[ExI] Wrestling with Embodiment

Natasha Vita-More natasha at natasha.cc
Thu Jan 26 12:59:23 UTC 2012

-----Original Message-----
From: extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org
[mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of Anders Sandberg
Sent: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 6:27 PM
To: ExI chat list
Subject: Re: [ExI] Wrestling with Embodiment

On 25/01/2012 19:25, natasha at natasha.cc wrote:
>  Is there not another possible way in which the brain and its 
> functioning could be expanded/extended that does not rely exculsive on 
> computational codes?

I think computational codes are universal, so that any form of 
transhuman modification/extension can be seen as modifying the code. 
This is convenient for analysing them. But in practice of course all 
computation is embodied as something - flesh, silicon, nanomachines, 
wood, what have you. And sometimes it might not even be obvious what the 
computation *is* (other than that it is doing what it is doing), in 
which case it might be very hard to re-represent it without making an 
identical copy of the system or a cumbersome element-by-element emulation.

Also, there is ignorance. I don't know what modafinil does to my mind 
computationally when I take a pill, but I can make use of the effects. 
We do not have access to the computational structure of a lot of things 
right now.

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

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