[ExI] Reversible uploading

Keith Henson hkeithhenson at gmail.com
Tue Sep 21 01:04:16 UTC 2010

I read all the arguments about uploading including what Hans Moravec
said about one way to do it back in the late 80s and early 90s.  I
have not seen a single new thought about this subject in years.

Much of the discussed methods violated medical ethics or engineering
practice or both.

I had to consider this for "The Clinic Seed" chapter.

Given the exceedingly fine scale that nanotechnology is expected to
operate on, infiltrating the brain to the level of every synapse could
be done.  I don't think it's needed to go that fine, cells or perhaps
even cortical columns may be enough to see that a brain is doing.
With some amount of monitoring you could be reasonably confident that
an emulation was close enough to be acceptable.  (I.e., with noise
limits it would do what a brain does.)

In the process of reaching this level of detail we would fully
understand how memory is created, consolidated and accessed.  A neural
interface of that time would allow us to access the stored collective
data humans have amassed as if it were our own memory--somewhat the
way we use search engines to locate data today.

With this level of understanding we could write memory to a local
human brain as well, probably well beyond the normal rate that humans
can form memories.

Given this level of technology (and it's hard to see why it would not
come about) it should be clear that every step from unaugmented human
to a fully disconnected from the body uploaded state is reversible
without even losing conscious awareness.

So you can try it and if you don't like it, stop at any step and
either stay there or revert all the way back.

My opinion is that it would be addictive and darn few people would go
back to living in bodies except maybe on vacations (perhaps forced

Being somewhat conservative (like most engineers) I would probably
keep the old brain updated so I could slip back into a body and go for
a walk.  But then I still have a working (I think) Apple II.



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