Mind uploading – Wikipedia

Whole brain emulation (WBE), mind upload or brain upload (sometimes called "mind copying" or "mind transfer") is the hypothetical futuristic process of scanning the mental state (including long-term memory and "self") of a particular brain substrate and copying it to a computer. The computer could then run a simulation model of the brain's information processing, such that it would respond in essentially the same way as the original brain (i.e., indistinguishable from the brain for all relevant purposes) and experience having a conscious mind.[1][2][3]

Substantial mainstream research in related areas is being conducted in animal brain mapping and simulation, development of faster supercomputers, virtual reality, braincomputer interfaces, connectomics and information extraction from dynamically functioning brains.[4] According to supporters, many of the tools and ideas needed to achieve mind uploading already exist or are currently under active development; however, they will admit that others are, as yet, very speculative, but still in the realm of engineering possibility. Neuroscientist Randal Koene has formed a nonprofit organization called Carbon Copies to promote mind uploading research.

Mind uploading may potentially be accomplished by either of two methods: Copy-and-transfer or gradual replacement of neurons. In the case of the former method, mind uploading would be achieved by scanning and mapping the salient features of a biological brain, and then by copying, transferring, and storing that information state into a computer system or another computational device. The biological brain may not survive the copying process. The simulated mind could be within a virtual reality or simulated world, supported by an anatomic 3D body simulation model. Alternatively the simulated mind could reside in a computer inside (or connected to) a (not necessarily humanoid) robot or a biological body.[5]

Among some futurists and within the transhumanist movement, mind uploading is treated as an important proposed life extension technology. Some believe mind uploading is humanity's current best option for preserving the identity of the species, as opposed to cryonics. Another aim of mind uploading is to provide a permanent backup to our "mind-file", to enable interstellar space travels, and a means for human culture to survive a global disaster by making a functional copy of a human society in a Matrioshka brain, i.e. a computing device that consumes all energy from a star. Whole brain emulation is discussed by some futurists as a "logical endpoint"[5] of the topical computational neuroscience and neuroinformatics fields, both about brain simulation for medical research purposes. It is discussed in artificial intelligence research publications as an approach to strong AI. Computer-based intelligence such as an upload could think much faster than a biological human even if it were no more intelligent. A large-scale society of uploads might, according to futurists, give rise to a technological singularity, meaning a sudden time constant decrease in the exponential development of technology.[6] Mind uploading is a central conceptual feature of numerous science fiction novels and films.

The human brain contains, on average, about 86 billion nerve cells called neurons, each individually linked to other neurons by way of connectors called axons and dendrites. Signals at the junctures (synapses) of these connections are transmitted by the release and detection of chemicals known as neurotransmitters. The established neuroscientific consensus is that the human mind is largely an emergent property of the information processing of this neural network.[citation needed]

Neuroscientists have stated that important functions performed by the mind, such as learning, memory, and consciousness, are due to purely physical and electrochemical processes in the brain and are governed by applicable laws. For example, Christof Koch and Giulio Tononi wrote in IEEE Spectrum:

Consciousness is part of the natural world. It depends, we believe, only on mathematics and logic and on the imperfectly known laws of physics, chemistry, and biology; it does not arise from some magical or otherworldly quality.[7]

The concept of mind uploading is based on this mechanistic view of the mind, and denies the vitalist view of human life and consciousness.[citation needed]

Eminent computer scientists and neuroscientists have predicted that specially programmed[clarification needed] computers will be capable of thought and even attain consciousness, including Koch and Tononi,[7] Douglas Hofstadter,[8] Jeff Hawkins,[8] Marvin Minsky,[9] Randal A. Koene, and Rodolfo Llins.[10]

However, even though uploading is dependent upon such a general capability, it is conceptually distinct from general forms of AI in that it results from dynamic reanimation of information derived from a specific human mind so that the mind retains a sense of historical identity (other forms are possible but would compromise or eliminate the life-extension feature generally associated with uploading). The transferred and reanimated information would become a form of artificial intelligence, sometimes called an infomorph or "nomorph".[citation needed]

Many theorists have presented models of the brain and have established a range of estimates of the amount of computing power needed for partial and complete simulations.[5][citation needed] Using these models, some have estimated that uploading may become possible within decades if trends such as Moore's law continue.[11]

In theory, if the information and processes of the mind can be disassociated from the biological body, they are no longer tied to the individual limits and lifespan of that body. Furthermore, information within a brain could be partly or wholly copied or transferred to one or more other substrates (including digital storage or another brain), thereby from a purely mechanistic perspective reducing or eliminating "mortality risk" of such information. This general proposal was discussed in 1971 by biogerontologist George M. Martin of the University of Washington.[12]

An uploaded astronaut could be used instead of a "live" astronaut in human spaceflight, avoiding the perils of zero gravity, the vacuum of space, and cosmic radiation to the human body. It would allow for the use of smaller spacecraft, such as the proposed StarChip, and it would enable virtually unlimited interstellar travel distances.[13]

The focus of mind uploading, in the case of copy-and-transfer, is on data acquisition, rather than data maintenance of the brain. A set of approaches known as loosely coupled off-loading (LCOL) may be used in the attempt to characterize and copy the mental contents of a brain.[14] The LCOL approach may take advantage of self-reports, life-logs and video recordings that can be analyzed by artificial intelligence. A bottom-up approach may focus on the specific resolution and morphology of neurons, the spike times of neurons, the times at which neurons produce action potential responses.

Advocates of mind uploading point to Moore's law to support the notion that the necessary computing power is expected to become available within a few decades. However, the actual computational requirements for running an uploaded human mind are very difficult to quantify, potentially rendering such an argument specious.

Regardless of the techniques used to capture or recreate the function of a human mind, the processing demands are likely to be immense, due to the large number of neurons in the human brain along with the considerable complexity of each neuron.

In 2004, Henry Markram, lead researcher of the "Blue Brain Project", stated that "it is not [their] goal to build an intelligent neural network", based solely on the computational demands such a project would have.[16]

It will be very difficult because, in the brain, every molecule is a powerful computer and we would need to simulate the structure and function of trillions upon trillions of molecules as well as all the rules that govern how they interact. You would literally need computers that are trillions of times bigger and faster than anything existing today.[17]

Five years later, after successful simulation of part of a rat brain, Markram was much more bold and optimistic. In 2009, as director of the Blue Brain Project, he claimed that A detailed, functional artificial human brain can be built within the next 10 years.[18]

Required computational capacity strongly depend on the chosen level of simulation model scale:[5]

Since the function of the human mind and how it might arise from the working of the brain's neural network, are poorly understood issues, mind uploading relies on the idea of neural network emulation. Rather than having to understand the high-level psychological processes and large-scale structures of the brain, and model them using classical artificial intelligence methods and cognitive psychology models, the low-level structure of the underlying neural network is captured, mapped and emulated with a computer system. In computer science terminology,[dubious discuss] rather than analyzing and reverse engineering the behavior of the algorithms and data structures that resides in the brain, a blueprint of its source code is translated to another programming language. The human mind and the personal identity then, theoretically, is generated by the emulated neural network in an identical fashion to it being generated by the biological neural network.

On the other hand, a molecule-scale simulation of the brain is not expected to be required, provided that the functioning of the neurons is not affected by quantum mechanical processes. The neural network emulation approach only requires that the functioning and interaction of neurons and synapses are understood. It is expected that it is sufficient with a black-box signal processing model of how the neurons respond to nerve impulses (electrical as well as chemical synaptic transmission).

A sufficiently complex and accurate model of the neurons is required. A traditional artificial neural network model, for example multi-layer perceptron network model, is not considered as sufficient. A dynamic spiking neural network model is required, which reflects that the neuron fires only when a membrane potential reaches a certain level. It is likely that the model must include delays, non-linear functions and differential equations describing the relation between electrophysical parameters such as electrical currents, voltages, membrane states (ion channel states) and neuromodulators.

Since learning and long-term memory are believed to result from strengthening or weakening the synapses via a mechanism known as synaptic plasticity or synaptic adaptation, the model should include this mechanism. The response of sensory receptors to various stimuli must also be modelled.

Furthermore, the model may have to include metabolism, i.e. how the neurons are affected by hormones and other chemical substances that may cross the bloodbrain barrier. It is considered likely that the model must include currently unknown neuromodulators, neurotransmitters and ion channels. It is considered unlikely that the simulation model has to include protein interaction, which would make it computationally complex.[5]

A digital computer simulation model of an analog system such as the brain is an approximation that introduces random quantization errors and distortion. However, the biological neurons also suffer from randomness and limited precision, for example due to background noise. The errors of the discrete model can be made smaller than the randomness of the biological brain by choosing a sufficiently high variable resolution and sample rate, and sufficiently accurate models of non-linearities. The computational power and computer memory must however be sufficient to run such large simulations, preferably in real time.

When modelling and simulating the brain of a specific individual, a brain map or connectivity database showing the connections between the neurons must be extracted from an anatomic model of the brain. For whole brain simulation, this network map should show the connectivity of the whole nervous system, including the spinal cord, sensory receptors, and muscle cells. Destructive scanning of a small sample of tissue from a mouse brain including synaptic details is possible as of 2010.[19]

However, if short-term memory and working memory include prolonged or repeated firing of neurons, as well as intra-neural dynamic processes, the electrical and chemical signal state of the synapses and neurons may be hard to extract. The uploaded mind may then perceive a memory loss of the events and mental processes immediately before the time of brain scanning.[5]

A full brain map has been estimated to occupy less than 2 x 1016 bytes (20,000 TB) and would store the addresses of the connected neurons, the synapse type and the synapse "weight" for each of the brains' 1015 synapses.[5][failed verification] However, the biological complexities of true brain function (e.g. the epigenetic states of neurons, protein components with multiple functional states, etc.) may preclude an accurate prediction of the volume of binary data required to faithfully represent a functioning human mind.

A possible method for mind uploading is serial sectioning, in which the brain tissue and perhaps other parts of the nervous system are frozen and then scanned and analyzed layer by layer, which for frozen samples at nano-scale requires a cryo-ultramicrotome, thus capturing the structure of the neurons and their interconnections.[20] The exposed surface of frozen nerve tissue would be scanned and recorded, and then the surface layer of tissue removed. While this would be a very slow and labor-intensive process, research is currently underway to automate the collection and microscopy of serial sections.[21] The scans would then be analyzed, and a model of the neural net recreated in the system that the mind was being uploaded into.

There are uncertainties with this approach using current microscopy techniques. If it is possible to replicate neuron function from its visible structure alone, then the resolution afforded by a scanning electron microscope would suffice for such a technique.[21] However, as the function of brain tissue is partially determined by molecular events (particularly at synapses, but also at other places on the neuron's cell membrane), this may not suffice for capturing and simulating neuron functions. It may be possible to extend the techniques of serial sectioning and to capture the internal molecular makeup of neurons, through the use of sophisticated immunohistochemistry staining methods that could then be read via confocal laser scanning microscopy. However, as the physiological genesis of 'mind' is not currently known, this method may not be able to access all of the necessary biochemical information to recreate a human brain with sufficient fidelity.

It may be possible to create functional 3D maps of the brain activity, using advanced neuroimaging technology, such as functional MRI (fMRI, for mapping change in blood flow), magnetoencephalography (MEG, for mapping of electrical currents), or combinations of multiple methods, to build a detailed three-dimensional model of the brain using non-invasive and non-destructive methods. Today, fMRI is often combined with MEG for creating functional maps of human cortex during more complex cognitive tasks, as the methods complement each other. Even though current imaging technology lacks the spatial resolution needed to gather the information needed for such a scan, important recent and future developments are predicted to substantially improve both spatial and temporal resolutions of existing technologies.[23]

There is ongoing work in the field of brain simulation, including partial and whole simulations of some animals. For example, the C. elegans roundworm, Drosophila fruit fly, and mouse have all been simulated to various degrees.[citation needed]

The Blue Brain Project by the Brain and Mind Institute of the cole Polytechnique Fdrale de Lausanne, Switzerland is an attempt to create a synthetic brain by reverse-engineering mammalian brain circuitry.

Underlying the concept of "mind uploading" (more accurately "mind transferring") is the broad philosophy that consciousness lies within the brain's information processing and is in essence an emergent feature that arises from large neural network high-level patterns of organization, and that the same patterns of organization can be realized in other processing devices. Mind uploading also relies on the idea that the human mind (the "self" and the long-term memory), just like non-human minds, is represented by the current neural network paths and the weights of the brain synapses rather than by a dualistic and mystic soul and spirit. The mind or "soul" can be defined as the information state of the brain, and is immaterial only in the same sense as the information content of a data file or the state of a computer software currently residing in the work-space memory of the computer. Data specifying the information state of the neural network can be captured and copied as a "computer file" from the brain and re-implemented into a different physical form.[24] This is not to deny that minds are richly adapted to their substrates.[25] An analogy to the idea of mind uploading is to copy the temporary information state (the variable values) of a computer program from the computer memory to another computer and continue its execution. The other computer may perhaps have different hardware architecture but emulates the hardware of the first computer.

These issues have a long history. In 1775 Thomas Reid wrote:[26] I would be glad to know... whether when my brain has lost its original structure, and when some hundred years after the same materials are fabricated so curiously as to become an intelligent being, whether, I say that being will be me; or, if, two or three such beings should be formed out of my brain; whether they will all be me, and consequently one and the same intelligent being.

A considerable portion of transhumanists and singularitarians place great hope into the belief that they may become immortal, by creating one or many non-biological functional copies of their brains, thereby leaving their "biological shell". However, the philosopher and transhumanist Susan Schneider claims that at best, uploading would create a copy of the original person's mind.[27] Susan Schneider agrees that consciousness has a computational basis, but this does not mean we can upload and survive. According to her views, "uploading" would probably result in the death of the original person's brain, while only outside observers can maintain the illusion of the original person still being alive. For it is implausible to think that one's consciousness would leave one's brain and travel to a remote location; ordinary physical objects do not behave this way. Ordinary objects (rocks, tables, etc.) are not simultaneously here, and elsewhere. At best, a copy of the original mind is created.[27] Neural correlates of consciousness, a sub-branch of neuroscience, states that consciousness may be thought of as a state-dependent property of some undefined complex, adaptive, and highly interconnected biological system.[28]

Others have argued against such conclusions. For example, Buddhist transhumanist James Hughes has pointed out that this consideration only goes so far: if one believes the self is an illusion, worries about survival are not reasons to avoid uploading,[29] and Keith Wiley has presented an argument wherein all resulting minds of an uploading procedure are granted equal primacy in their claim to the original identity, such that survival of the self is determined retroactively from a strictly subjective position.[30][31] Some have also asserted that consciousness is a part of an extra-biological system that is yet to be discovered and cannot be fully understood under the present constraints of neurobiology. Without the transference of consciousness, true mind-upload or perpetual immortality cannot be practically achieved.[32]

Another potential consequence of mind uploading is that the decision to "upload" may then create a mindless symbol manipulator instead of a conscious mind (see philosophical zombie).[33][34] Are we to assume that an upload is conscious if it displays behaviors that are highly indicative of consciousness? Are we to assume that an upload is conscious if it verbally insists that it is conscious?[35] Could there be an absolute upper limit in processing speed above which consciousness cannot be sustained? The mystery of consciousness precludes a definitive answer to this question.[36] Numerous scientists, including Kurzweil, strongly believe that the answer as to whether a separate entity is conscious (with 100% confidence) is fundamentally unknowable, since consciousness is inherently subjective (see solipsism). Regardless, some scientists strongly believe consciousness is the consequence of computational processes which are substrate-neutral. On the contrary, numerous scientists believe consciousness may be the result of some form of quantum computation dependent on substrate (see quantum mind).[37][38][39]

In light of uncertainty on whether to regard uploads as conscious, Sandberg proposes a cautious approach:[40]

Principle of assuming the most (PAM): Assume that any emulated system could have the same mental properties as the original system and treat it correspondingly.

It is argued that if a computational copy of one's mind did exist, it would be impossible for one to verify this.[41] The argument for this stance is the following: for a computational mind to recognize an emulation of itself, it must be capable of deciding whether two Turing machines (namely, itself and the proposed emulation) are functionally equivalent. This task is uncomputable due to the undecidability of equivalence, thus there cannot exist a computational procedure in the mind that is capable of recognizing an emulation of itself.

The process of developing emulation technology raises ethical issues related to animal welfare and artificial consciousness.[40] The neuroscience required to develop brain emulation would require animal experimentation, first on invertebrates and then on small mammals before moving on to humans. Sometimes the animals would just need to be euthanized in order to extract, slice, and scan their brains, but sometimes behavioral and in vivo measures would be required, which might cause pain to living animals.[40]

In addition, the resulting animal emulations themselves might suffer, depending on one's views about consciousness.[40] Bancroft argues for the plausibility of consciousness in brain simulations on the basis of the "fading qualia" thought experiment of David Chalmers. He then concludes:[42] If, as I argue above, a sufficiently detailed computational simulation of the brain is potentially operationally equivalent to an organic brain, it follows that we must consider extending protections against suffering to simulations.

