[ExI] Wrestling with Embodiment

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Wed Jan 25 18:07:01 UTC 2012

On 25/01/2012 14:02, Natasha Vita-More wrote:
> I have to say I agree Stefano.  And I am surprised that Andes does not 
> include, on some level, chemistry since he is a neuroscientist.  In 
> fact, Margulis + Sandberg AGI model might be fascinating.

Isn't chemistry obvious? Or maybe not... I hear a lot of people object 
to brain emulation because they think it cannot simulate brain chemistry 
or that we haven't thought about it.

The fact that one could replace chemistry or tendon elasticity with an 
equivalent digital circuit (at least in my functionalist philosophy... 
that not every transhumanist buys!) doesn't mean they are irrelevant.

The quirks of my body chemistry affect my mood, my habits and "style" of 
health. The causes are simple genetic variations, receptor levels, 
physiological feedback states etc. that are fairly meaningless on their 
own, but their combination is important for maintaining my 
individuality. If I were to change them as part of my life project, that 
would change me. Which is OK if I do it deliberatly and cautiously. But 
a change that just replaced them with a standard physiology would likely 
change me in an inauthentic direction, removing my contingent 
uniqueness. Keeping their functional effects but implementing them 
effectively would on the other hand IMHO not change who I am or my life.

Anders Sandberg,
Future of Humanity Institute
Philosophy Faculty of Oxford University

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