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16 Sep 2012

Do you believe that it is possible to form a perfect copy of the brain’s state? I will leave that hanging for a moment.

Do you believe that computer intelligence will one day be equal to or surpass human intelligence? Leaving that too.

Do you believe that neurons and collections of neurons can be replaced by digital processors?

If you believe any one of them then you have to believe the other two. And it also implies you believe things like mind uploading will one day be possible.

Why? If it was not possible to copy the brain’s state then that would be one day to distinguish it from a digital mind. The brain would be something different perhaps more than digital. Being able to copy the brain’s state is necessary for mind uploading and so the implication is proved.

If you believe neurons and digital processors are interchangeable – no intense architecture just put in pattern matching chips and let the brain do the rest until you have something like theseus’s ship – and the mind would not notice. Then now we have a reliable way to copy brain state even if biologically too fickle.

Digital processors are much easier to extend modularize and modify. Even a slight speedup, more efficient energy usage and pattern formation will leave a regular human behind. So you must believe the computer intelligence/AI will one day surpass a person’s if you think neural prosthetics are workable. Different mind architecture may push the boundary of what it means to be human.

And if the machine can surpass human intelligence then there is no reason that one of them couldn’t learn a perfect general model of a specific person and be able to predict how they would act under any given circumstance.

So now, there you have it, multiple ways to prove what was once only in the realm of philosophy.


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