The Digital Mind

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Denspressure

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The Digital Mind
« on: February 23, 2020, 11:31:15 AM »
Do you believe technology will eventually reach a processing power and data-density capable of simulating  a 1:1 copy of someone's brain?

I myself... am rather sceptical.

I think the deeper meaning behind this question is, and perhaps more importantly... can that which makes up the human psyche, emotions.. dare I even say -SOUL- be quantified by a single biological mechanism? and accurately converted to 1s and 0s.

Or would such a construct merely be an EMPTY IMITATION of the source's mind?
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Crouton

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Re: The Digital Mind
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2020, 12:43:57 PM »
Logic tells me it should be possible.  I believe our model of the human mind is fundamentally wrong though.

It's interesting that this hasn't been done already.  The incentives are very strong.  Anyone who does it would pretty much be guaranteed to be the richest person in history.
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Lorddave

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Re: The Digital Mind
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2020, 01:06:28 PM »
Logic tells me it should be possible.  I believe our model of the human mind is fundamentally wrong though.

It's interesting that this hasn't been done already.  The incentives are very strong.  Anyone who does it would pretty much be guaranteed to be the richest person in history.

We can do slugs and sea cucumbers.  I think mammal brains are way too complex to simulate yet.  I mean, just simulating each molecule of a hormone is hard.  And add to it that we haven't mapped brains perfectly yet and its just not ready.

Someday, but not soon.

Re: The Digital Mind
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2020, 05:00:13 AM »
Once your mind is another substrate, who will it be though?  It won't be "you" any more.
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MaNaeSWolf

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Re: The Digital Mind
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2020, 10:36:12 AM »
Once your mind is another substrate, who will it be though?  It won't be "you" any more.
First we have to answer what "you" is. What in your brain makes you, "you"?
Heck, Its still conceivable that the soul exists and we can never simulate a "you" without a literal Soul. (my money is not on that hypothesis though)

But think of it this way, the brain IS simulating you at the moment, its just a biological computer driven by different computing mechanisms than what we understand.
I am fairly sure we will eventually be able to simulate a "you", but it wont be as a natural simulation as the way your brain does it.
For e,g. When you see a really attractive (insert thing/person that makes you excited here) there is a chain of reactions in your brain that translates not just electrical signals from your eyes and neocortex, but also chemical signals that makes you "feel" amazing. These things are not just electrical, but also chemical reactions. To simulate this in a computer will be more complex than just building a virtual brain. They have to build a virtual human.

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Crouton

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Re: The Digital Mind
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2020, 10:48:33 AM »
Once your mind is another substrate, who will it be though?  It won't be "you" any more.

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Denspressure

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Re: The Digital Mind
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2020, 11:37:29 AM »
Once your mind is another substrate, who will it be though?  It won't be "you" any more.
First we have to answer what "you" is. What in your brain makes you, "you"?
Heck, Its still conceivable that the soul exists and we can never simulate a "you" without a literal Soul. (my money is not on that hypothesis though)

But think of it this way, the brain IS simulating you at the moment, its just a biological computer driven by different computing mechanisms than what we understand.
I am fairly sure we will eventually be able to simulate a "you", but it wont be as a natural simulation as the way your brain does it.
For e,g. When you see a really attractive (insert thing/person that makes you excited here) there is a chain of reactions in your brain that translates not just electrical signals from your eyes and neocortex, but also chemical signals that makes you "feel" amazing. These things are not just electrical, but also chemical reactions. To simulate this in a computer will be more complex than just building a virtual brain. They have to build a virtual human.

And you just hit one of my proglems, lets call it: Problem 1: How deep does the rabbit hole go?


How deep do you run the simulation ... I mean, what exactly do you all simulate?

It may be simple to say that 1 neuron is equal to 1 transistor, but that is of course wrong.

To begin with, the simulation cannot be static. Neurons can make new connections and break old ones. Without this function, it is only a snapshot, forever frozen in a stuck state.


