Future of Virtual Reality?

  • #26
sophiecentaur
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Interesting idea. So there would be two of 'you', each one believing he was the original?
 
  • #27
Ryan_m_b
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Interesting idea. So there would be two of 'you', each one believing he was the original?
We would have to define what "original" meant in this concept. If it happened to me neither would think they were original because IMO that's a concept that offers no practical value. If the manner of the replication was non-destructive then one of us would be a Ryan with continuity but that's all.
 
  • #28
sophiecentaur
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I think the term "original" would have to be a subjective one. In which case they would both/all feel they were originals.
To quote: "the wonderful thing about Tiggers is I'm the only one."
 
  • #29
BobG
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The problem is how are we going to transfer the mind to a computer? I mean our brain is immensely complex and still relatively unknown to us. The question of consciousness is one of the biggest questions of our time.

While its very exciting keep in note: we still have no idea how to tap in dreams or memories. We can read the brain activity as electrical signals but have no interpretation of what they mean. Neither do I believe that we can using that approach.

Even though I am a big optimist, the problem of transferring the brain into a computer may very well be impossible.
Just because we can't currently interpret what those electrical signals mean doesn't mean we can't eventually. Our current state just means it won't happen very soon. However, assuming we could someday be able to observe those signals and know what they mean, etc, it doesn't mean we could simulate those signals.

You can run into problems where simulating something actually winds up being more expensive than just building a new original, even when you're talking about inanimate objects such as a computer.

For example, you don't want to buy an extra satellite so you can train the satellite operators, so you write computer programs that will simulate the parts of the spacecraft that the operator interacts with, including the computers in the spacecraft. Creating a computer program that will make your computer act exactly like another computer can be surprisingly hard. The simulator computer has to be better and faster than the computer it's simulating. At least in our case, a computer that would have been capable of simulating the spacecraft computers would have been more expensive than just buying an extra of each of the more sophisticated computers in the spacecraft and using them in the simulator. In other words, the simulator could only simulate some of the mechanical pieces and the simplest computers in the spacecraft (which made for an expensive, but very good satellite simulator).

So, yeah, considering both parts, it's definitely not something that's going to happen soon, and the questions about what that would actually mean raises some valid questions about whether it's even something worthwhile. From a practical standpoint, it's cheaper to replace you with a new person than to create a simulation of you. And will you personally benefit from having your consciousness transferred elsewhere?


When I use the term "you" I mean the "you" who is sitting, reading this. What could be going on in a replica of you would mean nothing to you. How could it? What would be the sensation? Would you suddenly be looking out of a pair of eyes, situated somewhere else? What could make that happen? The thought processes that are going on in your 'present' body are there by virtue of the sum total of all the chemistry in that body, all the unconscious processes, all the 'inputs' and the memories. The consciousness would only be aware of a small fraction of all this. Would your consciousness suddenly 'jump' into the other creature's frame?

By "practical purposes", you presumably mean from an outsider's view; I could go along with that. What I question is how the 'you' in the original body would relate to what is going on inside the other guy, who has been given all of your memories. What sort of transference of awareness could take place. I can agree that a duplicate (to some degree) might be created but it would be someone else and not you.
If it were practical to transfer the 'you' part to a clone of yourself, and someone could make money off it, then the "practical purposes", what outsiders see, is all that would be important. As long as they see you in a newer, better body and that you've essentially obtained immortality, they'll see that as a good idea and want to do the same themselves.

The old you just has to be kept out of sight. In fact, the company doing the transfer for you could even make some profit off of the old you. Read Orson Scott Card's "Fat Farm". :rofl:

All sorts of business opportunities and all sorts of ways to cut corners if cloning is an expensive process. Some rich person has a lifestyle that causes them to get too fat, they can transfer their consciousness to a new, identical replica of their body except the replica is in fantastic phsyical shape. If that person is young, you don't even have to discard the old body. You can whip it into shape through hard physical labor so it's ready to be new, new you when you go out and ruin the new you. Of course, your old consciousness has to be destroyed so the consciousness of the new you can be transferred in, so you don't even have any unpleasant memories of the time you spent doing all of that hard physical labor. And so on.
 
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  • #30
Ryan_m_b
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Just because we can't currently interpret what those electrical signals mean doesn't mean we can't eventually. Our current state just means it won't happen very soon. However, assuming we could someday be able to observe those signals and know what they mean, etc, it doesn't mean we could simulate those signals.
And that's assuming that simulating these signals without simulating the brain (and body and environment) will actually lead to a simulation of you.

You can run into problems where simulating something actually winds up being more expensive than just building a new original, even when you're talking about inanimate objects such as a computer.

For example, you don't want to buy an extra satellite so you can train the satellite operators, so you write computer programs that will simulate the parts of the spacecraft that the operator interacts with, including the computers in the spacecraft. Creating a computer program that will make your computer act exactly like another computer can be surprisingly hard. The simulator computer has to be better and faster than the computer it's simulating. At least in our case, a computer that would have been capable of simulating the spacecraft computers would have been more expensive than just buying an extra of each of the more sophisticated computers in the spacecraft and using them in the simulator. In other words, the simulator could only simulate some of the mechanical pieces and the simplest computers in the spacecraft (which made for an expensive, but very good satellite simulator).

So, yeah, considering both parts, it's definitely not something that's going to happen soon, and the questions about what that would actually mean raises some valid questions about whether it's even something worthwhile. From a practical standpoint, it's cheaper to replace you with a new person than to create a simulation of you. And will you personally benefit from having your consciousness transferred elsewhere?
I suppose this falls under the similar argument that strong AI gets, once you've done it once you can just copy it over and over for negligible cost.
 
  • #31
sophiecentaur
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And that's assuming that simulating these signals without simulating the brain (and body and environment) will actually lead to a simulation of you.
Yes. The whole notion is a gross simplification of the whole situation. No one has been prepared to discuss the matter of continuity and the experience of this suggested transition process.
Far too glib I think.
 
  • #32
Ryan_m_b
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Yes. The whole notion is a gross simplification of the whole situation. No one has been prepared to discuss the matter of continuity and the experience of this suggested transition process.
Far too glib I think.
I think there is also far to much science fiction. People like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Kurzweil" [Broken] don't exactly help either...
 
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