It might help reduce emulation suffering to develop virtual equivalents of anaesthesia, as well as to omit processing related to pain and/or consciousness. However, some experiments might require a fully functioning and suffering animal emulation. Animals might also suffer by accident due to flaws and lack of insight into what parts of their brains are suffering.[40] Questions also arise regarding the moral status of partial brain emulations, as well as creating neuromorphic emulations that draw inspiration from biological brains but are built somewhat differently.[42]

Brain emulations could be erased by computer viruses or malware, without need to destroy the underlying hardware. This may make assassination easier than for physical humans. The attacker might take the computing power for its own use.[43]

Many questions arise regarding the legal personhood of emulations.[44] Would they be given the rights of biological humans? If a person makes an emulated copy of themselves and then dies, does the emulation inherit their property and official positions? Could the emulation ask to "pull the plug" when its biological version was terminally ill or in a coma? Would it help to treat emulations as adolescents for a few years so that the biological creator would maintain temporary control? Would criminal emulations receive the death penalty, or would they be given forced data modification as a form of "rehabilitation"? Could an upload have marriage and child-care rights?[44]

If simulated minds would come true and if they were assigned rights of their own, it may be difficult to ensure the protection of "digital human rights". For example, social science researchers might be tempted to secretly expose simulated minds, or whole isolated societies of simulated minds, to controlled experiments in which many copies of the same minds are exposed (serially or simultaneously) to different test conditions.[citation needed]

Emulations could create a number of conditions that might increase risk of war, including inequality, changes of power dynamics, a possible technological arms race to build emulations first, first-strike advantages, strong loyalty and willingness to "die" among emulations, and triggers for racist, xenophobic, and religious prejudice.[43] If emulations run much faster than humans, there might not be enough time for human leaders to make wise decisions or negotiate. It is possible that humans would react violently against growing power of emulations, especially if they depress human wages. Emulations may not trust each other, and even well-intentioned defensive measures might be interpreted as offense.[43]

There are very few feasible technologies that humans have refrained from developing. The neuroscience and computer-hardware technologies that may make brain emulation possible are widely desired for other reasons, and logically their development will continue into the future. Assuming that emulation technology will arrive, a question becomes whether we should accelerate or slow its advance.[43]

Arguments for speeding up brain-emulation research:

Arguments for slowing down brain-emulation research:

Emulation research would also speed up neuroscience as a whole, which might accelerate medical advances, cognitive enhancement, lie detectors, and capability for psychological manipulation.[49]

Emulations might be easier to control than de novo AI because

As counterpoint to these considerations, Bostrom notes some downsides:

Because of the postulated difficulties that a whole brain emulation-generated superintelligence would pose for the control problem, computer scientist Stuart J. Russell in his book Human Compatible rejects creating one, simply calling it "so obviously a bad idea".[50]

Ray Kurzweil, director of engineering at Google, claims to know and foresee that people will be able to "upload" their entire brains to computers and become "digitally immortal" by 2045. Kurzweil made this claim for many years, e.g. during his speech in 2013 at the Global Futures 2045 International Congress in New York, which claims to subscribe to a similar set of beliefs.[51] Mind uploading has also been advocated by a number of researchers in neuroscience and artificial intelligence, such as the late Marvin Minsky[citation needed]. In 1993, Joe Strout created a small web site called the Mind Uploading Home Page, and began advocating the idea in cryonics circles and elsewhere on the net. That site has not been actively updated in recent years, but it has spawned other sites including MindUploading.org, run by Randal A. Koene, who also moderates a mailing list on the topic. These advocates see mind uploading as a medical procedure which could eventually save countless lives.

Many transhumanists look forward to the development and deployment of mind uploading technology, with transhumanists such as Nick Bostrom predicting that it will become possible within the 21st century due to technological trends such as Moore's law.[5]

Michio Kaku, in collaboration with Science, hosted a documentary, Sci Fi Science: Physics of the Impossible, based on his book Physics of the Impossible. Episode four, titled "How to Teleport", mentions that mind uploading via techniques such as quantum entanglement and whole brain emulation using an advanced MRI machine may enable people to be transported vast distances at near light-speed.

The book Beyond Humanity: CyberEvolution and Future Minds by Gregory S. Paul & Earl D. Cox, is about the eventual (and, to the authors, almost inevitable) evolution of computers into sentient beings, but also deals with human mind transfer. Richard Doyle's Wetwares: Experiments in PostVital Living deals extensively with uploading from the perspective of distributed embodiment, arguing for example that humans are currently part of the "artificial life phenotype". Doyle's vision reverses the polarity on uploading, with artificial life forms such as uploads actively seeking out biological embodiment as part of their reproductive strategy.

Kenneth D. Miller, a professor of neuroscience at Columbia and a co-director of the Center for Theoretical Neuroscience, raised doubts about the practicality of mind uploading. His major argument is that reconstructing neurons and their connections is in itself a formidable task, but it is far from being sufficient. Operation of the brain depends on the dynamics of electrical and biochemical signal exchange between neurons; therefore, capturing them in a single "frozen" state may prove insufficient. In addition, the nature of these signals may require modeling down to the molecular level and beyond. Therefore, while not rejecting the idea in principle, Miller believes that the complexity of the "absolute" duplication of an individual mind is insurmountable for the nearest hundreds of years.[52]

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Mind uploading - Wikipedia

Mind uploading | Transhumanism Wiki | Fandom

In transhumanism and science fiction, mind uploading (also occasionally referred to by other terms such as mind transfer, whole brain emulation, or whole body emulation) refers to the hypothetical transfer of a human mind to a substrate different from a biological brain, such as a detailed computer simulation of an individual human brain.

The human brain contains a little more than 100 billion nerve cells called neurons, each individually linked to other neurons by way of connectors called axons and dendrites. Signals at the junctures (synapses) of these connections are transmitted by the release and detection of chemicals known as neurotransmitters. The brain contains cell types other than neurons (such as glial cells), some of which are structurally similar to neurons, but the information processing of the brain is thought to be conducted by the network of neurons.

Current biomedical and neuropsychological thinking is that the human mind is a product of the information processing of this neural network. To use an analogy from computer science, if the neural network of the brain can be thought of as hardware, then the human mind is the software running on it.

Mind uploading, then, is the act of copying or transferring this "software" from the hardware of the human brain to another processing environment, typically an artificially created one.

The concept of mind uploading then is strongly mechanist, relying on several assumptions about the nature of human consciousness and the philosophy of artificial intelligence. It assumes that strong AI machine intelligence is not only possible, but is indistinguishable from human intelligence, and denies the vitalist view of human life and consciousness.

Mind uploading is completely speculative at this point in time; no technology exists which can accomplish this.

The relationship between the human mind and the neural circuitry of the brain is currently poorly understood. Thus, most theoretical approaches to mind uploading are based on the idea of recreating or simulating the underlying neural network. This approach would theoretically eliminate the need to understand how such a system works if the component neurons and their connections can be simulated with enough accuracy.

It is unknown how precise the simulation of such a neural network would have to be to produce a functional simulation of the brain. It is possible, however, that simulating the functions of a human brain at the cellular level might be much more difficult than creating a human level artificial intelligence, which relied on recreating the functions of the human mind, rather than trying to simulate the underlying biological systems.[citation needed]

Thinkers with a strongly mechanistic view of human intelligence (such as Marvin Minsky) or a strongly positive view of robot-human social integration (such as Hans Moravec and Ray Kurzweil) have openly speculated about the possibility and desirability of this.

In the case where the mind is transferred into a computer, the subject would become a form of artificial intelligence, sometimes called an infomorph or "nomorph." In a case where it is transferred into an artificial body, to which its consciousness is confined, it would also become a robot. In either case it might claim ordinary human rights, certainly if the consciousness within was feeling (or was doing a good job of simulating) as if it were the donor.

Uploading consciousness into bodies created by robotic means is a goal of some in the artificial intelligence community. In the uploading scenario, the physical human brain does not move from its original body into a new robotic shell; rather, the consciousness is assumed to be recorded and/or transferred to a new robotic brain, which generates responses indistinguishable from the original organic brain.

The idea of uploading human consciousness in this manner raises many philosophical questions which people may find interesting or disturbing, such as matters of individuality and the soul. Vitalists would say that uploading was a priori impossible. Many people also wonder whether, if they were uploaded, it would be their sentience uploaded, or simply a copy.

Even if uploading is theoretically possible, there is currently no technology capable of recording or describing mind states in the way imagined, and no one knows how much computational power or storage would be needed to simulate the activity of the mind inside a computer. On the other hand, advocates of uploading have made various estimates of the amount of computing power that would be needed to simulate a human brain, and based on this a number have estimated that uploading may become possible within decades if trends such as Moore's Law continue.[citation needed]

If it is possible for human minds to be modeled and treated as software objects which can be instanced multiple times, in multiple processing environments, many potentially desirable possibilities open up for the individual.

If the mental processes of the human mind can be disassociated from its original biological body, it is no longer tied to the limits and lifespan of that body. In theory, a mind could be voluntarily copied or transferred from body to body indefinitely and therefore become immortal, or at least exercise conscious control of its lifespan.

Alternatively, if cybernetic implants could be used to monitor and record the structure of the human mind in real time then, should the body of the individual be killed, such implants could be used to later instance another working copy of that mind. It is also possible that periodic backups of the mind could be taken and stored external to the body and a copy of the mind instanced from this backup, should the body (and possibly the implants) be lost or damaged beyond recovery. In the latter case, any changes and experiences since the time of the last backup would be lost.

Such possibilities have been explored extensively in fiction: This Number Speaks, Nancy Farmer's The House of the Scorpion, Newton's Gate, John Varley's Eight Worlds series, Greg Egan's Permutation City, Diaspora, Schild's Ladder and Incandescence, the Revelation Space series, Peter Hamilton's Pandora's Star duology, Bart Kosko's Fuzzy Time, Armitage III series, the Takeshi Kovacs universe, Iain M. Banks Culture novels, Cory Doctorow's Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, and the works of Charles Stross. And in television sci-fi shows: Battlestar Galactica, Stargate SG-1, among others.

Another concept explored in science fiction is the idea of more than one running "copy" of a human mind existing at once. Such copies could either be full copies, or limited subsets of the complete mentality designed for a particular limited functions. Such copies would allow an "individual" to experience many things at once, and later integrate the experiences of all copies into a central mentality at some point in the future, effectively allowing a single sentient being to "be many places at once" and "do many things at once".

The implications of such entities have been explored in science fiction. In his book Eon, Greg Bear uses the terms "partials" and "ghosts", while Charles Stross's novels Accelerando and Glasshouse deal with the concepts of "forked instances" of conscious beings as well as "backups".

In Charles Sheffield's Tomorrow and Tomorrow, the protagonist's consciousness is duplicated thousands of times electronically and sent out on probe ships and uploaded into bodies adapted to native environments of different planets. The copies are eventually reintegrated back into the "master" copy of the consciousness in order to consolidate their findings.

Such partial and complete copies of a sentient being again raise issues of identity and personhood: is a partial copy of sentient being itself sentient? What rights might such a being have? Since copies of a personality are having different experiences, are they not slowly diverging and becoming different entities? At what point do they become different entities?

If the body and the mind of the individual can be disassociated, then the individual is theoretically free to choose their own incarnation. They could reside within a completely human body, within a modified physical form, or within simulated realities. Individuals might change their incarnations many times during their existence, depending on their needs and desires.

Choices of the individuals in this matter could be restricted by the society they exist within, however. In the novel Eon by Greg Bear, individuals could incarnate physically (within "natural" biological humans, or within modified bodies) a limited number of times before being legally forced to reside with the "city memory" as infomorphic "ghosts".

Once an individual is moved to virtual simulation, the only input needed would be energy, which would be provided by large computing device hosting those minds. All the food, drink, moving, travel or any imaginable thing would just need energy to provide those computations.

Almost all scientists, thinkers and intelligent people would be moved to this virtual environment once they die. In this virtual environment, their brain capacity would be expanded by speed and storage of quantum computers. In virtual environment idea and final product are not different. This way more and more innovations will be sent to real world and it will speed up our technological development.

Regardless of the techniques used to capture or recreate the function of a human mind, the processing demands of such venture are likely to be immense.

Henry Markram, lead researcher of the "Blue Brain Project", has stated that "it is not [their] goal to build an intelligent neural network", based solely on the computational demands such a project would have[1].

Advocates of mind uploading point to Moore's law to support the notion that the necessary computing power may become available within a few decades, though it would probably require advances beyond the integrated circuit technology which has dominated since the 1970s. Several new technologies have been proposed, and prototypes of some have been demonstrated, such as the optical neural network based on the silicon-photonic chip (harnessing special physical properties of Indium Phosphide) which Intel showed the world for the first time on September 18, 2006.[3] Other proposals include three-dimensional integrated circuits based on carbon nanotubes (researchers have already demonstrated individual logic gates built from carbon nanotubes[4]) and also perhaps the quantum computer, currently being worked on internationally as well as most famously by computer scientists and physicists at the IBM Almaden Research Center, which promises to be useful in simulating the behavior of quantum systems; such ability would enable protein structure prediction which could be critical to correct emulation of intracellular neural processes.

Present methods require use of massive computational power (as the BBP does with IBM's Blue Gene Supercomputer) to use the essentially classical computing architecture for serial deduction of the quantum mechanical processes involved in ab initio protein structure prediction. If necessary, should the quantum computer become a reality, its capacity for exactly such rapid calculations of quantum mechanical physics may well help the effort by reducing the required computational power per physical size and energy needs, as Markram warns would be needed (and thus why he thinks it would be difficult, besides unattractive) should an entire brain's simulation, let alone emulation (at both cellular and molecular levels) be feasibly attempted. Reiteration may also be useful for distributed simulation of a common, repeated function (e.g., proteins).

Ultimately, nano-computing is projected by some[citation needed] to hold the requisite capacity for computations per second estimated necessary, in surplus. If Kurzweil's Law of Accelerating Returns (a variation on Moore's Law) shows itself to be true, the rate of technological development should accelerate exponentially towards the technological singularity, heralded by the advent of viable though relatively primitive mind uploading and/or "strong" (human-level) AI technologies, his prediction being that the Singularity may occur around the year 2045.[5]

The structure of a neural network is also different from classical computing designs. Memory in a classical computer is generally stored in a two state design, or bit, although one of the two components is modified in dynamic RAM and some forms of flash memory can use more than two states under some circumstances. Gates inside central processing units will often also use this two state or digital type of design as well. In some ways a neural network or brain could be thought of like a memory unit in a computer, but with an extremely vast number of states, corresponding with the total number of neurons. Beyond that, whether the action potential of a neuron will form, based upon the summation of the inputs of different dendrites, might be something that is more analog in nature than that which happens in a computer. One great advantage that a modern computer has over a biological brain, however, is that the speed of each electronic operation in a computer is many orders of magnitude faster than the time scales involved for the firing and transmission of individual nerve impulses. A brain, however, uses far more parallel processing than exists in most classical computing designs, and so each of the slower neurons can make up for it by operating at the same time.

There are many ethical issues concerning mind uploading. Viable mind uploading technology might challenge the ideas of human immortality, property rights, capitalism, human intelligence, an afterlife, and the Abrahamic view of man as created in God's image. These challenges often cannot be distinguished from those raised by all technologies that extend human technological control over human bodies, e.g. organ transplant. Perhaps the best way to explore such issues is to discover principles applicable to current bioethics problems, and question what would be permissible if they were applied consistently to a future technology. This points back to the role of science fiction in exploring such problems, as powerfully demonstrated in the 20th century by such works as Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four, each of which frame current ethical problems in a future environment where those have come to dominate the society.

Another issue with mind uploading is whether an uploaded mind is really the "same" sentience, or simply an exact copy with the same memories and personality. Although this difference would be undetectable to an external observer (and the upload itself would probably be unable to tell), it could mean that uploading a mind would actually kill it and replace it with a clone. Some people would be unwilling to upload themselves for this reason. If their sentience is deactivated even for a nanosecond, they assert, it is permanently wiped out. Some more gradual methods may avoid this problem by keeping the uploaded sentience functioning throughout the procedure.

True mind uploading remains speculative. The technology to perform such a feat is not currently available, however a number of possible mechanisms, and research approaches, have been proposed for developing mind uploading technology.

Since the function of the human mind, and how it might arise from the working of the brain's neural network, are poorly understood issues, many theoretical approaches to mind uploading rely on the idea of emulation. Rather than having to understand the functioning of the human mind, the structure of underlying neural network is captured and simulated with a computer system. The human mind then, theoretically, is generated by the simulated neural network in an identical fashion to it being generated by the biological neural network.

These approaches require only that we understand the nature of neurons and how their connections function, that we can simulate them well enough, that we have the computational power to run such large simulations, and that the state of the brain's neural network can be captured with enough fidelity to create an accurate simulation.

A possible method for mind uploading is serial sectioning, in which the brain tissue and perhaps other parts of the nervous system are frozen and then scanned and analyzed layer by layer, thus capturing the structure of the neurons and their interconnections[6]. The exposed surface of frozen nerve tissue would be scanned (possibly with some variant of an electron microscope) and recorded, and then the surface layer of tissue removed (possibly with a conventional cryo-ultramicrotome if scanning along an axis, or possibly through laser ablation if scans are done radially "from the outside inwards"). While this would be a very slow and labor intensive process, research is currently underway to automate the collection and microscopy of serial sections[7]. The scans would then be analyzed, and a model of the neural net recreated in the system that the mind was being uploaded into.