Let's assume that we know exactly how a neuron works, and can exactly simulate its functions in a program. Too bad, it still doesn't help you much. The human brain is more than just these cells ...

Take hormones as an example, when are they produced, how and what are the reactions in the different parts of the brain. Another example, how blood flows through the brain and the ways it takes, how the oxygen spreads through the network.

With all this it becomes clear that a simulation of only the neurons is not enough ... but then what? Do you simulate on cell level, molecule, atom? Subatomic particles?


I will go one step lower, and tell you to imitate the causes for the underlying physics tapestry of our universe. How subatomic particles react to each other and work in order for gravity, magnetism and nuclear power to manifest. The elementary particle.
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sokarul

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Re: The Digital Mind
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2020, 07:01:23 PM »
In my opinion a digital mind would require more than just algorithms.
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MaNaeSWolf

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Re: The Digital Mind
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2020, 10:10:48 PM »
And you just hit one of my proglems, lets call it: Problem 1: How deep does the rabbit hole go?


How deep do you run the simulation ... I mean, what exactly do you all simulate?

It may be simple to say that 1 neuron is equal to 1 transistor, but that is of course wrong.

To begin with, the simulation cannot be static. Neurons can make new connections and break old ones. Without this function, it is only a snapshot, forever frozen in a stuck state.


Let's assume that we know exactly how a neuron works, and can exactly simulate its functions in a program. Too bad, it still doesn't help you much. The human brain is more than just these cells ...

Take hormones as an example, when are they produced, how and what are the reactions in the different parts of the brain. Another example, how blood flows through the brain and the ways it takes, how the oxygen spreads through the network.

With all this it becomes clear that a simulation of only the neurons is not enough ... but then what? Do you simulate on cell level, molecule, atom? Subatomic particles?


I will go one step lower, and tell you to imitate the causes for the underlying physics tapestry of our universe. How subatomic particles react to each other and work in order for gravity, magnetism and nuclear power to manifest. The elementary particle.
Its a problem with all these ideas of loading consciousness. Until we actually understand what makes us who we are, we cant even begin to think of how we can simulate our brains.
I dont think its impossible, I just think we are stupidly far away from doing it.

Then there are lots of follow up questions.

- How do you know if everything that consists of a person was transferred? Its easy to have them forget something, or even add memories.
- How do you ensure that mental abilities are not added or removed in a manner that fundamentally changes a person?
If you battle to focus, and you upload your mind, and change it so you can focus for years on end, are you still you? Or is it just an altered version of you? We are our flaws too, if you remove those, are you still you?
- Once your mind in on a chip, what stops you from copying yourself billions of times over?
- If there is only one copy of you and someone deletes you, did he commit murder?

I dont think we need to worry too much about these questions right now.

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Denspressure

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Re: The Digital Mind
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2020, 12:27:15 AM »
That is the reason I and some of my friends refuse to take medication to help us focus, for some also with mental stability/anxiety.

Does it change who we are as a person, numb our creativity and thought? Beyond just 'increasing ability to focus'
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MaNaeSWolf

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Re: The Digital Mind
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2020, 12:46:08 AM »
That is the reason I and some of my friends refuse to take medication to help us focus, for some also with mental stability/anxiety.

Does it change who we are as a person, numb our creativity and thought? Beyond just 'increasing ability to focus'
Changing, in of itself is not a bad thing. We change all the time, our views, methods and philosophy of life change as we grow. So dont fear change. But look to where you are changing towards and decide if you like that or not.

I meditate, to help me focus, this is me taking an action to change how I think. If I do it enough, eventually it becomes me. If you do it with drugs everytime, and form a dependency with them, well, that becomes you too. (I support your view btw)

The issue with uploaded minds is that we can instantly change to beyond what we would consider human. No human in a human body can single mindedly focus on one thing for 100 years without distraction. (For many reasons). But a uploaded mind only needs to install an App (then probably an Ad-block app right after that) and its able to do un-human level feats.

Soon after uploading, what makes an uploaded mind any different from a General Artificial Intelligence?

