Philosophical implications of uploading your mind

Is the mind the same as the body? What is consciousness? Can machines have it?

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Philosophy Explorer
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Philosophical implications of uploading your mind

Post by Philosophy Explorer » Wed Jun 17, 2015 4:02 pm

Does this create consciousness are among a number of questions (sounds like something from Star Trek). But this article is serious:

http://www.hopesandfears.com/hopes/futu ... -your-mind

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Re: Philosophical implications of uploading your mind

Post by Dalek Prime » Fri Jun 19, 2015 1:52 am

One of the posters makes a valid point. Say you are alive, and your consciousness could, and has, been uploaded. Then you go for a coffee down the street. Are you experiencing life in the computer? No, you are experiencing life in the coffee shop. You are split from it, whatever it is. And when you, experiencing coffee, choke on your doughnut and die, you won't suddenly be aware of the upload self. You will be gone. It's fantasy bullshit.
Last edited by Dalek Prime on Fri Jun 19, 2015 4:37 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Philosophical implications of uploading your mind

Post by Skip » Fri Jun 19, 2015 2:46 am

Wouldn't the copy be kind of like a clone? A new person that begin where you left off. It's a set of memories and knowledge that end at the moment of recording. Whether you continue to live after the recording or not is irrelevant to the new person, and the new person has nothing to do with you.

I wouldn't have a copy of me made, even though I don't believe could ever be conscious - just on the off chance. Imagine being a conscious entity, trapped in a box that was at the mercy of other people for an indefinite period of time. They could edit the recording, splice it with others, alter, distort, experiment with, reprogram some aspects of it; they could use it to make art or educational movies, or porn or video games - whatever they wanted. And you would be utterly helpless.

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Re: Philosophical implications of uploading your mind

Post by Dalek Prime » Fri Jun 19, 2015 3:33 am

I would no more make a copy of me than I would have a child. I really don't think it's going to happen, that they can upload anyone or anything that contains a consciousness, but I'm not going to experiment on myself, just in case.

That's the thing though, Skip. If you listen to transhumanists, they'll live forever inside a machine, or some wet works. It won't be them, though. It'll be the clone, as you say, and they'll pass. No immortality.

It would be utterly helpless in the scenario you described, btw. Not you. But still, I'd not subject anything to possible torment.

I'm glad you brought the subject up, Phil. It's given me something new to ponder.
Last edited by Dalek Prime on Fri Jun 19, 2015 4:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Philosophical implications of uploading your mind

Post by Dalek Prime » Fri Jun 19, 2015 3:50 am

Actually, why even upload anyone, come to think of it. Once you've mapped out a "consciousness pattern", you can create new consciousness in a machine, endlessly. You just need a basic blueprint for it, then copy, and run it.

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Re: Philosophical implications of uploading your mind

Post by Philosophy Explorer » Fri Jun 19, 2015 3:57 am

Dalek Prime wrote:Actually, why even upload anyone, come to think of it. Once you've mapped out a "consciousness pattern", you can create new consciousness in a machine, endlessly. You just need a basic blueprint for it, then copy, and run it.
What is a consciousness pattern?

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Re: Philosophical implications of uploading your mind

Post by Dalek Prime » Fri Jun 19, 2015 4:35 am

Philosophy Explorer wrote:
Dalek Prime wrote:Actually, why even upload anyone, come to think of it. Once you've mapped out a "consciousness pattern", you can create new consciousness in a machine, endlessly. You just need a basic blueprint for it, then copy, and run it.
What is a consciousness pattern?

PhilX
I just coined the term for convenience. All files, etc. on a computer have unique binary patterns. If we succeeded in a first upload or creation of consciousness, we would know the basic binary pattern aka consciousness pattern, and could duplicate it by mere copying. Call it a consciousness file or database, if you will.

I wonder if ternary architecture wouldn't be better suited to this than binary, btw...

But really, I like to stick to reality as it stands. I don't buy strong AI, and this would require that and more. Our brains don't run using lambda calculus (software) or Turing machines (hardware), and as technology stands, aside from quantum computing, which I don't pretend to understand, these are the limits to computability.