There are uncertainties with this approach using current microscopy techniques. If it is possible to replicate neuron function from its visible structure alone, then the resolution afforded by a scanning electron microscope would suffice for such a technique[7]. However, as the function of brain tissue is partially determined by molecular events (particularly at synapses, but also at other places on the neuron's cell membrane), this may not suffice for capturing and simulating neuron functions. It may be possible to extend the techniques of serial sectioning and to capture the internal molecular makeup of neurons, through the use of sophisticated immunohistochemistry staining methods which could then be read via confocal laser scanning microscopy[citation needed].

A more advanced hypothetical technique that would require nanotechnology might involve infiltrating the intact brain with a network of nanoscale machines to "read" the structure and activity of the brain in situ, much like the electrode meshes used in current brain-computer interface research, but on a much finer and more sophisticated scale. The data collected from these probes could then be used to build up a simulation of the neural network they were probing, and even check the behavior of the model against the behavior of the biological system in real time.

In his 1998 book, Mind children, Hans Moravec describes a variation of this process. In it, nanomachines are placed in the synapses of the outer layer of cells in the brain of a conscious living subject. The system then models the outer layer of cells and recreates the neural net processes in whatever simulation space is being used to house the uploaded consciousness of the subject. The nanomachines can then block the natural signals sent by the biological neurons, but send and receive signals to and from the simulated versions of the neurons. Which system is doing the processing biological or simulated can be toggled back and forth, both automatically by the scanning system and manually by the subject, until it has been established that the simulation's behavior matches that of the biological neurons and that the subjective mental experience of the subject is unchanged. Once this is the case, the outer layer of neurons can be removed and their function turned solely over to the simulated neurons. This process is then repeated, layer by layer, until the entire biological brain of the subject has been scanned, modeled, checked, and disassembled. When the process is completed, the nanomachines can be removed from the spinal column of the subject, and the mind of the subject exists solely within the simulated neural network.

Alternatively, such a process might allow for the replacement of living neurons with artificial neurons one by one while the subject is still conscious, providing a smooth transition from an organic to synthetic brain - potentially significant for those who worry about the loss of personal continuity that other uploading processes may entail. This method has been likened to upgrading the whole internet by replacing, one by one, each computer connected to it with similar computers using newer hardware.

While many people are more comfortable with the idea of the gradual replacement of their natural selves than they are with some of the more radical and discontinuous mental transfer, it still raises questions of identity. Is the individual preserved in this process, and if not, at what point does the individual cease to exist? If the original entity ceases to exist, what is the nature and identity of the individual created within the simulated neural network, or can any individual be said to exist there at all? This gradual replacement leads to a much more complicated and sophisticated version of the Ship of Theseus paradox.

It may also be possible to use advanced neuroimaging technology (such as Magnetoencephalography) to build a detailed three-dimensional model of the brain using non-invasive and non-destructive methods. However, current imaging technology lacks the resolution needed to gather the information needed for such a scan.

Such a process would leave the original entity intact, but the existence, nature, and identity of the resulting being in the simulated network are still open philosophical questions.

Another recently conceived possibility[citation needed] is the use of genetically engineered viruses to attach to synaptic junctions, and then release energy-emitting molecular compounds, which could be detected externally, and used to generate a functional model of the synapses in question, and, given enough time, the whole brain and nervous system.

An alternate set of possible theoretical approaches to mind uploading would require that we first understand the functions of the human mind sufficiently well to create abstract models of parts, or the totality, of human mental processes. It would require that strong AI be not only a possibility, but that the techniques used to create a strong AI system could also be used to recreate a human type mentality.

Such approaches might be more desirable if the abstract models required less computational power to execute than the neural network simulation of the emulation techniques described above.

Another theoretically possible method of mind uploading from organic to inorganic medium, related to the idea described above of replacing neurons one at a time while consciousness remained intact, would be a much less precise but much more feasible (in terms of technology currently known to be physically possible) process of "cyborging". Once a given person's brain is mapped, it is replaced piece-by-piece with computer devices which perform the exact same function as the regions preceding them, after which the patient is allowed to regain consciousness and validate that there has not been some radical upheaval within his own subjective experience of reality. At this point, the patient's brain is immediately "re-mapped" and another piece is replaced, and so on in this fashion until, the patient exists on a purely hardware medium and can be safely extricated from the remaining organic body.

However, critics contend[citation needed] that, given the significant level of synergy involved throughout the neural plexus, alteration of any given cell that is functionally correspondent with (a) neighboring cell(s) may well result in an alteration of its electrical and chemical properties that would not have existed without interference, and so the true individual's signature is lost. Revokability of that disturbance may be possible with damage anticipation and correction (seeing the original by the particular damage rendered unto it, in reverse chronological fashion), although this would be easier in a stable system, meaning a brain subjected to cryosleep (which would imbue its own damage and alterations).[citation needed]

It has also been suggested (for example, in Greg Egan's "jewelhead" stories[8]) that a detailed examination of the brain itself may not be required, that the brain could be treated as a black box instead and effectively duplicated "for all practical purposes" by merely duplicating how it responds to specific external stimuli. This leads into even deeper philosophical questions of what the "self" is.

On June 6, 2005 IBM and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne announced the launch of a project to build a complete simulation of the human brain, entitled the "Blue Brain Project".[9] The project will use a supercomputer based on IBM's Blue Gene design to map the entire electrical circuitry of the brain. The project seeks to research aspects of human cognition, and various psychiatric disorders caused by malfunctioning neurons, such as autism. Initial efforts are to focus on experimentally accurate, programmed characterization of a single neocortical column in the brain of a rat, as it is very similar to that of a human but at a smaller scale, then to expand to an entire neocortex (the alleged seat of higher intelligence) and eventually the human brain as a whole.

It is interesting to note that the Blue Brain project seems to use a combination of emulation and simulation techniques. The first stage of their program was to simulate a neocortical column at the molecular level. Now the program seems to be trying to create a simplified functional simulation of the neocortical column in order to simulate many of them, and to model their interactions.

With most projected mind uploading technology it is implicit that "copying" a consciousness could be as feasible as "moving" it, since these technologies generally involve simulating the human brain in a computer of some sort, and digital files such as computer programs can be copied precisely. It is also possible that the simulation could be created without the need to destroy the original brain, so that the computer-based consciousness would be a copy of the still-living biological person, although some proposed methods such as serial sectioning of the brain would necessarily be destructive. In both cases it is usually assumed that once the two versions are exposed to different sensory inputs, their experiences would begin to diverge, but all their memories up until the moment of the copying would remain the same.

By many definitions, both copies could be considered the "same person" as the single original consciousness before it was copied. At the same time, they can be considered distinct individuals once they begin to diverge, so the issue of which copy "inherits" what could be complicated. This problem is similar to that found when considering the possibility of teleportation, where in some proposed methods it is possible to copy (rather than only move) a mind or person. This is the classic philosophical issue of personal identity. The problem is made even more serious by the possibility of creating a potentially infinite number of initially identical copies of the original person, which would of course all exist simultaneously as distinct beings.

Philosopher John Locke published "An Essay Concerning Human Understanding" in 1689, in which he proposed the following criterion for personal identity: if you remember thinking something in the past, then you are the same person as he or she who did the thinking. Later philosophers raised various logical snarls, most of them caused by applying Boolean logic, the prevalent logic system at the time. It has been proposed that modern fuzzy logic can solve those problems,[10] showing that Locke's basic idea is sound if one treats personal identity as a continuous rather than discrete value.

In that case, when a mind is copied -- whether during mind uploading, or afterwards, or by some other means -- the two copies are initially two instances of the very same person, but over time, they will gradually become different people to an increasing degree.

The issue of copying vs moving is sometimes cited as a reason to think that destructive methods of mind uploading such as serial sectioning of the brain would actually destroy the consciousness of the original and the upload would itself be a mere "copy" of that consciousness. Whether one believes that the original consciousness of the brain would transfer to the upload, that the original consciousness would be destroyed, or that this is simply a matter of definition and the question has no single "objectively true" answer, is ultimately a philosophical question that depends on one's views of philosophy of mind.

Because of these philosophical questions about the survival of consciousness, there are some who would feel more comfortable about a method of uploading where the transfer is gradual, replacing the original brain with a new substrate over an extended period of time, during which the subject appears to be fully conscious (this can be seen as analogous to the natural biological replacement of molecules in our brains with new ones taken in from eating and breathing, which may lead to almost all the matter in our brains being replaced in as little as a few months[11]). As mentioned above, this would likely take place as a result of gradual cyborging, either nanoscopically or macroscopically, wherein the brain (the original copy) would slowly be replaced bit by bit with artificial parts that function in a near-identical manner, and assuming this was possible at all, the person would not necessarily notice any difference as more and more of their brain became artificial. A gradual transfer also brings up questions of identity similar to the classical Ship of Theseus paradox, although the above-mentioned natural replacement of molecules in the brain through eating and breathing brings up these questions as well.

A computer capable of simulating a person may require microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), or else perhaps optical or nano computing for comparable speed and reduced size and sophisticated telecommunication between the brain and body (whether it exists in virtual reality, artificially as an android, or cybernetically as in sync with a biological body through a transceiver), but would not seem to require molecular nanotechnology.

If minds and environments can be simulated, the Simulation Hypothesis posits that the reality we see may in fact be a computer simulation, and that this is actually the most likely possibility.[12]

Uploading is a common theme in science fiction. Some of the earlier instances of this theme were in the Roger Zelazny 1968 novel Lord of Light and in Frederik Pohl's 1955 short story "Tunnel Under the World." A near miss was Neil R. Jones' 1931 short story "The Jameson Satellite", wherein a person's organic brain was installed in a machine, and Olaf Stapledon's "Last and First Men" (1930) had organic human-like brains grown into an immobile machine.

Another of the "firsts" is the novel Detta r verkligheten (This is reality), 1968, by the renowned philosopher and logician Bertil Mrtensson, in which he describes people living in an uploaded state as a means to control overpopulation. The uploaded people believe that they are "alive", but in reality they are playing elaborate and advanced fantasy games. In a twist at the end, the author changes everything into one of the best "multiverse" ideas of science fiction. Together with the 1969 book Ubik by Philip K. Dick it takes the subject to its furthest point of all the early novels in the field.

Frederik Pohl's Gateway series (also known as the Heechee Saga) deals with a human being, Robinette Broadhead, who "dies" and, due to the efforts of his wife, a computer scientist, as well as the computer program Sigfrid von Shrink, is uploaded into the "64 Gigabit space" (now archaic, but Fred Pohl wrote Gateway in 1976). The Heechee Saga deals with the physical, social, sexual, recreational, and scientific nature of cyberspace before William Gibson's award-winning Neuromancer, and the interactions between cyberspace and "meatspace" commonly depicted in cyberpunk fiction. In Neuromancer, a hacking tool used by the main character is an artificial infomorph of a notorious cyber-criminal, Dixie Flatline. The infomorph only assists in exchange for the promise that he be deleted after the mission is complete.

In the 1982 novel Software, part of the Ware Tetralogy by Rudy Rucker, one of the main characters, Cobb Anderson, has his mind uploaded and his body replaced with an extremely human-like android body. The robots who persuade Anderson into doing this sell the process to him as a way to become immortal.

In the 1997 novel "Shade's Children" by Garth Nix, one of the main characters Shade (a.k.a. Robert Ingman) is an uploaded consciousness that guides the other characters through the post-apocolyptic world in which they live.

The fiction of Greg Egan has explored many of the philosophical, ethical, legal, and identity aspects of mind uploading, as well as the financial and computing aspects (i.e., hardware, software, processing power) of maintaining "copies". In Egan's Permutation City and Diaspora, "copies" are made by computer simulation of scanned brain physiology. Also, in Egan's "Jewelhead" stories, the mind is transferred from the organic brain to a small, immortal backup computer at the base of the skull, with the organic brain then being surgically removed.

The Takeshi Kovacs novels by Richard Morgan was set in a universe where mind transfers were a part of standard life. With the use of cortical stacks, which record a person's memories and personality into a device implanted in the spinal vertebrae, it was possible to copy the individual's mind to a storage system at the time of death. The stack could be uploaded to a virtual reality environment for interrogation, entertainment, or to pass the time for long distance travel. The stack could also be implanted into a new body or "sleeve" which may or may not have biomechanical, genetic, or chemical "upgrades" since the sleeve could be grown or manufactured. Interstellar travel is most often accomplished by digitized human freight ("dhf") over faster-than-light needlecast transmission.

In the "Requiem for Homo Sapiens" series of novels by David Zindell (Neverness, The Broken God, The Wild, and War in Heaven), the verb "cark" is used for uploading one's mind (and also for changing one's DNA). Carking is done for soul-preservation purposes by the members of the Architects church, and also for more sinister (or simply unknowable) purposes by the various "gods" that populate the galaxy such gods being human minds that have now grown into planet- or nebula-sized synthetic brains. The climax of the series centers around the struggle to prevent one character from creating a Universal Computer (under his control) that will incorporate all human minds (and indeed, the entire structure of the universe).

In the popular computer game Total Annihilation, the 4,000-year war that eventually culminated with the destruction of the Milky Way galaxy was started over the issue of mind transfer, with one group (the Arm) resisting another group (the Core) who were attempting to enforce a 100% conversion rate of humanity into machines, because machines are durable and modular, thereby making it a "public health measure."

In the popular science fiction show Stargate SG-1 the alien race who call themselves the Asgard rely solely on cloning and mind transferring to continue their existence. This was not a choice they made, but a result of the decay of the Asgard genome due to excessive cloning, which also caused the Asgard to lose their ability to reproduce. In the episode "Tin Man", SG-1 encounter Harlan, the last of a race that transferred their minds to robots in order to survive. SG-1 then discover that their minds have also been transferred to robot bodies. Eventually they learn that their minds were copied rather than uploaded and that the "original" SG-1 are still alive.

The Thirteenth Floor is a film made in 1999 directed by Josef Rusnak. In the film, a scientific team discovers a technology to create a fully functioning virtual world which they could experience by taking control of the bodies of simulated characters in the world, all of whom were self-aware. One plot twist was that if the virtual body a person had taken control of was killed in the simulation while they were controlling it, then the mind of the simulated character the body originally belonged to would take over the body of that person in the "real world".

The Matrix is a film released the same year as The Thirteenth Floor that has the same kind of solipsistic philosophy. In The Matrix, the protagonist Neo finds out that the world he has been living in is nothing but a simulated dreamworld. However, this should be considered as virtual reality rather than mind uploading, since Neo's physical brain still is required to reside his mind. The mind (the information content of the brain) is not copied into an emulated brain in a computer. Neo's physical brain is connected into the Matrix via a brain-machine interface. Only the rest of the physical body is simulated. Neo is disconnected from this dreamworld by human rebels fighting against AI-driven machines in what seems to be a neverending war. During the course of the movie, Neo and his friends are connected back into the Matrix dreamworld in order to fight the machine race.

In the series Battlestar Galactica the antagonists of the story are the Cylons, sentient computers created by man which developed to become nearly identical to human beings. When they die they rely on mind transferring to keep on living so that "death becomes a learning experience".

The 1995 movie Strange Days explores the idea of a technology capable of recording a conscious event. However, in this case, the mind itself is not uploaded into the device. The recorded event, which time frame is limited to that of the recording session, is frozen in time on a data disc much like today's audio and video. Wearing the "helmet" in playback mode, another person can experience the external stimuli interpretation of the brain, the memories, the feelings, the thoughts and the actions that the original person recorded from his/her life. During playback, the observer temporarily quits his own memories and state of consciousness (the real self). In other words, one can "live" a moment in the life of another person, and one can "live" the same moment of his/her life more than once. In the movie, a direct link to a remote helmet can also be established, allowing another person to experience a live event.

Followers of the Ralian religion advocate mind uploading in the process of human cloning to achieve eternal life. Living inside of a computer is also seen by followers as an eminent possibility.[13]

However, mind uploading is also advocated by a number of secular researchers in neuroscience and artificial intelligence, such as Marvin Minsky. In 1993, Joe Strout created a small web site called the Mind Uploading Home Page, and began advocating the idea in Cryonics circles and elsewhere on the net. That site has not been actively updated in recent years, but it has spawned other sites including MindUploading.org, run by Randal A. Koene, Ph.D., who also moderates a mailing list on the topic. These advocates see mind uploading as a medical procedure which could eventually save countless lives.

Many Transhumanists look forward to the development and deployment of mind uploading technology, with many predicting that it will become possible within the 21st century due to technological trends such as Moore's Law. Many view it as the end phase of the Transhumanist project, which might be said to begin with the genetic engineering of biological humans, continue with the cybernetic enhancement of genetically engineered humans, and finally obtain with the replacement of all remaining biological aspects.

