[ExI] Wrestling with Embodiment

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Fri Jan 27 09:53:42 UTC 2012

On 26/01/2012 13:25, Natasha Vita-More wrote:
> "I think computational codes are universal, so that any form of
> transhuman modification/extension can be seen as modifying the code."
> Are you saying that all perceptual and psychological attributes of the human
> body can be negotiated and in doing so, can transform these
> molecular/chemical actions and reactions into computer codes?

What do you mean by the word "negotiated" in that question? I am not 
sure, and hence unable to answer.

> Okay, here is an problem:
> You have two well-informed and skilled experts in the domain of AGI. They
> are equally skilled, give or take, but they are different. One is dyslexic
> and the other has aspersers syndrome.  How would they approach uploading?
> Might they "see" it or approach it somewhat differently?

Do dyslectic and Asperger carpenters make different furniture? Do hetero 
or gay composers make different music? I think the answer is: sometimes. 
It depends a bit on the project: some domains have much more degrees of 
freedom and hence depend more on who is doing them and their style of 
work. But even in very constrained domains there is often space for 
different choices (what kind of joints in the drawers?), and if there 
are enough such choice points style will be noticeable.

And of course, a lot depends on what the creators try to express.

Different scientists certainly have different styles, based not just in 
skill but on personality. I am right now looking at disc representations 
of hyperbolic geometry, and the Beltrami model *feels* very different 
from the Poincare model - it is straightforward, yet in its pursuit of 
practical results it lacks the conceptual "curvy" elegance of the 
Poincare model. I can certainly imagine different uploading projects 
becoming different because of their lead scientists.

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

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