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Re: Philosophical implications of uploading your mind

Post by Obvious Leo » Fri Jun 19, 2015 5:41 am

The notion of uploading a mind onto a computer is a Cartesian dualist myth. Cognition is an embodied process and is therefore not reducible, even in principle.

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Re: Philosophical implications of uploading your mind

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Fri Jun 19, 2015 12:04 pm

Obvious Leo wrote:The notion of uploading a mind onto a computer is a Cartesian dualist myth. Cognition is an embodied process and is therefore not reducible, even in principle.
the idea that we have a separate incorporeal "mind" is a Cartesian myth sure. The idea that you might be able to "upload" the contents of your memory , personality, experience, etc is not. In fact it is a recognition that what make us who and what we are is wholly material, and therefore replicable.

In fact, had you read the article, you might have noticed that it conceives of this problem is a completely materialist way - as it must.

One way of thinking of how this would work is that we would scan your brain while you are still alive and take a really highly detailed 3D snapshot of all the structures and activity in the brain down to something like the molecular level.

If you accept that the memories are in effect the material re-organisation of grey matter, and that as we learn we change the structure of our brain accordingly; THEN you can, at least, imagine the possibility that such information might be encodable in some way, providing we could read it.

In mundane ways we already to this to a degree. When we write, or speak, or use body language we are conveying information about who and what we are, coded in ways that others' brains can recognise.
Doing this for the purpose of storage can be achieved with a text, a voice recording or a video blog, so that for thoughts and impressions can be recorded for others to understand meanings we had.

Whether or not the technology will ever be capable of recording the contents of the "mind", with 100% fidelity, or managing to "print" a brain with a facsimile of those instructions is another matter, but not unimaginable.

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Re: Philosophical implications of uploading your mind

Post by Obvious Leo » Fri Jun 19, 2015 7:25 pm

What evidence do you offer that mind and brain are synonymous?

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Re: Philosophical implications of uploading your mind

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Fri Jun 19, 2015 10:18 pm

Obvious Leo wrote:What evidence do you offer that mind and brain are synonymous?
What do you mean "mind"?
Can you give an example of a mind without a brain?

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Re: Philosophical implications of uploading your mind

Post by Obvious Leo » Fri Jun 19, 2015 10:40 pm

Hobbes' Choice wrote:What do you mean "mind"?
I asked first since you're the one talking about uploading it whereas I'm the one declaring such a notion nonsensical. What exactly is it that you are proposing to upload?
Hobbes' Choice wrote:Can you give an example of a mind without a brain?
Of course I can't. Can you give an example of a brain without a body?

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Re: Philosophical implications of uploading your mind

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Fri Jun 19, 2015 11:06 pm

Obvious Leo wrote:
Hobbes' Choice wrote:What do you mean "mind"?
I asked first since you're the one talking about uploading it whereas I'm the one declaring such a notion nonsensical. What exactly is it that you are proposing to upload?

Maybe you should actually READ what I said and respond to that?

Hobbes' Choice wrote:Can you give an example of a mind without a brain?
Of course I can't. Can you give an example of a brain without a body?

Yes, of course. What's your point?

AND don't forget to tell me what you mean by "mind".


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Re: Philosophical implications of uploading your mind

Post by Obvious Leo » Fri Jun 19, 2015 11:41 pm

Hobbes. I did read what you wrote. You spoke of making a physical copy of a particular set of brain states. If this is what you understand by a mind then there is little more that I can offer to this topic because a mind is simply not definable in this way. I suggest you do a bit of homework in the field of cognitive neuroscience.

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Re: Philosophical implications of uploading your mind

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Sat Jun 20, 2015 9:39 am

Obvious Leo wrote:Hobbes. I did read what you wrote. You spoke of making a physical copy of a particular set of brain states. If this is what you understand by a mind then there is little more that I can offer to this topic because a mind is simply not definable in this way. I suggest you do a bit of homework in the field of cognitive neuroscience.
You can blather on as long as you like, but until you say what a mind is then your words are empty.
Run along!

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