The book Beyond Humanity: CyberEvolution and Future Minds by Gregory S. Paul & Earl D. Cox, is about the eventual (and, to the authors, almost inevitable) evolution of computers into sentient beings, but also deals with human mind transfer.

Raymond Kurzweil, a prominent advocate of transhumanism and the likelihood of a technological singularity, has suggested that the easiest path to human-level artificial intelligence may lie in "reverse-engineering the human brain", which he usually uses to refer to the creation of a new intelligence based on the general "principles of operation" of the brain, but he also sometimes uses the term to refer to the notion of uploading individual human minds based on highly detailed scans and simulations. This idea is discussed on pp. 198-203 of his book The Singularity is Near, for example.

Hans Moravec describes and advocates mind uploading in both his 1988 book Mind Children: The Future of Robot and Human Intelligence and also his 2000 book Robot: Mere Machine to Transcendent Mind. Moravec is referred to by Marvin Minsky in Minsky's essay Will Robots Inherit the Earth?.[14]

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Mind Uploading


Minduploading.org is a collection of pages and articles designed to explore the concepts underlying mind uploading. The articles are intended to be a readable introduction to the basic technical and philosophical topics covering mind uploading and substrate-independent minds. The focus is on careful definitions of the common terms and what the implications are if mind uploading becomes possible.

Mind uploading is an ongoing area of active research, bringing together ideas from neuroscience, computer science, engineering, and philosophy. This site refers to a number of participants and researchers who are helping to make mind uploading possible.

Realistically, mind uploading likely lies many decades in the future, but the short-term offers the possibility of advanced neural prostheses that may benefit us.

Mind uploading is a popular term for a process by which the mind, a collection of memories, personality, and attributes of a specific individual, is transferred from its original biological brain to an artificial computational substrate. Alternative terms for mind uploading have appeared in fiction and non-fiction, such as mind transfer, mind downloading, off-loading, side-loading, and several others. They all refer to the same general concept of transferring the mind to a different substrate.

Once it is possible to move a mind from one substrate to another, it is then called a substrate-independent mind (SIM). The concept of SIM is inspired by the idea of designing software that can run on multiple computers with different hardware without needing to be rewritten. For example, Javas design principle write once, run everywhere makes it a platform independent system. In this context, substrate is a term referring to a generalized concept of any computational platform that is capable of universal computation.

We take the materialist position that the human mind is solely generated by the brain and is a function of neural states. Additionally, we assume that the neural states are computational processes and devices capable of universal computing are sufficient to generate the same kind of computational processes found in a brain.


Mind Uploading

What happens if your mind lives for ever on the internet …

Imagine that a persons brain could be scanned in great detail and recreated in a computer simulation. The persons mind and memories, emotions and personality would be duplicated. In effect, a new and equally valid version of that person would now exist, in a potentially immortal, digital form. This futuristic possibility is called mind uploading. The science of the brain and of consciousness increasingly suggests that mind uploading is possible there are no laws of physics to prevent it. The technology is likely to be far in our future; it may be centuries before the details are fully worked out and yet given how much interest and effort is already directed towards that goal, mind uploading seems inevitable. Of course we cant be certain how it might affect our culture but as the technology of simulation and artificial neural networks shapes up, we can guess what that mind uploading future might be like.

Suppose one day you go into an uploading clinic to have your brain scanned. Lets be generous and pretend the technology works perfectly. Its been tested and debugged. It captures all your synapses in sufficient detail to recreate your unique mind. It gives that mind a standard-issue, virtual body thats reasonably comfortable, with your face and voice attached, in a virtual environment like a high-quality video game. Lets pretend all of this has come true.

Who is that second you?

The first you, lets call it the biological you, has paid a fortune for the procedure. And yet you walk out of the clinic just as mortal as when you walked in. Youre still a biological being, and eventually youll die. As you drive home, you think: Well, that was a waste of money.

At the same time, the simulated you wakes up in a virtual apartment and feels like the same old you. It has a continuity of experience. It remembers walking into the clinic, swiping a credit card, signing a waiver, lying on the table. It feels as though it was anaesthetised and then woke up again somewhere else. It has your memories, your personality, your thought patterns and emotional quirks. It sits up in a new bed and says: I cant believe it worked! Definitely worth the cost.

I wont call it an it any more, because that mind is a version of you. Well call it the simulated you. This sim you decides to explore. You step out of your apartment into the sunlight of a perfect day and find a virtual version of New York City. Sounds, smells, sights, people, the feel of the sidewalk underfoot, everything is present with less garbage though, and the rats are entirely sanitary and put in for local colour. You chat up strangers in a way you would never do in the real New York, where youd be worried that an impatient pedestrian might punch you in the teeth. Here, you cant be injured because your virtual body cant break. You stop at a cafe and sip a latte. It doesnt taste right. It doesnt feel like anything is going into your stomach. And nothing is, because it isnt real food and you dont have a stomach. Its all a simulation. The visual detail on the table is imperfect. Theres no grittiness to the rust. Your fingers dont have fingerprints theyre smooth, to save memory on fine detail. Breathing doesnt feel the same. If you hold your breath, you dont get dizzy, because there is no such thing as oxygen in this virtual world. You find yourself equipped with a complementary simulated smartphone, and you call the number that used to be yours the phone you had with you, just a few hours ago in your experience, when you walked into the clinic.

Culture turns over with each new generation. What happens if the older generations neverdie?

Now the biological you answers the phone.

Yo, says the sim you. Its me. I mean, its you. Whats up?

Im depressed, thats what. Im in my apartment eating ice-cream. I cant believe I spent all that money for zilch.

Zilch?! You would not believe what its like in here! Its a fantastic place. Remember Kevin, the guy who died of cancer last week? Hes here too! Hes fine, and he still has the same job. He Skypes with his old yoga studio three times a week, to teach his fitness class. But his girlfriend in the real world has left him for someone whos not dead yet. Still, lots of new people to date here.

I have to resist getting carried away by the humour of the situation. Underneath the details lies a very real philosophical conundrum that people will eventually have to confront. What is the relationship between bio you and sim you?

I prefer a geometric way of thinking about the situation. Imagine that your life is like the rising stalk of the letter Y. Youre born at the base, and as you grow up, your mind is shaped and changed along a trajectory. Then you let yourself be scanned, and from that moment on, the Y has branched. There are now two trajectories, each one equally and legitimately you. Lets say the left-hand branch is the simulated you and the right-hand branch is the biological you. The part of you that lives indefinitely is represented by both the stem of the Y and the left-hand branch. Just as your childhood self lives on in your adult self, the stem of the Y lives on in the simulated self. Once the scan is over, the two branches of the Y proceed along different life paths, accumulating different experiences. The right-hand branch will die. Everything that happens to it after the branching point fails to achieve immortality unless it chooses to scan itself again, in which case another branch appears, and the geometry becomes even more complicated.

What emerges is not a single you, but a topologically intricate version, a hyper you with two or more branches. One of those branches is always going to be mortal, and the others have an indefinite lifespan depending on how long the computer platform is maintained.

You might think that since the bio you lives in the real world, and the sim you lives in a virtual world, the two will never meet and therefore should never encounter any complications from coexisting. But these days, who needs to meet in person? We interact mainly through electronic media anyway. The sim you and the bio you represent two fully functional, interactive, capable instances of you, competing within the same larger, interconnected, social and economic universe. You could easily find yourselves meeting over video conference.

At the simplest level, mind uploading would preserve people in an indefinite afterlife. Families could have Christmas dinner with sim Grandma joining in on video conference, the tablet screen propped up at the end of the table presuming she has time for her bio family any more, given the rich possibilities in the simulated playground. Its this kind of idealised afterlife that people have in mind, when they think about the benefits of mind uploading. Its a human-made heaven.

But unlike a traditional heaven, it isnt a separate world. Its seamlessly connected to the real world. Think of how you interact with the world right now. If you live the typical western lifestyle, then the smallest part of your life involves interacting with people in the physical space around you. Your connection to the larger world is almost entirely through digital means. The news comes to you on a screen or through earbuds. Distant locations are real to you mainly because you learn about them through electronic media. Politicians, celebrities, even some friends and family may exist to you mainly through data. People work in virtual offices where they know their colleagues only through video and text.

Each of us might as well already be in a virtual world, with a steady flow of information passing in and out through CNN, Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and text. We live in a kind of multiverse, each of us in a different virtual bubble, the bubbles occasionally merging in real space and then separating, but always connected through the global social network. If a virtual afterlife is created, the people in it, with the same personalities and needs that they had in real life, would have no reason to isolate themselves from the rest of us. Very little needs to change for them. Socially, politically, economically, the virtual and the real worlds would connect into one larger and always expanding civilisation. The virtual world might as well be simply another city on Earth, filled with people who have migrated to it.

Weve always lived in a world where culture turns over with each generation. But what happens when the older generations never die, but remain just as active in society? Theres no reason to think that the living will have any political, economic, or intellectual advantage over the simulated.

Think of the jobs people have in our world. Many of them require physical action, and those are the jobs that will probably be replaced by automatons. Taxi driver? Publicly shared, self-driving cars are almost here. Street cleaners? Checkout operators? Construction workers? Pilots? All of these jobs are probably for the chopping block in the medium to long term. Robotics and artificial intelligence will take them over. The rest of our jobs, our contributions to the larger world, are done through the mind, and if the mind can be uploaded, it can keep doing the same job. A politician can work from cyberspace just as well as from real space. So can a teacher, or a manager, or a therapist, or a journalist, or the guy in the complaints department.

The CEO of a company, a Steve Jobs type who has shaped up a sweet set of neural connections in his brain that makes him exceptional at his work, can manage from a remote, simulated office. If he must shake hands, he can take temporary possession of a humanoid robot, a kind of shared rent-a-bot, and spend a few hours in the real world, meeting and greeting. Even calling it the real world sounds prejudicial to me. Both worlds would be equally real. Maybe the better term is the foundation world and the cloud world.

The foundation world would be full of people who are mere youngsters mainly under the age of 80 who are still accumulating valuable experience. Their unspoken responsibility would be to gain wisdom and experience before joining the ranks of the cloud world. The balance of power and culture would shift rapidly to the cloud. How could it not? Thats where the knowledge, experience and political connections will accumulate. In that scenario, the foundation world becomes a kind of larval stage for immature minds, and the cloud world is where life really begins. Mind uploading could transform our culture and civilisation more profoundly than anything in our past.

Michael SA Graziano is a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Princeton University

Rethinking Consciousness: A Scientific Theory of Subjective Experience by Michael SA Graziano is published by WW Norton & Company (21). To order a copy go to guardianbookshop.com. Free UK p&p on all online orders over 15

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Mind uploading – RationalWiki

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Mind uploading is a science fictional trope and popular desired actualization among transhumanists. It's also one of the hypothesised solutions to bringing people back from cryonics. It posits that your soul 'mind pattern' can be implemented in a computer.

The first, and main, problem is that the "mind" isn't a physical thing. "Minds" are emergent properties of living brains. So what you would need to do is preserve is all the electrical, chemical and physical information contained in a living connected-up brain at one particular instant, and then recreate that exact instantaneous set of electrical and chemical data in a new physical substrate and get it set up so that it immediately created the same set of emergent properties. This is not going to happen soon and, perhaps, ever.

Nevertheless proponents typically will say you just need to preserve a dead person's brain, slice it very thinly, scan each piece with microscopes, and reconstruct and run the connections on a computer. With continued exponential improvements in computing, this will soon be possible!

Except it isn't that simple. The brain is not a 'computer' as such, and the neurons are much more complicated than the simplified 'neurons' of machine learning. It isn't feasible to preserve a dying brain before cell death destroys much of the information you are trying to get. Even if it were, preservation techniques only allow one to see the structure of the connections between neurons, but further electrical and chemical detail is lost.

The brain, like any organ, works via biochemistry. It doesn't have a standardized computer architecture whereby you can download data. Vital information of the distribution of various molecules and how they are distributed and interact needs to be recorded, but this is heavily damaged by any preservation solution. There does not appear to be a way, even in theory, to preserve the biochemistry in a readable state.

As biologist PZ Myers - who freezes zebrafish brains a whole lot, and would be delighted to have anything recoverable at the end - explained:

We dont have a method to lock down the state of a 1.5kg brain. What youre going to be recording is the dying brain, with cells spewing and collapsing and triggering apoptotic activity everywhere. And thats another thing: what the heck is going to be recorded? You need to measure the epigenetic state of every nucleus, the distribution of highly specific, low copy number molecules in every dendritic spine, the state of molecules in flux along transport pathways, and the precise concentration of all ions in every single compartment. Does anyone have a fixation method that preserves the chemical state of the tissue? All the ones I know of involve chemically modifying the cells and proteins and fluid environment. Does anyone have a scanning technique that records a complete chemical breakdown of every complex component present?

The concept has been criticized further by Myers[2][3][4] and by neuroscientist Kenneth D. Miller.[5]

Additionally, computer emulations of brain activity, even if it was just the connections between neurons, are not going to be affordable. This means that the price of computing cannot keep falling like it has, so the enormous supercomputers that would be required to run any uploaded mind would be unaffordable, even in the future.

It seems likely that the best and most efficient medium for running a human mind is a human brain, so keep yours in good working order.

The less crazy transhumanist think that brain uploading would involve cutting up the brain. [6] The more crazy guys think that nanotech would allow a slow and steady replacement of brain's tissue to the computing substrate. [7]

Several metaphysical questions are brought up by the prospect of mind uploading. Like many such questions, these may not be objectively answerable, and philosophers would no doubt continue to debate them even if uploading somehow became a reality.

The first major philosophical question is more or less falsifiable: whether consciousness is artificially replicable in its entirety. In other words, assuming that consciousness is not magic, and that the brain is the seat of consciousness, does it depend on any special functions or quantum mechanical effects that cannot ever be replicated on another substrate? This question, of course, remains unanswered although, considering the current state of cognitive science, it is not unreasonable to think that consciousness will be found to be replicable in the future.

Assuming that consciousness is proven to be artificially replicable, the second question is whether the "strong AI hypothesis" is justified or not: if a machine accurately replicates consciousness, such that it passes a Turing Test or is otherwise indistinguishable from a natural human being, is the machine really conscious, or is it a soulless mechanism that merely imitates consciousness?

Third, assuming that a machine can actually be conscious (which is no great stretch of the imagination, considering that the human brain is essentially a biological machine), is a copy of your consciousness really you? Is it even possible to copy consciousness? Is mind uploading really a ticket to immortality, in that "you" or your identity can be "uploaded"?

Advocates of mind uploading take the functionalist/reductionist approach of defining human existence as the identity, which is based on memories and personalities rather than physical substrates or subjectivity.[8] They believe that the identity is essential; the copy of the mind holds just as much claim to being that person as the original, even if both were to exist simultaneously. When the physical body of a copied person dies, nothing that defines the person as an individual has been lost. In this context, all that matters is that the memories and personality of the individual are preserved. As the recently murdered protagonist states in Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, "I feel like me and no one else is making that claim. Who cares if I've been restored from a backup?"

Skeptics of mind uploading[9] question if it's possible to transfer a consciousness from one substrate to another, and hold that this is critical to the life-extension application of mind uploading. The transfer of identity is similar to the process of transferring data from one computer hard drive to another. The new person would be a copy of the original; a new consciousness with the same identity. With this approach, mind uploading would simply create a "mind-clone"[10] an artificial person with an identity gleaned from another. The philosophical problem with uploading "yourself" to a computer is very similar to the "swamp man" and teleportation thought experiments. [11] Suppose Alec Davidson goes hiking in the swamp and is struck and killed by a lightning bolt. At the same time, nearby in the swamp another lightning bolt spontaneously rearranges a bunch of molecules such that, entirely by coincidence, they take on exactly the same form that Dr. Holland's Davidson's body had at the moment of his untimely death. This being, whom Davidson terms Swamp Thing "Swampman," has, of course, a brain which is structurally identical to that which Davidson had, and will thus, presumably, behave exactly as Davidson would have. He will walk out of the swamp, return to Davidson's office at Berkeley, and write the same essays he would have written; he will interact like an amicable person with all of Davidson's friends and family, and so forth. This is one reason that has led critics to say it's not at all clear that the concept mind uploading is even meaningful. [12] For the skeptic, the thought of permanently losing subjective consciousness (death), while another consciousness that shares their identity lives on yields no comfort. Daniel Dennett, in Consciousness Explained, has called into question the validity of these sorts of thought experiments altogether, maintaining that when a thought experiment is too far removed from the actual state of affairs, our intuitions cease to be meaningful.

Consciousness is currently (poorly) understood to be an epiphenomenon of brain activity specifically of the cerebral cortex[13]. Identity and consciousness are distinct from one another though presumably the former could not exist without the latter. Unlike an identity, which is a composition of information stored within a brain it is reasonable to assume that a particular subjective consciousness is an intrinsic property of a particular physical brain. Thus, even a perfect physical copy of that brain would not share the subjective consciousness of that brain. This holds true of all 'brains' (consciousness-producing machines), biological or otherwise. When/if non-biological brains are ever developed/discovered it would be reasonable to assume that each would have its own intrinsic, non-transferable subjective consciousness, independent of its identity. It is likely that mind uploading would preserve an identity, if not the subjective consciousness that begot it. If identity rather than subjective consciousness is taken to be the essential, mind uploading succeeds in the opinion of mind-uploading-immortalist advocates.

