's a rather complicated thing. If all your doing is simply saving your memories to some kind of mind bank. Then it's just memories. If it's your memories and personality it's more you. If it's the elusive soul then it's you entirely, correct? The only true way to know is successful experimentation. So right now it's just speculation. It's a copy of your traits and memories, but it is definitely not you. A Personality is a combination of past memories + genetic traits + environmenta... [More]
Comment icon #26 Posted by highdesert50 10 years ago
Consider the mental trauma that would be sustained by a disembodied brain. Our brains are highly evolved to protect, sustain, and interpret our biological interactions with the world. Ultimately, access to the biological self is intrinsic to quality of life.
Comment icon #27 Posted by joc 10 years ago
The brain transmits signals via nerves...which are in reality...electronic communications. We do have the technology already to manipulate devices through these nerve connections...for example: prosthetic devices. And there is a growing number of scientists who believe that 'telepathy' is indeed a real thing. I.e. brain waves from certain individuals picking up wireless brain wave signals from other individuals. But we are a loooooooooooong way from the technology that interprets brain signals into cognitive thought process. The reality will be not in 'downloading' a human brain into a robot..... [More]
Comment icon #28 Posted by LimeGelatin 10 years ago
The way I see it we could A.) Upload all of a persons experiences onto a computer brain; therefore knowing the robot would have knowledge of all the experiences the person he was programmed to be had, and pretty much guarantee said robot would always respond to situations in the exact same manner as that person did. Or, B.) We could clone someone, but the clone would be a blank slate, and the experiences it goes through would be what determine how it responds to situations. There might be a guarantee said clone would possess all of the mental faculties and physical features of whoever is clone... [More]
Comment icon #29 Posted by XenoFish 10 years ago
We won't know until it's done. So we can debate all we want, but until the day it happens we just don't know.
Comment icon #30 Posted by Mikko-kun 10 years ago
You can't sustain astral body that way, can you?


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