The idea of transferring the mind to an artificial medium, for example a computer medium or a computer, is a possibility that has mostly been addressed by science fiction but which in recent years is also being debated because several scientists or futurologists do not exclude the possibility at all.
The so-called “mind uploading”, literally “mind uploading”, has always been idealized through two fundamental approaches, as a new article in Medium explains.
There is first of all the approach belonging mostly to science fiction in which the mind, understood as consciousness or identity, is extracted from the brain, with methods that are not well defined or almost never dealt with in detail, and inserted or “uploaded” into a computer. The latter can then be grafted onto an artificial body such as that of a robot or an android.
Then there is the somewhat more realistic approach, typical of the so-called “singularitarians”, i.e. those who fervently believe that technological singularity is an almost certain future event.
In this approach one imagines an advanced technology to scan the brain in such detail that it can reproduce the position of each individual neuron and all the connections of each individual neuron with another (the so-called synapses that are even more numerous than the neurons themselves). This approach would require a not inconsiderable computational force and computers that currently do not yet exist or are in the design phase.
As the article points out, these are two approaches that seem unlikely at the moment. The second, which may seem more realistic at first glance, also needs a computational power and technology for scanning the same brain that are currently not even planned.
However, there could be 1/3 method, a decentralized adaptive method.
With the latter method, the mind and thus consciousness could be transferred to a computer by incremental adaptation. Basically, neural prostheses and brain-machine interfaces are used, at the beginning not very invasive, then more and more complex, efficient and hypertechnological.
At first these prostheses could only slightly improve memory, but in a short time they would improve perception and even the faculty of thought.
An individual, with such technological devices, evidently implanted in the brain, would become more intelligent and would have above average cognitive abilities, so much so that in the end, with devices that would mimic neural activity to perfection if not even more efficiently, he would no longer need the biological part.
At that point, the transition from biological support, that is, our head, to artificial support, that is, the set of devices implanted in the brain connected to a computer, could be considered as a transaction carried out in the context of the transfer of the mind to an artificial support.
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