Mind uploading has also ethical issues, especially in what refers to duplicates of a given self, as well as others relatives to the harmful things that could be done on what basically would now be an equivalent of a computer file or program, and that (at least for now and at least not so easily too) cannot happen in a human mind -namely, erasing it or destroying the computer that is running the simulation/storing the uploaded mind killing for good the person, modifying its contents deleting and/or adding others, merging two or more previous selves into other and vice-versa, being copied or moved ad infinitum, messing with inputs (sort of sending someone to a "digital heaven" or a "digital hell" -or worse-), messing with the way time is felt by the uploaded speeding or slowing the simulation (or causing it to enter into an infinite loop), infecting a mind with the equivalent of a computer virus (or rather the equivalent of a neurological disease)... the list goes on-.

Believing that there is some mystical "essence" to consciousness that isn't preserved by copying is ultimately a form of dualism, however. Humans lose consciousness at least daily, yet still remain the same person in the morning. In the extreme, humans completely cease all activity, brain or otherwise, during deep hypothermic circulatory arrest, yet still remain the same person on resuscitation,[14] demonstrating that continuity of consciousness is not necessary for identity or personhood. Rather, the properties that make us identifiable as individuals are stored in the physical structure of the brain.

Ultimately, this is a subjective problem, not an objective one: If a copy is made of a book, is it still the same book? It depends if you subjectively consider "the book" to be the physical artifact or the information contained within. Is it the same book that was once held by Isaac Newton? No. Is it the same book that was once read by Isaac Newton? Yes.

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Mind uploading - RationalWiki

Mind uploading in fiction – Wikipedia

Mind uploading, whole brain emulation, or substrate-independent minds is a use of a computer or another substrate as an emulated human brain, and the view of thoughts and memories as software information states. The term "mind transfer" also refers to a hypothetical transfer of a mind from one biological brain to another. Uploaded minds and societies of minds, often in simulated realities, are recurring themes in science-fiction novels and films since the 1950s.

A story featuring an artificial brain that replicates the personality of a specific person is "The Infinite Brain" by John Scott Campbell, written under the name John C. Campbell,[1] and published in the May 1930 issue of Science Wonder Stories.[2] The artificial brain is created by an inventor named Anton Des Roubles, who tells the narrator that "I am attempting to construct a mechanism exactly duplicating the mechanical and electrical processes occurring in the human brain and constituting the phenomena known as thought." The narrator later learns that Des Roubles has died, and on visiting his laboratory, finds a machine that can communicate with him via typed messages, and which tells him "I, Anton Des Roubles, am deadmy body is deadbut I still live. I am this machine. These racks of apparatus are my brains, which is thinking even as yours is. Anton Des Roubles is dead but he has built me, his exact mental duplicate, to carry on his life and work." The machine also tells him "He made my brain precisely like his, built three hundred thousand cells for my memory, and filled two hundred thousand of them with his own knowledge. I have his personality; it is my own through a process I will tell you of later. ... I think just as you do. I have a consciousness as have other men." He then explains his discovery that the electrical impulses in the brain create magnetic fields that can be detected by a device he built called a "Telepather", and that "[t]hrough this instrument any one's mental condition can be exactly duplicated." Later, he enlists the narrator's help in constructing a new type of artificial brain that will retain his memories but possess an expanded intellect, though the experiment does not go as planned, as the new intelligence has a radically different personality and soon sets out to conquer the world.

An early story featuring technological transfer of memories and personality from one brain to another is "Intelligence Undying" by Edmond Hamilton, first published in the April 1936 issue of Amazing Stories. In this story, an elderly scientist named John Hanley explains that when humans are first born, "our minds are a blank sheet except for certain reflexes which we all inherit. But from our birth onward, our minds are affected by all about us, our reflexes are conditioned, as the behaviorists say. All we experience is printed on the sheet of our minds. ... Everything a human being learns, therefore, simply establishes new connections between the nerve cells of the brain. ... As I said, a newborn child has no such knowledge connections in his cortex at allhe has not yet formed any. Now if I take that child immediately after birth and establish in his brain exactly the same web of intricate neurone connections I have built up in my own brain, he will have exactly the same mind, memories, knowledge, as I have ... his mind will be exactly identical with my mind!" He then explains he has developed a technique to do just this, saying "I've devised a way to scan my brain's intricate web of neurone connections by electrical impulses, and by means of those impulses to build up an exactly identical web of neurone connections in the infant's brain. Just as a television scanning-disk can break down a complicated picture into impulses that reproduce the picture elsewhere." He adds that the impulses scanning his brain will kill him, but the "counter-impulses" imprinting the same pattern on the baby's brain will not harm him. The story shows the successful transfer of John Hanley's mind to the baby, whom he describes as "John Hanley 2nd", and then skips forward to the year 3144 to depict "John Hanley, 21st" using his advanced technology to become the ruler of the Earth in order to end a war between the two great political powers of the time, and then further ahead to "John Hanley, 416th" helping to evacuate humanity to the planet Mercury in response to the Sun shrinking into a white dwarf. He chooses to remain on Earth awaiting death, so that people would "learn once more to do for themselves, would become again a strong a self-reliant race", with Hanley concluding that he "had been wrong in living as a single super-mind down through the ages. He saw that now, and now he was undoing that wrong."

A story featuring human minds replicated in a computer is the novella Izzard and the Membrane by Walter M. Miller, Jr., first published in May 1951.[3] In this story, an American cyberneticist named Scott MacDonney is captured by Russians and made to work on an advanced computer, Izzard, which they plan to use to coordinate an attack on the United States. He has conversations with Izzard as he works on it, and when he asks it if it is self-aware, it says "answer indeterminate" and then asks "can human individual's self-awareness transor be mechanically duplicated?" MacDonney is unfamiliar with the concept of a self-awareness transor (it is later revealed that this information was loaded into Izzard by a mysterious entity who may nor may not be God[4]), and Izzard defines it by saying "A self-awareness transor is the mathematical function which describes the specific consciousness pattern of one human individual."[5] It is later found that this mathematical function can indeed be duplicated, although not by a detailed scan of the individual's brain as in later notions of mind uploading; instead, Donney just has to describe the individual verbally in sufficient detail, and Izzard uses this information to locate the transor in the appropriate "mathematical region". In Izzard's words, "to duplicate consciousness of deceased, it will be necessary for you to furnish anthropometric and psychic characteristics of the individual. These characteristics will not determine transor, but will only give its general form. Knowing its form, will enable me to sweep my circuit pattern through its mathematical region until the proper transor is reached. At that point, the consciousness will appear among the circuits."[6] Using this method, MacDonney is able to recreate the mind of his dead wife in Izzard's memory, as well as create a virtual duplicate of himself, which seems to have a shared awareness with the biological MacDonney.

In The Altered Ego by Jerry Sohl (1954), a person's mind can be "recorded" and used to create a "restoration" in the event of their death. In a restoration, the person's biological body is repaired and brought back to life, and their memories are restored to the last time that they had their minds recorded (what the story calls a 'brain record'[7]), an early example of a story in which a person can create periodic backups of their own mind which are stored in an artificial medium. The recording process is not described in great detail, but it is mentioned that the recording is used to create a duplicate or "dupe" which is stored in the "restoration bank",[8] and at one point a lecturer says that "The experience of the years, the neurograms, simple memory circuitsneurons, if you wishstored among these nerve cells, are transferred to the dupe, a group of more than ten billion molecules in colloidal suspension. They are charged much as you would charge the plates of a battery, the small neuroelectrical impulses emanating from your brain during the recording session being duplicated on the molecular structure in the solution."[9] During restoration, they take the dupe and "infuse it into an empty brain",[9] and the plot turns on the fact that it is possible to install one person's dupe in the body of a completely different person.[10]

An early example featuring uploaded minds in robotic bodies can be found in Frederik Pohl's story "The Tunnel Under the World" from 1955.[11] In this story, the protagonist Guy Burckhardt continually wakes up on the same date from a dream of dying in an explosion. Burckhardt is already familiar with the idea of putting human minds in robotic bodies, since this is what is done with the robot workers at the nearby Contro Chemical factory. As someone has once explained it to him, "each machine was controlled by a sort of computer which reproduced, in its electronic snarl, the actual memory and mind of a human being ... It was only a matter, he said, of transferring a man's habit patterns from brain cells to vacuum-tube cells." Later in the story, Pohl gives some additional description of the procedure: "Take a master petroleum chemist, infinitely skilled in the separation of crude oil into its fractions. Strap him down, probe into his brain with searching electronic needles. The machine scans the patterns of the mind, translates what it sees into charts and sine waves. Impress these same waves on a robot computer and you have your chemist. Or a thousand copies of your chemist, if you wish, with all of his knowledge and skill, and no human limitations at all." After some investigation, Burckhardt learns that his entire town had been killed in a chemical explosion, and the brains of the dead townspeople had been scanned and placed into miniature robotic bodies in a miniature replica of the town (as a character explains to him, 'It's as easy to transfer a pattern from a dead brain as a living one'), so that a businessman named Mr. Dorchin could charge companies to use the townspeople as test subjects for new products and advertisements.

Something close to the notion of mind uploading is very briefly mentioned in Isaac Asimov's 1956 short story The Last Question: "One by one Man fused with AC, each physical body losing its mental identity in a manner that was somehow not a loss but a gain." A more detailed exploration of the idea (and one in which individual identity is preserved, unlike in Asimov's story) can be found in ArthurC. Clarke's novel The City and the Stars, also from 1956 (this novel was a revised and expanded version of Clarke's earlier story Against the Fall of Night, but the earlier version did not contain the elements relating to mind uploading). The story is set in a city named Diaspar one billion years in the future, where the minds of inhabitants are stored as patterns of information in the city's Central Computer in between a series of 1000-year lives in cloned bodies. Various commentators identify this story as one of the first (if not the first) to deal with mind uploading, human-machine synthesis, and computerized immortality.[12][13][14][15]

Another of the "firsts" is the novel Detta r verkligheten (This is reality), 1968, by the renowned philosopher and logician Bertil Mrtensson, a novel in which he describes people living in an uploaded state as a means to control overpopulation. The uploaded people believe that they are "alive", but in reality they are playing elaborate and advanced fantasy games. In a twist at the end, the author changes everything into one of the best "multiverse" ideas of science fiction.

In Robert Silverberg's To Live Again (1969), an entire worldwide economy is built up around the buying and selling of "souls" (personas that have been tape-recorded at six-month intervals), allowing well-heeled consumers the opportunity to spend tens of millions of dollars on a medical treatment that uploads the most recent recordings of archived personalities into the minds of the buyers. Federal law prevents people from buying a "personality recording" unless the possessor first had died; similarly, two or more buyers were not allowed to own a "share" of the persona. In this novel, the personality recording always went to the highest bidder. However, when one attempted to buy (and therefore possess) too many personalities, there was the risk that one of the personas would wrest control of the body from the possessor.

In the 1982 novel Software, part of the Ware Tetralogy by Rudy Rucker, one of the main characters, Cobb Anderson, has his mind downloaded and his body replaced with an extremely human-like android body. The robots who persuade Anderson into doing this sell the process to him as a way to become immortal.

In William Gibson's award-winning Neuromancer (1984), which popularized the concept of "cyberspace", a hacking tool used by the main character is an artificial infomorph of a notorious cyber-criminal, Dixie Flatline. The infomorph only assists in exchange for the promise that he be deleted after the mission is complete.

The fiction of Greg Egan has explored many of the philosophical, ethical, legal, and identity aspects of mind transfer, as well as the financial and computing aspects (i.e. hardware, software, processing power) of maintaining "copies." In Egan's Permutation City (1994), Diaspora (1997) and Zendegi (2010), "copies" are made by computer simulation of scanned brain physiology. See also Egan's "jewelhead" stories, where the mind is transferred from the organic brain to a small, immortal backup computer at the base of the skull, the organic brain then being surgically removed.

The movie The Matrix is commonly mistaken[citation needed] for a mind uploading movie, but with exception to suggestions in later movies, it is only about virtual reality and simulated reality, since the main character Neo's physical brain still is required for his mind to reside in. The mind (the information content of the brain) is not copied into an emulated brain in a computer. Neo's physical brain is connected into the Matrix via a brain-machine interface. Only the rest of the physical body is simulated. Neo is disconnected from and reconnected to this dreamworld.[citation needed]

James Cameron's 2009 movie Avatar has so far been the commercially most successful example of a work of fiction that features a form of mind uploading. Throughout most of the movie, the hero's mind has not actually been uploaded and transferred to another body, but is simply controlling the body from a distance, a form of telepresence. However, at the end of the movie the hero's mind is uploaded into Eywa, the mind of the planet, and then back into his Avatar body.

Mind transfer is a theme in many other works of science fiction in a wide range of media. Specific examples include the following:

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Mind uploading in fiction - Wikipedia

The Singularity Is Near: Mind Uploading by 2045? | Live …

NEW YORK By 2045, humans will achieve digital immortality by uploading their minds to computers or at least that's what some futurists believe. This notion formed the basis for the Global Future 2045 International Congress, a futuristic conference held here June 15-16.

The conference, which is the brainchild of Russian multimillionaire Dmitry Itskov, fell somewhere between hardcore science and science fiction. It featured a diverse cast of speakers, from scientific luminaries like Ray Kurzweil, Peter Diamandis and Marvin Minsky, to Swamis and other spiritual leaders.

In the year 2045

Kurzweil an inventor, futurist and now director of engineering at Google predicts that by 2045, technology will have surpassed human brainpower to create a kind of superintelligence an event known as the singularity. Other scientists have said that robots will overtake humans by 2100. [Super-Intelligent Machines: 7 Robotic Futures]

According to Moore's law, computing power doubles approximately every two years. Several technologies are undergoing similar exponential advances, from genetic sequencing to 3D printing, Kurzweil told conference attendees. He illustrated the point with a series of graphs showing the inexorable upward climb of various technologies.

By 2045, "based on conservative estimates of the amount of computation you need to functionally simulate a human brain, we'll be able to expand the scope of our intelligence a billion-fold," Kurzweil said.

Itskov and other so-called "transhumanists" interpret this impending singularity as digital immortality. Specifically, they believe that in a few decades, humans will be able to upload their minds to a computer, transcending the need for a biological body. The idea sounds like sci-fi, and it is at least for now. The reality, however, is that neural engineering is making significant strides toward modeling the brain and developing technologies to restore or replace some of its biological functions.

Brain prostheses

Substantial achievements have been made in the field of brain-computer interfaces, or BCIs (also called brain-machine interfaces). The cochlear implant in which the brain's cochlear nerve is electronically stimulated to restore a sense of sound to someone who is hard of hearing was the first true BCI. Many groups are now developing BCIs to restore motor skills, following damage to the nervous system from a stroke or spinal cord injury.

Jos Carmena and Michel Maharbiz, electrical engineers at the University of California, Berkeley, are working to develop state-of-the-art motor BCIs. These devices consist of pill-size electrode arrays that record neural signals from the brain's motor areas, which are then decoded by a computer and used to control a computer cursor or prosthetic limb (such as a robotic arm). Carmena and Maharbiz spoke of the challenge of making a BCI that works stably over time and does not require being tethered to wires.

Theodore Berger, a neural engineer at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, is taking BCIs to a new level by developing a memory prosthesis. Berger aims to replace part of the brain's hippocampus, the region that converts short-term memories into long-term ones, with a BCI. The device records the electrical activity that encodes a simple short-term memory (such as pushing a button) and converts it to a digital signal. That signal is passed into a computer where it is mathematically transformed and then fed back into the brain, where it gets sealed in as a long-term memory. He has successfully tested the device in rats and monkeys, and is now working with human patients. [Bionic Humans: Top 10 Technologies]

Mind uploading

The conference took a surreal turn when Martine Rothblatt a lawyer, author and entrepreneur, and CEO of biotech company United Therapeutics Corp. took the stage. Even the title of Rothblatt's talk was provocative: "The Purpose of Biotechnology is the End of Death."

Rothblatt introduced the concept of "mindclones" digital versions of humans that can live forever. She described how the mind clones are created from a "mindfile," a sort of online repository of our personalities, which she argued humans already have (in the form of Facebook, for example). This mindfile would be run on "mindware," a kind of software for consciousness. "The first company that develops mindware will have [as much success as] a thousand Googles," Rothblatt said.

But would such a mindclone be alive? Rothblatt thinks so. She cited one definition of life as a self-replicating code that maintains itself against disorder. Some critics have shunned what Rothblatt called "spooky Cartesian dualism," arguing that the mind must be embedded in biology. On the contrary, software and hardware are as good as wet ware, or biological materials, she argued.

Rothblatt went on to discuss the implications of creating mindclones. Continuity of the self is one issue, because your persona would no longer inhabit just a biological body. Then, there are mind-clone civil rights, which would be the "cause clbre" for the 21st century, Rothblatt said. Even mindclone procreation and reanimation after death were mentioned.

