Anders Sandberg discussed whole brain emulation, and how we might perhaps accomplish it by mid-century, along with numerous examples of brain scanning and visualization technology.
An audience member asked if, since all life and brains begin with a single cell, had he considered growing a brain. Anders replied that he had done the calculations, but that the cell dividing that would be required (to grow both the brain and the body) that would have to be developed in order to grow the brain properly would require a lot of computing power.
Next, Randal Koene gave a differently focused presentation on whole brain emulation, and the benefits WBE will bring to mankind. He also discussed some of the more technical aspects of WBE, such as using phantom data sets for validation that can allow you to test your reconstruction algorighm.
An audience member asked if Randal would give the emulated brains a choice about whether or not they wanted to participate in the experiments that had been created for, and he took the question very seriously. "Absolutely — if you’ve got something that thinks like we do, what’s the difference there."
This immediately aroused the audience’s attention. Just what is it we are talking about creating here. Another audience member asked a question about creating "copies" of our consciousness, and how, of course, each copy would be different, and Randal agreed. "Every copy of a brain will have its own set of self awareness, unless you believe there is something intrinsic about the biology."
What do you think about the ethical implications of growing brains in the laboratory for upload and storage research? Let us know your thoughts here on the blog.