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Denspressure

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Re: The Digital Mind
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2020, 04:30:04 AM »
Music helps me focus, clears my mind of unwanted thoughts and allows me to concentrate on things I enjoy contemplating.
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John Davis

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Re: The Digital Mind
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2020, 10:54:40 PM »
Eh it will get close enough. It's dangerous and its unchecked. Folks think improperly about regulating industries. The new industries should not see a cost increase due to regulation. This should hopefully shift things back. I doubt it will.
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Shifter

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Re: The Digital Mind
« Reply #13 on: February 29, 2020, 02:40:40 AM »
That is the reason I and some of my friends refuse to take medication to help us focus, for some also with mental stability/anxiety.

Does it change who we are as a person, numb our creativity and thought? Beyond just 'increasing ability to focus'
Changing, in of itself is not a bad thing. We change all the time, our views, methods and philosophy of life change as we grow. So dont fear change. But look to where you are changing towards and decide if you like that or not.

I meditate, to help me focus, this is me taking an action to change how I think. If I do it enough, eventually it becomes me. If you do it with drugs everytime, and form a dependency with them, well, that becomes you too. (I support your view btw)

The issue with uploaded minds is that we can instantly change to beyond what we would consider human. No human in a human body can single mindedly focus on one thing for 100 years without distraction. (For many reasons). But a uploaded mind only needs to install an App (then probably an Ad-block app right after that) and its able to do un-human level feats.

Soon after uploading, what makes an uploaded mind any different from a General Artificial Intelligence?

Provided humanity doesn't kill each other first, this is the future of humanity. We will all end up augmented with technology.

For example, it's time consuming to whip out your phone, ask google a question and get an answer. Imagine a brain implant that you literally just think of a question and you get an answer. Everyone will become mathematical genuineness because any calculation they think of will get an answer at the same time.

Over time, our entire bodies could be rid of flesh and blood, and put into androids of any shape, size and ability. You could use Von Neumann probes to start a colonisation of the galaxy and wont need spaceships to transport you from planet A to planet B. After the probes have laid the groundwork, just upload your mind to planet B. Would a digital mind experience the linear flow of time? Even if hundreds of years pass perhaps the 'feeling' is instantaneous.

I think it's inevitable that we go this way. Especially once we reach the 'singularity' era

Sadly, I think a lot of the human race will end up being culled in some way or another to make way for this. This planet simply wont sustain 11-12 billion people at current levels of disposability (our planned obsolescence and throw away style society). Climate change will also force our hand

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John Davis

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Re: The Digital Mind
« Reply #14 on: February 29, 2020, 02:48:09 AM »
I'm not familiar with Von Neumann probes. I only know his discrete mathematics and his obvious contributions to shit obvious to me. What are these VN probes you talk to?
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Shifter

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Re: The Digital Mind
« Reply #15 on: February 29, 2020, 03:06:33 AM »
I'm not familiar with Von Neumann probes. I only know his discrete mathematics and his obvious contributions to shit obvious to me. What are these VN probes you talk to?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-replicating_spacecraft

Quote
Von Neumann proved that the most effective way of performing large-scale mining operations such as mining an entire moon or asteroid belt would be by self-replicating spacecraft, taking advantage of their exponential growth.[1] In theory, a self-replicating spacecraft could be sent to a neighbouring planetary system, where it would seek out raw materials (extracted from asteroids, moons, gas giants, etc.) to create replicas of itself. These replicas would then be sent out to other planetary systems. The original "parent" probe could then pursue its primary purpose within the star system. This mission varies widely depending on the variant of self-replicating starship proposed.

Given this pattern, and its similarity to the reproduction patterns of bacteria, it has been pointed out that von Neumann machines might be considered a form of life. In his short story "Lungfish" (see Self-replicating machines in fiction), David Brin touches on this idea, pointing out that self-replicating machines launched by different species might actually compete with one another (in a Darwinistic fashion) for raw material, or even have conflicting missions. Given enough variety of "species" they might even form a type of ecology, or should they also have a form of artificial intelligence a society. They may even mutate with untold thousands of "generations".