The quantum world

In parallel with the talk of brain technologies and mind-uploading, much was said about the nature of consciousness in the universe. Physicist Roger Penrose of the University of Oxford and others disagree with the interpretation of the brain as a mere computer. Penrose argued that consciousness is a quantum mechanical phenomenon arising from the fabric of the universe. Those of the "Penrose school" think uploading the brain would have to involve quantum computers a development unlikely to happen by 2045.

But Itskov thinks otherwise. The 32-year-old president of the Global Future 2045 Congress is dead set on living forever.

Editor's Note: This article was updated on June 19, 2013, to correct the dates of the Global Future 2045 International Congress (it was held June 15-16, not June 14-15, as previously stated.)

Follow Tanya Lewis on Twitterand Google+.Follow us @livescience, Facebook& Google+. Original article onLive Science .

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The Singularity Is Near: Mind Uploading by 2045? | Live ...

The Office Creator Greg Daniels on Returning to the Funny TV Business With Space Force and Upload – Variety

Early in the development of Netflixs Space Force, Greg Daniels who created the show with star Steve Carell met with the streamers research team to get a sense of what its subscribers like to watch. They told him how Netflix audiences particularly gravitate to workplace comedies with quirky characters and romantic entanglements.

In other words, The Office. Yes, they were basically describing to Daniels the long-running series he developed and executive produced. The show, which ran from 2005-13 on NBC, has been a binge-TV sensation for Netflix so much so that NBC-Universal slapped down $500 million to make it a cornerstone of its upcoming Peacock service.

Part of me was like, yeah, I think I know what works on Netflix, because The Office was the No. 1 show on Netflix, Daniels chuckles.

Daniels hasnt written a series since The Office went off the air, but his TV DNA is everywhere just look at the shows that have come from its staff, including Mike Schur (Parks and Recreation, which he co-created with Daniels), Mindy Kaling (Never Have I Ever) and Justin Spitzer (Superstore). Now Daniels is back on TV as well and in a stroke of scheduling coincidence, he has two streaming series launching in the same month: Upload, which debuted May 1 on Amazon Prime Video, and Space Force, which bows May 29 on Netflix.

Their origin stories, however, couldnt be more different. Space Force came out of an idea Netflix pitched Carell, who then brought in Daniels, his old boss from The Office, for a reteam. Upload, meanwhile, is an idea that Daniels had kept in his back pocket since the late 1980s, when he was a writer on Saturday Night Live.

In those days, CD players had just come out, and Daniels couldnt escape them in the window of every midtown Manhattan electronics store near his SNL office. I was trying to think, Whats a good SNL sketch idea? Daniels recalls. You could digitize music; whats the ultimate thing you could digitize? If computers were big enough, you could digitize your brain. Then you would be able to actually live in some of these online gaming environments. And in a way, mankind would be able to program and create their own afterlife.

Turns out it wasnt a good SNL sketch idea. But Daniels kept the concept in his notebook and brought it out from time to time. While on King of the Hill, the long-running animated hit he created with Mike Judge, Daniels wrote the beginning of Upload as a short story. Later, during the 2008 writers strike, he started writing and pitching it as a novel. In 2015, it morphed into a TV project at HBO, which developed it for a year and a half before Daniels got the rights back and sold it to Amazon.

Along the way, Upload settled into its final form: a satirical look at life later this century, when income inequality somehow extends into the afterlife, as humans can upload their conscious thoughts into the cloud and live on at a price. The unfairness at the center of a for-profit tech-company-run afterlife just seemed like it was good subject matter, Daniels says. It would probably have all of the downsides of any human society if we programmed it, because greedy people would be involved.

In Upload, Robbie Amell plays Nathan, a young man whos injured in a mysterious self-driving-car accident and his wealthy but shallow girlfriend Ingrid (Allegra Edwards) convinces him to be uploaded into a luxurious virtual afterlife, paid for by her family. Ultimately, he befriends a real-life customer-support employee, Nora (Andy Allo), who helps him adjust to his new digital existence, and soon they form a bond between the physical world and the simulated one.

When I pitched it, I said it was a philosophical romantic-comedy sci-fi murder mystery, Daniels says. There are so many shows on the air, my thought was that if I wanted people to commit to watching, it had to be very intense and it had to energize every part of your audience experience.

John Malkovich confabs with Daniels and director Paul King on the Space Force set.Aaron Epstein/Netflix

Daniels says inspirations included a bit of Tron, The Matrix and even Truly, Madly, Deeply and Ghost, two films about relationships hampered by one person in each couple being dead. The series relationships particularly the budding one between Nathan and Nora are at the heart of the show. (Yes, they are the Jim and Pam of Upload.) But Daniels also spent a great deal of time crafting a realistic near future, including those self-driving cars.

Much of that research came from the Consumer Electronics Show. You can figure out what the devices are that theyve managed to get a working prototype on but havent been widespread, Daniels says. I picked very widespread drones, 3D printing for food and clothing and a lot more Siri-type AI stuff thats embedded in different things.

That afterlife technology might be plausible one day, but I dont think were getting Upload for a long time, he says. In the back of my head, Im hoping that this show spurs interest and that some of the tech companies go, yeah, we could make a lot of money off that. And then they start working on it.

The Upload cast was first assembled in 2017, with a pilot shot in 2018, so the show has been a long time coming. Vernon Sanders, Amazons co-head of TV, was an NBC exec during the Office days and says having a Daniels project when he arrived at the streamer in 2018 was incredibly exciting and reassuring to me, because I just know how brilliant he is. I describe him as like the kind, slightly mad scientist of comedy. I watched it with The Office; he cracked a code for how to make that show work.

In comparison, it was just last year that Carell called Daniels and shared the Netflix pitch essentially, Two words: Space Force.

Greg Daniels was the first and only person that came to mind, Carell says of partnering with his old pal. Hes smart, funny and has excellent taste. I trust him implicitly. More often than not, our instincts align with one another. We generally find the same sort of things funny, or moving, or intriguing. That has been the case since we first met.

Daniels credits their similar backgrounds: Were the same age; were from the Northeast; theres a lot of commonality in the way we look at things. For me, its the best possible actor I can think of writing for.

Coincidentally, Daniels says he had wanted to write a show set in the military for years. Space Force, of course, was inspired by the actual new branch of the armed forces, announced last year. I do think that Space Force is a great way to talk about nationalism and excessive nationalism, Daniels says.

Carell stars as four-star Gen. Mark Naird, who is tasked with moving to Colorado and heading up the service branch after his dreams of running the Air Force are dashed. John Malkovich plays his foil, Dr. Adrian Mallory, whose notion of using space for science and advancing civilization often conflicts with Nairds mission to achieve total space dominance for the U.S.

I dont want to work on stuff that Im not excited about. if I were on a deal, I probably wouldnt be available for Steve to call up and say, Hey, you want to do Space Force?Greg Daniels

Daniels says Naird couldnt be more different from Carells Office character, Michael Scott. This guy is super mature. Hes very accomplished and decorated. Hes very smart. Hes very inflexible. Hes very principled and a super-high achiever who finds himself in a no-win situation. But hes going to do everything he can to pull it off.

Space Force is a bit of a satiric take on Donald Trumps eagerness to form the sixth armed service. But Daniels notes that Trump is never named in the show, which broadly pokes fun at both sides of the political aisle.

We kind of looked at Dr. Strangelove as some inspiration for this, he says. There are a lot of Trumpy politicians out there. I also feel like theres a certain amount of Trump fatigue. Im more interested in finding a comedy show that all people can laugh at and can enjoy than preaching to a choir and trying to score some points. The hope is that this is a show for everybody. Mark is this very principled military guy, and I think that theres a lot to be respected in his character for a more red-state audience, and then Adrian is more of a blue-state character. Its an interesting conflict. I think theres so much division in the country, and were showing a bit of the division in the show, but the show isnt trying to be all one way by any measure.

While Upload is filled with mostly new faces, Space Force is chock-full of A-listers: Besides Carell and Malkovich, the cast includes Lisa Kudrow as Marks wife who faces a turn of events that goes unexplained, at least initially, after the move to Colorado.

Now that theyre collaborating again, Daniels admits that he and Carell have discussed the idea of getting The Office back together at some point. Weve been talking about whether we would ever do some kind of a reunion, he says. There was a script from Season 1 that we never shot, and we were talking about how it would be funny to shoot it.

But dont hold your breath. Given how successful much of the ensemble has become since The Office, Daniels isnt sure that you could reassemble that cast to just sit on the set and do a reboot.

With no overall deal, Daniels says hes relishing the idea of working anywhere and with anyone, including both major streamers at the same time. Its very energizing to have something where youre like, Oh, thats a cool concept. I want to write that, he says. And thats one of the reasons why Im not on a development deal anywhere. I dont want to work on stuff that Im not excited about. If I were on a deal, I probably wouldnt be available for Steve to call up and say, Hey, you want to do Space Force?

But now, after a few years of taking things a bit slower, Daniels, whos also developing new animated projects with Judge, hopes to keep both Upload (already renewed for a second season) and Space Force going. I find them both to be really fun casts, juicy concepts, great shooting styles. Im very blessed that I found a couple of good things to work on after The Office.

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The Office Creator Greg Daniels on Returning to the Funny TV Business With Space Force and Upload - Variety

Soona, The Virtual Photoshoot Company Youve Been Dreaming About – Forbes

Soona, the virtual photoshoot company of your dreams

Imagine having a professional photoshoot from your desk or couch, says Soona co-founder Liz Giorgi of the remote-based, custom photoshoot start-up she runs with Forbes 30 Under 30 alum, Hayley Anderson. As businesses have been adapting to a work-from-home world, Soona is a breakthrough solution for every marketing department, she explains, citing the novel concept of having a creative director, studio location, photographer, and editor all rolled-into-oneinstead of the costly, traditional method of hiring each individual to the sum tune of thousands of dollars. Small businesses, e-comm and consumer product companies across every industryfrom Mother Dirt and Leland Francis skincare to Made In cookware and Away luggagehave already jumped on the bandwagon, enlisting Soona to produce high quality photoshoots at their mind-bogglingly affordable, all-inclusive prices: $39 per photo and $93 per video.

Tongue-in-cheek "Away Loves Away" custom image produced by Soona.

The premise is very straightforward and the process very simple: A client (anywhere in the world) mails in however many products they want to have shot, along with any notes or special requests for the creative team (e.g. drizzle maple syrup over pancakes, particular lighting, background and angle requests, hand model opening bottle, etc.). Once the studio receives the product, you set up a one hour photo shoot and are given the teams undivided attention during that time. Their proprietary software offers a WFH photoshoot experience where you can kick back, watch and collaborate on the shoot in real time, providing instantaneous feedback to produce the exact images you want. As each shot is taken, they pop up on your screen and you (and your team, if they so wish) DM back-and-forth with comments for the creative team. What typically takes a full day to produce is completed in an hour because the company is such a well-oiled machine. The turnaround time is 24 hours or less and you shop right in the app, choosing as little or many images as you want. Voila!

Mother Mother custom image produced by Soona

Furthermore, the app fully integrates into Shopify, allowing customers to upload the custom images seamlessly to their shop. This translates to: No downloading. No cropping. No editing. No resizing. No uploading.

Its a complete game-changer.You can thank me later (from the comfort of your couch)!


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Soona, The Virtual Photoshoot Company Youve Been Dreaming About - Forbes

Forget Zombies: Its Humans That Make The Walking Dead VR Truly Memorable – UploadVR

We are the walking dead, Rick Grimes somewhat insanely proclaims at one of the lower points in what can be best described as a difficult life.

Note: This post contains spoilers for The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners

The protagonist of The Walking Dead is getting to the heart of Robert Kirkmans groundbreaking comic book series here, as if the enormously unsubtle metaphor hadnt already bashed, impaled and beaten its way into your mind yet. The group of survivors depicted in the original series (not any of the various TV and videogame iterations and spin-offs) have, at this point, lied, stolen and murdered to survive and yet still face a seemingly inevitable demise.

Forgive the hyperbolic movie tagline, but its true that, to say alive, theyve had to sacrifice their humanity. For me, this is perhaps the most interesting translation to be found in Skydance Interactives The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners, even if it is, like Ricks outcry, a little ham-fisted.

Indeed, the best zombie stories arent the ones concerned solely with the head-stabbing, brain-chomping gore (though thats still very much welcome and, in Saints & Sinners case, a real highlight). But its the humans you have to watch out for, especially surviving on the shaky foundations of post-apocalyptic New Orleans, where two rival factions fight for supremacy.

As youd expect from an entry in this long-running series, Saints & Sinners wants to investigate the murky area between survival and morality, backed up by an ambitious system that lets you choose to align with certain sides or, if youre particularly vicious, kill whoever you want. Though often clumsy (and, going further, quite regularly broken), it creates some of the games most memorable moments.

If youve spent much time with the game, youll know the first and most striking scenario involved. Tasked with infiltrating a Tower (authoritarian bad guys) base, one member asks you to rescue his brother, who has snuck off to The Reclaimed (more savage, slightly sympathetic, but still probably bad guys). You arrive at their camp to find the young brother imprisoned, two members preparing to kill him retribution for the death of ones daughter.

Hearing The Reclaimeds reasoning out, I do what I consider the only decent thing in the situation I stab the brother in the eye socket with a broken bottle to prove my loyalty (well I wasnt going to waste a bullet, was I?). But, upon leading an assault into Tower territory, I discover his room and a letter of confession. Wracked with guilt over the death the girl, the well-meaning brother had intended to defect to the other side, stealing supplies as way of some small redemption. That hadnt exactly worked out for him, had it?

In a normal game, sure, Id probably have a few regrets at this point. In VR, Im suddenly having flashbacks to his final moments; posture, expression, unease and then a deadly silence, all weighing down in my stomach. Its a little too forced and fast of a moment to make a deeper impression than that, but it speaks to a deeper power hiding within VR development.

Perhaps more interesting is when the game doesnt shove you into such situations, but lets you come to similar conclusions on your own. In the penultimate level the leader of the Reclaimed meets me one-on-one with a proposition. Not liking what I hear and the existential threat he poses I end our brief meeting by pulling out my pistol and shooting him in the head making the same kind of decision the cast of the comics has arrived at, entirely from my own train of thought. When the leader of The Tower meets me outside armed to teeth, a hatch an explosive plot to do the same thing (no one thought to ask why I was dropping a propane tank by their feet).

Its a freedom that also causes the game to cave in on itself. Not since Skyrim have I seen so many NPCs so confused about what they should be doing but, as with Bethesdas beloved RPG, it gets away with it thanks to ambition and, less intentionally, the hilarity of what can ensue.

Ultimately, Saints & Sinners only scratches the surface of these fascinating ideas, but making such an impact with even these limited scenarios suggests theres something much deeper to mine from VR than stabbing zombies with a screwdriver (though that wont get old, either). The heft of movement in the act of murder, the palpable desperation in the air when you kill a fellow human, and the deep-seated uncomfort that comes from doing so all feel magnified when paired with the physicality and immersion of VR. Dangerous ground to tread, perhaps, but Im fascinated to see where it leads us.

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OnePlus 8 Pro: 5 reasons to pick up this fully formed Android [Video] – 9to5Google

When the OnePlus 8 Pro was officially unveiled, it came with a few question marks over what corners it might cut as seen with previous OnePlus flagships.

However, rather than cut corners, OnePlus decided to give fans more or less what they have wanted and begged for. That just happened to be a flagship OnePlus smartphone that directly competes with the very best in the business on all fronts. No longer is there a but when recommending this latest release to people looking for a new flagship.

The result is one of the best smartphones on the market today and a bumped price tag to match. When weve become accustomed to OnePlus smartphones with slightly lower, attractive prices with a few notable compromises to account for the discount, it might come as a shock that youll have to stump up a hefty extra lump sum to get hold of the OnePlus 8 Pro.

With that in mind, if youre on the fence, just on the lookout, or want some reasons why the OnePlus 8 Pro is worth picking up, here are 5 reasons to go out and get one. Alternatively, if you are looking for something slightly more affordable, then we still recommend the OnePlus 7T over the slightly newer OnePlus 8.

Arguably the standout of the OnePlus 8 Pro has to be the display. The QHD+ 102Hz AMOLED panel is absolutely stunning in person. When in full flow its a real game-changer in ways that 90Hz simply isnt. The difference between 60Hz and 120Hz is so stark that its really hard to switch back to the lower framerate once youve tried it.

Unlike the Samsung Galaxy S20 series, you can actually run the display at full resolution and 120Hz. It makes this is the best display on the market by far. Nothing else really gets close save the Oppo Find X2 Pro which has essentially the same panel. We definitely need more 120Hz displays across the smartphone market.

For years, fans and detractors alike have complained about the weird aversion OnePlus seemingly had to add wireless charging support to its smartphones. That has finally been addressed with the OnePlus 8 Pro, as this is officially the only OnePlus smartphone to come with Qi charging out of the box.

You can access 30W wireless charging with a pricey $70 proprietary charger that is only available from the OnePlus store. To be completely honest, it does defeat the purpose of wireless charging, so you can top up using a normal wireless charger up to 10W speeds. Its nice to have the option alongside the superfast 30W Warp Charging via a wire. Thankfully in 2020, no longer are your wireless chargers rendered useless with a OnePlus smartphone.

