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Singularity Summit – Anders Sandberg and Randal Keone On Whole Brain Emulation















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.







14 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    How do I know I am not already a manufactured consciousness?

  2. Meaty Mind says:

    Creating minds has drawbacks. Especially meaty minds. I think it’s unethical to create sentient minds made of meat given their abysmal success rate (or spectacular failure rate) at doing anything useful except feeling mostly pain amid the occasional pleasure, unless you define feeling pleasure and pain as particularly useful.

    Instead create different kinds of minds. Made of different stuff, operating under different rules. Start from scratch. Enough of meaty minds.

    • Moomin Papa says:

      Are not pleasure and pain the primary stimuli that push us forward in life? It seems (to me at least) that most decisions made generally involve heading towards one and avoiding the other. Otherwise I can’t see how they’re going to motivate a conciousness to do anything except sit around eating Cheetos and posting in Yahoo Answers.

    • This is great fun to think about. It’s amusingly like what I would do if I met up with parallel universe versions of myself. I’ll do my best to still be breathing 40 years from now when this shows up.

  3. Instantiation 0 says:

    You cannot unthink thoughts. Certain thoughts change you, fundamentally, permanently. That’s what makes progress, and the spread of transhumanism, inevitable. This is one of them. Once you get it, there’s no going back. Welcome to the world of . . . not souls, not identities . . . instantiations.

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