The first quantitative engineering analysis of such a spacecraft was published in 1980 by Robert Freitas,[2] in which the non-replicating Project Daedalus design was modified to include all subsystems necessary for self-replication. The design's strategy was to use the probe to deliver a "seed" factory with a mass of about 443 tons to a distant site, have the seed factory replicate many copies of itself there to increase its total manufacturing capacity, over a 500-year period, and then use the resulting automated industrial complex to construct more probes with a single seed factory on board each.

It has been theorized[3] that a self-replicating starship utilizing relatively conventional theoretical methods of interstellar travel (i.e., no exotic faster-than-light propulsion, and speeds limited to an "average cruising speed" of 0.1c.) could spread throughout a galaxy the size of the Milky Way in as little as half a million years.

It's not an overnight colonisation effort but half a million years  :o

Although it does beg the question... Why have we not encountered a civilisation that had already done this? Fermi Paradox? Or is this limited to the realm of science fiction...

For now, it is an interesting thought experiment. Cool idea if one day was attempted to put into practice.

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MaNaeSWolf

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Re: The Digital Mind
« Reply #16 on: February 29, 2020, 03:50:34 AM »
Provided humanity doesn't kill each other first, this is the future of humanity. We will all end up augmented with technology.

For example, it's time consuming to whip out your phone, ask google a question and get an answer. Imagine a brain implant that you literally just think of a question and you get an answer. Everyone will become mathematical genuineness because any calculation they think of will get an answer at the same time.

Over time, our entire bodies could be rid of flesh and blood, and put into androids of any shape, size and ability. You could use Von Neumann probes to start a colonisation of the galaxy and wont need spaceships to transport you from planet A to planet B. After the probes have laid the groundwork, just upload your mind to planet B. Would a digital mind experience the linear flow of time? Even if hundreds of years pass perhaps the 'feeling' is instantaneous.

I think it's inevitable that we go this way. Especially once we reach the 'singularity' era

Sadly, I think a lot of the human race will end up being culled in some way or another to make way for this. This planet simply wont sustain 11-12 billion people at current levels of disposability (our planned obsolescence and throw away style society). Climate change will also force our hand
I dont think people uploading minds is a foregone conclusion. Having augmented minds maybe. But once you are out of your biological shell, you become no more valuable than an AI.

I think the earth can easily sustain 11 billion people, we just need to be a lot smarter than we have been.

It's not an overnight colonisation effort but half a million years  :o

Although it does beg the question... Why have we not encountered a civilisation that had already done this? Fermi Paradox? Or is this limited to the realm of science fiction...

For now, it is an interesting thought experiment. Cool idea if one day was attempted to put into practice.

My answer to the Fermi Paradox lies in the "Life is super duper rare" category.

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Shifter

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Re: The Digital Mind
« Reply #17 on: February 29, 2020, 04:13:22 AM »
My answer to the Fermi Paradox lies in the "Life is super duper rare" category.

I think its abundant, given all the 'inhospitable' and crazy locations we have found it here on Earth, it's just whether conditions on the planet allow it to evolve to a point of intelligence in the first place and as long as the mass was small enough to allow them to leave it (good luck trying to blast off from a 'Super Earth' sized planet

Also our own biases in what we think life is could be limited in scope. We dont even know a proper definition of what is life
http://theconversation.com/alien-life-is-out-there-but-our-theories-are-probably-steering-us-away-from-it-124042


But if we want to travel the cosmos, I cant see us doing it in a biological form unless we can create stable wormholes lol. Unlikely though
https://www.forbes.com/sites/paulmsutter/2019/10/16/dont-ever-travel-down-a-wormhole-youll-die/#748ae8bdfe2f

It's probably easier to shed our biological bodies and simply exist as digital bits uploading and downloading throughout the universe. We wont be human anymore but it will be our legacy