Performance has never really been an area that past or even present OnePlus phones have ever had a major issue, and the OnePlus 8 Pro is no different. The combination of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset, plenty of RAM, OxygenOS, superfast UFS 3.1 storage, and the 120Hz refresh rate display is heavenly.

Everything is slick and instantaneous. It helps that OxygenOS is optimized to take advantage of the impressive internals and hardware too. If you want the fastest experience on Android, then the OnePlus 8 Pro is the only way to go.

OnePlus has really knocked their production quality up over the past few years, and while I lament the removal of the nifty pop-up camera, the OnePlus 8 Pro is certainly the best of the bunch so far. The fit and finish are exceptional. I would urge anyone to look at the Glacial Green color-shifting real panel and not find it attractive. From the curved glass display to the soft satin Glacial Green finish, this really is an undeniably gorgeous slab of tech.

Killer colors have been par for the course over recent releases, and the 8 Pro series has some more excellent options to choose from. If youre not a fan of green, you can pick up the OnePlus 8 Pro in Onyx Black and Ultramarine Blue both being equally impressive.

I was reluctant to actually suggest that 5G is a reason to buy any smartphone, simply as the global infrastructure is still developing. However, theres no denying that 5G is the future of wireless communications, web, and therefore our smartphones. Staying slightly ahead of the curve means that you can hold onto your device for longer potentially saving yourself money in the long-term.

Because all flagship smartphones using the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset in 2020 will also come with the Qualcomm X55 5G modem, you get superfast connectivity as standard. Of course youll need access to a 5G network which is quite hard right now but youll still be able to access superfast download and upload speeds when installed in your area.

In the US, the OnePlus 8 Pro is not officially being offered by any carrier. That means that to get hold of one, youll have to buydirectly from OnePlus, or for the first time in the US,Amazon, starting at $899.

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OnePlus 8 Pro: 5 reasons to pick up this fully formed Android [Video] - 9to5Google

"Rolling – 3,2,1: A take on the Australian Media Industry" – Kalkine Media

Everyone loves entertainment, be it in the form of games, songs, and series. Today, media and entertainment have become the fundamental requirement of an overstressed society. Paradigm shifts in consumer behaviour, business models, and technology are shaking the existing scenario of advertising as well as consumption of the online streaming services.

The media and entertainment industry is at the cornerstone of a rapid shift in the way content is distributed. This evolving trend is accelerated by the propagation of the internet leading to the takeover of traditional media channels such as cable and radio by the on-demand streaming platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime. As a result, consumers have diverse options to select from in case of media consumption. A new battle in media has begun wherein the companies need to outshine by helping its customers strike an economical deal from an array of streaming platforms.

Lights, camera, and action let us roll to deep dive in the Australian Media Industry.

We are embracing online streaming via Subscription-based VOD services.

Todays empowered customer with desires for numerous fresh and different experiences.

In retrospect, the static and traditional M&E model worked on a straight and direct path for creativity and monetisation. The world is full of a submissive, inactive, and unresponsive audience which viewed what was shown to it. The digital boom established a dynamic and atomised world, which resulted in empowering the M&E audience and enabling them to gradually mount their expectations towards the customised ways for products and service delivery.

Viewing has risen to a different level from just streaming a flick or show on various devices, to a customised experience across mobility, communications and entertainment, as well as financial services. The rise of players in the media arena has led to a fight to grab, hold and set up a straight bond with the audience, which seems different yet alike in their habits.

The mysterious streaming industry has a lot of unsolved answers left in their laps with the choices of the audience in the vast demographics where in some require convenience and the others an attractive deal. From HD through DTH, to the best viewing experience, the landscape for the Television box has altered due to the demand and supply created in this competitive streaming world which has seen major studios finding ways to curtail customers with their experience and fast delivery of services.

The audience in the streaming industry has a number of choices at their disposal from the likes of Amazon Prime, Foxtel Now, Stan, Netflix. This, in turn, is better for viewers to choose from as per the type of experience they want while keeping in mind that it does not hit their pockets.

DO WATCH: Foxtel's "Next Generation Entertainment Streaming Service" to launch next week? | Market Update

You often feel annoyed by advertisements that boom on your screen while watching your favourite content online. But the question is, why are they popping up? What are these video streamers earning out of this hiccup that they cause while watching? These questions give rise to the concept of Ad-supported videos. These videos are becoming the leading model of delivering streaming video across the countries. They can be mixed with the subscription services, or the revenues can be from ads alone. Advertisements may provide the required revenue for streaming providers that aspire to spread their wings into different verticals, such as gaming and music. Tubi TV, a streaming provider in Australia whose services, is entirely free to use. But what is the catch? As it is said, nothing is free in this world. Tubi TV does not offer subscriptions; instead, a person has to sit through a bunch of unskippable advertisements while watching. These ads generate income for the provider. This ad-supported video offers advanced advertising capabilities in the form of consumer segmentation and targeting, which can further foster effective measurement and campaign management.

5G changing the landscape of VR and AR

With the launch of 5G around the corner, various applications are likely to embrace from 5G. The 5G transition is presumed to develop a fortune for the network, infrastructure, and equipment vendors. With the advent of 5G, the download and upload speed are expected to increase exponentially. Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) apps were initially hyped. Still, they could not live up to the expectations is expected to embrace 5G from the bandwidth and low latency that is required for the seamless AR and VR experiences. Companies are now discovering various ways to accommodate them into their applications and services. AR/VR emergence is expected to unfold its benefits in areas never touched before, such as an extremely interactive alternative to the classic gaming controllers and keyboards, improve customer viewing and shopping experience.

INTERESTING READ: 5G, Cloud Computing, Bundling the three pieces of pie in Australian Telecom

The wave of merging and acquisition activity - powering media & entertainment evolution

The M&A deals are expected reshape and reinvent the positioning of the companies within the strategic landscape. M&A is likely to provide access for media companies to strengthen their content libraries. Such as recently, Foxtel and Warner Media struck a deal wherein Foxtel gets to retain its subscribers by using WarnerMedias content. WarnerMedia, on the other hand, gets to expand its customer base through Foxtel.

DID YOU READ: Nine Entertainment Sells NZ Business Stuff Limited to Management Buyout

The personalisation wave fuelled by Artificial Intelligence (AI)

You finished watching a series and some recommendations at the end pop up as in what can be observed next. Ever wondered why they pop up? How do these apps know I would like to watch this series next? All this is made possible by AI.

AI can be used in multiple ways to enhance the customer experience as well as to streamline business operations.AI can help unleash companies in the creation of new ads, movie trailers or recommend to customers what they may interest in watching or listening to keep them engaged.

With the upsurge in demand and rising expectations of the customers for personalised content, various media companies have evolved using AI to content creation according to customer choice from mere suggestions. This offering gives them a highly personalised experience.

We often say let us play a game, from a pastime to an industry, this is our new world of Games.

eSports - Sensation of the gaming arena

The platform is loaded with the sponsorships, prizes, and viewership range across the place.

Working on the formulae of GoT everything you want to Apologies for the inconvenience, there are various unanswered questions, starting from grabbing broadcast and distribution rights, the selection of target audience and becoming live entertainment to fill current emptiness in live sports.

The platform is growing from amateur to a professional with its popularity since its introduction.

There are legions of fans already watching video game competitions and looking forward to various gaming tournaments such as Melbourne Esports Open 2020 starting 22 August 2020 with the prize of US$250,000.

Esports Mogul Limited (ASX:ESH) operates a tournament platform called mogul.gg. Mogul .gg is the new pure-play online esports tournament inclusive of platform chat and streaming functionality.

The esports platform work towards game development and adoption, as well as internet connection speeds. It works on the principles of audience viewing professional gamers playing prevalent games. These platforms enable real-time tracking of events to move by move through various social media sites.

It will be interesting to watch which company outshines in the battleground in media by leveraging the opportunities in the form of customer acquisition, and retainment. Also, witnessing the new take of various companies in the field of esports, AI is set to become a strong contender in this contest.

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"Rolling - 3,2,1: A take on the Australian Media Industry" - Kalkine Media

‘The 100’: Who Did the Dark Commander Kill? – Heavy.com

If you watched the Season 7 premiere ofThe 100, you may have found yourself a bit confused by one scene near the end. Sheidheda (aka the Dark Commander) returned and quickly dispensed of someone. But who did he kill?

This article will have spoilers for Season 7 Episode 1.

The Dark Commander is back. And hes not wasting any time enacting a plan to take over pretty much everything. If youre a little confused by his introductory scene around 45 minutes into the premiere episode, read on for an explanation of what happened.

Russell had a conversation with Jordan, then with Clarke who promptly set his room on fire after he egged her on. He obviously wants to die. All the other Primes are dead and Russells ready to be done with this world too. But then all of a sudden, while his room wheres he held prisoner is on fire, hes somewhere else.

Clarke knocked him out and this appears to be all that was needed for the Dark Commander to jump into his mind drive. But instead of seeing Russell, we see someone else there, tied up and held captive.

Sheidheda says: Hello Russell Prime. I prefer your new body.

The man asks who he is andwherehe is. Instead of answering, Sheidheda just kills him and says: Im you.

And then Russell wakes up again with an entirely new resolve.

The man that Sheidheda killed was Russellsoriginalbody. Within the mind drive, Russell still sees himself as the way he originally was, even though his original body has been gone for a long, long time. We basically saw Sheidheda wirelessly jump into Russells mind drive, kill Russell, and take over the drive himself.

Heres a look at Russell in his original body from a flashback scene from Season 6.

Remember when Josephine was in Clarkes mind drive and had such trouble containing her? Well, Sheidheda doesnt have that problem at all and can easily dispense of whoever the original holder of a mind drive is, it appears.

In case you need a refresher, heres a look back at how Sheidheda is still alive.

Last season, we saw that while Madi fought with Sheidheda and tried not to let him gain permanent control of her, Raven worked through the code until she was able to transfer Sheidheda out of the Flame drive and onto the ships computer. The Dark Commander managed to upload his code somewhere, rather than staying in the little firewall compartment that Raven had him in on the ship. We werent told where, but now it appears that hes just everywhere, basically. Some believe he uploaded himself to the anomaly cloud. Well, wherever he was, he managed to be wireless because he was able to jump into Russells mind drive and take him over. (Some fans think that he actually jumped into Russells mind drive while he was still on the ship in Season 6, and just waited until now to reassert himself. Thats the theory Im believing too.)

Madi was harder to take over than Russell was. Im not sure if it was because he was working against more updated technology (the Flame drive versus the older Mind Drive tech) or if it was simply because Madi had a stronger will than Russell. But whatever the case, Russell is effectively gone, replaced by Sheiheda.

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'The 100': Who Did the Dark Commander Kill? - Heavy.com

Will We Ever Be Able to Upload Our Brains? – ComputerShopper.com

The path to completely mapping every aspect of a brain is complicated. It requires incredibly precise scanning of the neurons, the cells that carry electrical impulses, as well as the synapses that link them together. The end result is a 3D rendering called a connectome, and the good news is that science has already made one.

The bad news is that it was of a Caenorhabditis elegans roundworm, which has 302 total neurons in its brain as compared to a human beings 86 million. A task with that complexity would take, as Francis Collins, head of the National Institutes of Health, told Smithsonian, a million electron microscopes running in parallel for 10 years.

Current science is split on whether technology will ever reach a level where that task is possible. That roundworm connectome, however, has already seen a digital life. In 2014, the OpenWorm project that mapped the brain decided to replicate it as software and install it in a Lego robot that was capable of the same sensory and motor actions as the biological model.

Without any additional programming, the team claims the robot worm behaved identically to a real one, recoiling from touch and moving towards food. Its not an exact analog, as the nerves in the worms body are approximated by hard-wired sensors, but it proves a point.

Already were raising some pretty intense questions hereis this Lego replica of a roundworm a sentient being? Is it distinct from the worm it was copied from? These are the kind of issues that will come to the fore as we get closer and closer to whole brain emulation.

That hasnt stopped some people from trying to sell it already. In 2018, startup Nectomeannounced that it had developed a method to preserve the human brain until the date that advanced scanning methods are practical. Only one issue: it has to be fresh. As in, you have to be alive when they do the process, which kills you.

Thats a pretty bold bet to take on the future, but Nectome CEO Robert McIntyre believes in his technology, pitching it as a way to save your precious memories rather than create a full digital simulacrum of your consciousness. Over 30 people have put down a $10,000 deposit to be on the list for preservation.

Other researchers are taking a more granular approach to digitizing the mind. Researcher Theodore Berger at the University of Southern California is developing an electronic prosthesis for the hippocampal region of the brain, generally recognized as the area that manages memory. The device monitors and encodes the sequence of neurons firing and can then replay them.

In rats, it was able to restore a memory of pulling levers in a sequence. A rat brain is significantly less complex than a humans, but the general principle is the same. Bergers team is investigating human applications to help people with brains damaged by Alzheimers and other degenerative diseases.

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Will We Ever Be Able to Upload Our Brains? - ComputerShopper.com

AP test-takers report problems submitting online exams, fear they’ll have to retake – NBC News

High school students around the world began taking online Advanced Placement exams this week, but some say they've encountered problems submitting their responses and may have to retake the exams at a later date.

The AP exams measure how well a high school student comprehends college material and can help them earn college credit. They typically are taken in person.

The College Board announced earlier this year that because of the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 exams would be offered in an online, free-response format and only include topics covered by March. Students are able to take exams on any device and can either type their responses or write them by hand and upload photos.

Caleb Trunkle, a senior, in Charleston, South Carolina, had been studying all year for the AP Calculus AB exam but said trying to prepare at home without a teacher was pretty difficult.

However, Trunkle felt confident when he went to submit in his answers Tuesday afternoon. He said he followed the AP College Board requirements, and the answers seemed to go through but then was notified that his test hadnt been received.

Trunkle told NBC News that because his test didn't go through, his only option is to apply to retake the exam in June.

I was incredibly upset. Ive put so much into this course. Ive put so much into my high school career, Im trying to finish it out, this was my last week of testing. I have one more tomorrow. I did everything right, he said.

Students, parents and teachers have reported issues with exam submissions this week on social media.

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The College Board did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday night.

But on Monday said that the vast majority of test-takers had successfully submitted their exams.

Approximately 50,000 students took today's AP Physics C: Mechanics exam. 98% submitted their responses, while approximately 2% encountered issues attempting to submit their response, the College Board wrote on Facebook Monday, the first day of testing. Given the wide variety of devices, browsers, and versions students are using, we anticipated that a small percentage of students would encounter technical difficulties, and we have a makeup window in June so students have another opportunity to test.

Cole Wagner, 17, said he was unable to submit his AP Physics Mechanics exam Monday after he tried twice to copy and paste his answers from a Google Doc to the exam. He said the responses reformatted when he pasted them into the exam, meaning they did not correspond with the questions. Hes hoping to retake the test at a later date.

On Tuesday, Wagner, who is from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, said his computer froze while he took the AP Calculus AB exam. He was unable to submit his response for the first and second questions and later logged into the exam from his phone to upload a photo of his work for both questions into the second questions submission box, he said.

"For both tests, I had two separate issues but both were equally frustrating," he told NBC News.

"I saw a side of Cole I've never seen before," his father, Bret Wagner, said. "He almost lost his mind today, and he put a ton of effort in and this meant a lot to him," he said.

Late Tuesday, the College Board acknowledged that some students had reported troubles cutting and pasting responses for exams.

"While more than 99% of students successfully submitted their AP Exam responses today, some who didn't told us they had trouble cutting and pasting their responses," the organization wrote in a tweet. "We took a closer look and found that outdated browsers were a primary cause of these challenges."

Darren Kagey, a junior at Pickerington High School North in Pickerington, Ohio, took the same AP Calculus AB exam and said he had a similar issue. He said he was informed he would have to apply for a makeup test.

After the exam, Kagey said, he went online to see if others were reporting issues and saw a tweet from the College Board informing students they had to update their camera settings in order to upload photos of their work.

But, the tweet was posted just a few hours before the exam began, Kagey said.

I just think itd be so much simpler if they allowed students that had issues to resubmit the work they completed, he said.

Students complained of issues with other tests besides the Calculus AB and Physics exams.

Freshman Aryan Jadhav in Denmark, Georgia, was ready to submit his answers for the AP Human Geography exam but says the College Board software crashed just before his time was about to expire.

He said he had about 20 seconds left to paste in an answer but after he clicked submit, he was told his answer wasnt recorded.

I feel that its unfair that I have to retake the test again that I have been studying so hard for, because of an issue on their part," he said.

Continued here:

AP test-takers report problems submitting online exams, fear they'll have to retake - NBC News

Instagram Officially Launches Option to Share Instagram Live Broadcasts to IGTV – Social Media Today

Instagram has been rolling this option out over the last few weeks, but today, it's officially announced that all users can now save the video of their Instagram Live broadcast to IGTV, and keep it available for viewing for as long as they choose.

Up till now, Instagram Live broadcasts have only, technically been available to viewers during their broadcast - i.e. when the 'Live' marker appears on the users' Stories bubble. Users have additionally had the option to save the video of their Instagram Live broadcast to their camera roll, then re-upload as they see fit -but now, you'll also have the capacity to send the video direct to IGTV, which could provide some additional benefits, especially considering the gradual development of the IGTV platform.

The option could, for example, provide an easy way to build your IGTV content library, and with Instagram recently launching monetization options for the platform, that could provide another means to both tap into rising interest in IGTV (monetization will lure more high-profile creators, and subsequently, viewers), while it may also, eventually, facilitate a revenue option via your own content.

It's also another way to maximize the value of your content. If you've created more video, why not re-post it to IGTV and enable more people to see it. That is, if the broadcast went well, of course.

Though there are some limitations to be aware of in this new process.

As per Instagram:

Live video replays wont include any likes or comments from your original live video

The number of viewers for your live video will restart once you share it to IGTV

You won't be able to edit or trim your live video before sharing it to IGTV

Being unable to edit your video could be an issue, and it's worth considering what the impacts of not having the original Likes and comments might be. If you're constantly referring to the comments or viewers during the broadcast, that probably won't make sense in the replay if their names and notes are not displayed.

In that case, you may well be better off just downloading the video and editing it to ensure it suits, then re-uploading to IGTV if you see fit. But if you're looking for a quick, simple way to tap into IGTV, and maximize viewership, it's another option to keep in mind.

Instagram says that the 'Share to IGTV' option is now available to all users.

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Instagram Officially Launches Option to Share Instagram Live Broadcasts to IGTV - Social Media Today

15 TV shows and hidden gems that might be under your radar – from Netflix’s Midnight Gospel to Amazon’s Upload – Yahoo News

Whether you're on the hunt for your next on-screen obsession, concerned about gaps in TV schedules, or you just want to use this time to try out something new, Digital Spy is here with an abundance of TV recommendations to keep you entertained.

We're constantly plugged in, and have compiled an extensive list of hidden gems that you might not have come across, or had a chance to view, just yet. Let's begin.

Family life is complicated and messy, even at the best of times. While you might be used to sickeningly sweet sitcoms that are chock full of sentiment, Breeders is here to bring a big dollop of reality to proceedings - with hilarious results.

Paul (Martin Freeman) and Ally (Daisy Haggard) are trying to navigate parenthood as best they can. There's no handbook and kids can be, well, annoying - no matter how much you love them. The whole series is endearing and relatable, and there are some genuine fall-off -your-sofa shocks along the way too.

Wrongly dismissed by some as nothing more than a rip-off of the much-loved series The Good Place, Upload has a heartfelt charm that is all its own.

The comedy series is from the mind of Greg Daniels - the creator of cult favourite The Office US and Netflix's hotly anticipated Space Force - so it's not all that surprising that we'd be clambering to give it our seal of approval. All that remains now is the wait for season two.

We've been championing this show ever since it debuted its first season, and not just because it's fronted by Line of Duty's Adrian Dunbar.

The twisty-turny thriller, which airs on Channel 5, recently returned for its second season with a gripping cliffhanger - don't worry, no spoilers here, just go ahead and enjoy the ride.


The philosophical sci-fi series, from writer-director Alex Garland, asks all manner of daunting questions. Starring Parks and Recreation's Nick Offerman as the messiah/false prophet of the story, the show is available to stream on BBC iPlayer now. And when you've finished having your mind scrambled, you can check out our Devs ending explained.


The US crime drama stars How I Met Your Mother's Cobie Smulders as private investigator Dex Parois. A bit of a rule breaker and with some debts weighing her down, Dex ends up teaming up with her friend - and felon - Grey (Jake Johnson) to tackle some unsolved cases.

Stumptown is currently airing every Tuesday at 9pm on Alibi (available on Sky and Virgin).

Photo credit: Netflix

Dubbed (by us) as South Korea's answer to Marvel's Daredevil, Rugal is based on a popular webcomic of the same name.

It follows a police officer called Kang Ki Beom (Choi Jin-hyuk) who fights to bring down a criminal organisation known as Argos (no not that Argos, the catalogue company haven't gone rogue) but the group retaliate by blinding Kang and killing his wife.


Unbelievable's Merritt Wever? Check. The return of Fleabag's Phoebe Waller-Bridge? Check. You shouldn't need much more convincing, but it was also written and produced by Killing Eve's Vicky Jones...

The dark comedy first premiered in the US back in April, and it's currently airing on Sky Comedy and NOW TV.

Photo credit: Oxygen - NBC Universal

A major departure from the reality star's Keeping Up with the Kardashians appearances, Kim Kardashian has a brand new true-crime documentary under her (waist trainer) belt.

The show basically acts like a beginners guide to the American justice system, highlighting a series of issues that Kim and a number of organisations are working hard to reform while also bringing some heartbreaking cases to the forefront.

It first aired on Oxygen in the US, and is now available on Sky Crime.


This is the latest star-studded show to come from Apple TV+, and it firmly places Chris Evans (and that fan-favourite beard) centre stage as both lead actor and executive producer.

Defending Jacob - reportedly a ratings-booster for the streaming platform - is based on William Landay's best-selling novel of the same name. The crime drama follows Andy Barber, a district attorney, whose sense of justice is shattered when his son is accused of murder.


Photo credit: Netflix

Thought animation wasn't for you? Think again.

The Midnight Gospel is like nothing else we've seen before. A feast for the eyes and ears, the show pairs fascinating and downright thought-provoking dialogue (that will leave you questioning everything) with bright and chaotic imagery. Oh, and be sure to listen out for all those guest cameos.


Malcolm Bright (Tom Payne) is the son of an infamous serial killer known as "The Surgeon", and has concerns that he might become a sociopath himself. In a bid to move on, he became a criminal profiler who, after being fired by the FBI, worked with the New York Police Department.

Oh, and Michael Sheen is in it. Always a win.

The American crime drama airs on Fox and is available to stream online in the US. No word yet on a UK air date.

Comics Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle play versions of themselves as teenage outcasts in the year 2000 - yep, got to love that nostalgia.

It's being described as a "cringe comedy", and PEN15 first entered the world on Hulu in February 2019, but - hoorah! - it's now also in the UK thanks to Sky Comedy.

Photo credit: Hulu / Amazon Prime Video

Based on the bestselling novel by Celeste Ng, the story follows a rich suburban mother and wife (played by Big Little Lies' Reese Witherspoon), who invites town newcomer Mia (Scandal star Kerry Washington) to be her maid, after noticing she's living in her car with her daughter.

Both actors executive produced on the project, and it first debuted on Hulu. It's been announced that Little Fires Everywhere will come to the UK on Amazon Prime Video from May 22.


Photo credit: Amazon Prime

In contrast to Stranger Things' '80s action stylings, Tales from the Loop is a calm and quiet anthology series. Despite, on the face of it, seemingly sharing some similarities to the Netflix smash hit, Tales from the Loop is in a league of its own.

Based on Simon Stlenhag's art book and tabletop role-playing game of the same name, season one is available on Amazon Prime Video.


Photo credit: W Channel

The trashy (nothing wrong with a good bit of trash) and fun UKTV Original follows PR guru Robyn (played by X-Men's Anna Paquin) as she clears up the messes left behind by her clients, while also trying to keep on top of her social life.

Currently getting its second outing, Flack is airing on W and available to watch on Sky and


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15 TV shows and hidden gems that might be under your radar - from Netflix's Midnight Gospel to Amazon's Upload - Yahoo News

Broadband jargon buster – learn the internet lingo before you buy – TechRadar

Was your connection speed even to get to this page annoyingly slow? Is the irony of taking ages to get to read articles about the best broadband deals becoming painfully obvious? The last thing you'll want then is more obstacles in the form of broadband jargon.

There's plenty of barely decipherable lingo and jargon on the internet, blurted out by technically minded sorts hurriedly trying to churn out information without thinking about who's reading. We've not all got years of experience talking in code about frankly complex tech that some regulars might find the norm.

You might know your fibre from your router, without getting breakfast cereals and power tools mixed up, but there's plenty of other jargon that needs clarifying.

Here's what you need to know, so you can be savvy enough to get the best broadband for you.

If you've ever taken our broadband speed test then you'll have seen some chat about your download and upload speeds. As you may already know, the download speed is that coming to you and the upload speed is that going away. But why do you need to know about and consider both?

Many people just look at download speeds and consider that alone. That's fine for streaming a film or downloading a large file. But for things like video streaming or gaming, you need upload bandwidth too. This means a two-way interaction can happen with minimal lag and maximum clarity. So keep that in mind when hunting for your next broadband upgrade.

You may have heard of a fibre broadband connection as that's now the most popular thanks to its speed and availability. This is the same as cable, essentially. The cable is the way you're getting the wiring and within that cable is the fibre optical line itself.

Fibre optics use light to send signals, rather than electricity along a metal cable. As such there isn't the issue of resistance and you get lightspeed fast data delivery. This is largely future-proof with theoretically no limit to speeds. As the devices at either end of the cables improve so can speeds.

ADSL, or asymmetric digital subscriber line, is an older form that uses those copper lines we mentioned above. These are limited to about 10Mb, which is workable if that's all you have in your area but nothing compared to fibre that's currently offering average speeds of 362Mb from Virgin Media broadband and 300Mb from BT Broadband.

Anywhere you see the word limit it's worth paying attention and that's especially true when it comes to getting the best broadband deals. A download limit, as you might imagine, is a cap on the amount of data you can access over a period of time.

Typically this is a limit on data downloaded month to month. While these can save you money on your broadband subscription, they're not ideal if you do lots of online gaming or stream a lot of 4K and HDR Netflix, for example.

These little gems of FTTC, FTTP and FTTH are different ways fibre is transmitted. The first part is Fibre To The... with the last letter being the point at which fibre ends and another connection carries the last of the signal to you. This point is usually where speed bottlenecks so it's worth keeping in mind.

FTTC is to cabinet which means it'll run over fibre to your local street cabinet (those green boxes you often see high-vis coated fellows working on). It then runs to you via cabling, slowing it. This is the most common form of home broadband.

FTTP is to premises which is where the fibre runs right to your home for maximum speeds. FTTH is to home, which is the same thing with another acronym to make it even more complicated, of course.

Megabit (Mb) and Gigabit (Gb) are data amounts often seen when talking about broadband as Mbps and Gbps with those last two letters for per second. This deontes how fast you can access the data.

In real world terms, Netflix says you need a 25Mb line in order to steam 4K and HDR content clearly. The fastest fibre lines in limited availability are now 1Gb, so more than enough for most even in the longer term. The fastest more common fibre, at around 300Mb, is also plenty for most homes.

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Broadband jargon buster - learn the internet lingo before you buy - TechRadar

You will be seeing a lot of Qualcomm SD768G 5G phones soon – GadgetGuy

Whether we need it or want it, 5G is being forced upon us. 5G is part of the next round of mid-range smartphones ($799-999). And the Qualcomm SD768G 5G mobile platform is the safest bet to power them.

When I say safest the Qualcomm SD768G 5G mobile platform (an update from the SD765G 5G) has been tested and proven. So far its the only one that has BOTH NR sub-6GHz (Australia) and mmWave for the most comprehensive 5G coverage where, when or if ever you can get it.

That is not to disparage other makers 5G chipsets from MediaTek or Huawei, but those focus on mmWave in China or the US and leave technologically challenged Australia off the roadmap.

Australia has crippled NSA sub-6Ghz 5G, and it looks that way for some time to come. We may see some mmWave for commercial use, but poor Joe and Jane Average will have to put up with 4G on steroids Tel$tras patchy and pathetic excuse for 5G.

The SD768 uses the Qualcomm X52 Modem and its RF antenna system (as does the SD765). This a large step down from the flagship X55 modem in the SD865. Both are Gen 2 there is a long way to go to reach 5G nirvana.

The X52 has a maximum rated 5G download/upload speed of 3.7/1.6Gbps, and the X55 is 7/3Gbps. Ditto for 4G (which it will run on most of the time). It is 1.2Gbps/201Mbps versus 2.5Gbps/316Mbps.

These are a lot of issues with even quoting these figures (Tel$tra initially claimed 20Gbps!). Our experience is (when we can find a mythical 5G tower) that speeds are not much better than Telstra 4GX somewhere around 200-400Mbps DL and 50Mbps UL. Again, we have had faster 4GX speeds during those very same tests.

Transaction Network Services states that you should expect 5G global roaming to be a five-to-10 year rollout.

Why so long you might ask? Standalone (SA) 5G roaming will not happen in the near term due to complexity of network slicing, massive capital investment involved, business models and ill-defined charging principles. Simply put the incentive to replace global 3G/4G technology is too small when it will co-exist with 5G for some time.

So, if you have a 5G use case, can get reception, and want a knobbed X52 5G modem that will mostly run 4G then you will need SD768G.

No, it is not the powerhouse 8XX series. It is the equivalent of the Toyota Camry 4-cylinder gets you from A-B, but you dont want to tow a boat or caravan.

Again, Qualcomms marketing prowess comes to the fore. It uses cites Next-level performance (why would you release something slower than its predecessor?), Captivating graphics (15% performance increase over the SD765), Immersive gaming (Adreno 620 GPU is OK), dazzling entertainment (HDR is a feature of most SoCs)

To the contrary, I would prefer a Qualcomm SD under the bonnet more than any other chip (except for the Samsung Exynos that is an SD in all but name).

For starters, Qualcomm SoCs works with all my diagnostic software. MediaTek and Kirin do not! And Qualcomm returns accurate speed tests. Other brands do not (smells like the VW fiasco all over again).

Qualcomm SoCs seldom throttle to the extent that the others do. Mind you MediaTek is getting better as it moves to thinner SoC, but it has been found guilty of optimising results for test software.

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You will be seeing a lot of Qualcomm SD768G 5G phones soon - GadgetGuy

Four things that may delay PF advance – Livemint

In March-end, the government came to the rescue of people facing a cash crunch due to the covid-19 lockdown, by allowing them to take non-refundable advance from Employees Provident Fund (EPF). As per the data released by EPF Organisation on 28 April, 740,000 such claims have been settled. However, it seems, many more who made a similar application are still waiting to get their money. Many subscribers took to social media to complain about delays in receiving the money or rejection of claims.

Employees are allowed to withdraw up to 75% of the outstanding balance in their PF accounts or three months basic plus dearness allowance, whichever is lower. For example, if you have a balance of 1 lakh in your PF account and your basic wage plus dearness allowance is equal to 20,000 per month, you will be eligible to withdraw only 60,000.

EPFO has clarified that even those employees who have left the job can avail the advance. Employees can apply for the advance under such claims online. However, it is generally advised not to withdraw from PF savings, as it will deplete your retirement savings by a large chunk. But dipping into PF savings may be better than taking a personal loan on which the interest rates can be in the range of 9-24%.

The claims applied under covid-19 are being settled on fast track and within three working days," said EPFO, in a statement along with FAQs (frequently asked questions) released on 26 April.

So what explains the delay and rejections? All the claims applied online go to the National Data Center of EPFO and are getting processed from there. However, in case of any discrepancy, the claims are sent to the regional offices for clearing," said one of the EPFO field officers from the Gurugram office, on the condition of anonymity, as filed officers are not autorized to speak to the media.

Here are some of the reasons leading to delay or claim rejection.

Unclear scan of documents

While filing a claim online, an employee has to upload a scanned copy of the cheque book, the first page of the passbook or the bank account statement, which should have the name of the applicant, bank account number and the IFSC code. This is done to ensure that the bank account details uploaded in the KYC (know your customer) or linked to the universal account number (UAN) of the employee is correct and no erroneous transfer of money happens.

If the documents scan is not clear, it is difficult to match the details with what is provided against the employees UAN. This can result in delay as EPFO will ask you to upload the scanned copy again. Most of the delays or rejections are due to improper documents uploaded by the employees," said the field officer.

So, upload a clear scan of the document showing the bank account details.

Wrong details

At times, details such as IFSC code of the bank or the account mentioned during the claim doesnt match with what is seeded with the UAN. This could be because wrong details may have been entered when seeding account details with the UAN or because the subscriber wants the amount credited in another account, which is not linked with the UAN.

There is also a possibility that the bank account linked with the UAN might have become dormant. Therefore, the person will have to get the bank details updated. The updation of bank account details can be done online," said Saraswathi Kasturirangan, partner, Deloitte India.

However, any changes made to the KYC details have to be approved by the employer. Employers can approve the changes online using their digital signature, but at times the employers are not able to access their system due to the ongoing lockdown, which may result in a delay," said the EPFOfield officer quoted earlier.

Not fulfilling the criteria

To be able to take the non-refundable advance, employees should have made a contribution for at least three months. If you dont fulfil this basic criteria and still make a claim, it might be rejected.

Time taken by banks

EPFO processes claims and issues the cheques to the bank within three days of applying the claim. Banks, typically, take another one to three days to credit the money to the employees account. So check if the delay is at the banks end.

Keep in mind that its important that your paperwork is in order and your records match with whats seeded with your UAN for problem-free withdrawal.

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Four things that may delay PF advance - Livemint