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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 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 responds in essentially the same way as the original brain (i.e., indistinguishable from the brain for all relevant purposes) and experiences having a conscious mind.[1][2][3]

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 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 that is inside (or connected to) a (not necessarily humanoid) robot or a biological body in real life.[4]

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”, and a means for functional copies of human minds to survive a global disaster or interstellar space travels. Whole brain emulation is discussed by some futurists as a “logical endpoint”[4] 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.[5] Mind uploading is a central conceptual feature of numerous science fiction novels and films.

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.[6] 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.

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 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,[10] and Rodolfo Llinas.[11]

Such an artificial intelligence capability might provide a computational substrate necessary for uploading.

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.[4][citation needed] Using these models, some have estimated that uploading may become possible within decades if trends such as Moore’s law continue.[12]

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.[13]

An uploaded astronaut would be the application of mind uploading to human spaceflight. This would eliminate the harms caused by a zero gravity environment, 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.[14][15]

In terms of contemporary analogues to serve as near-term candidate for the design of such a mission protocol, NASA-trained commercial astronaut Christopher Altman is unique among spacefarers, having specialized in artificial intelligence and brain simulation in work recognized as World’s Most Complex Artificial Brain in the Guinness Book of World Records, later moving into information security and quantum information technology before selection for spaceflight training, then serving as director for the Tau Zero Interstellar Foundation, successor to the NASA Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Program. NASA awarded Tau Zero a grant to study such alternatives in 2017 program Interstellar Propulsion Review.[16][17][18][19][20][21]

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.[22] 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.[24]

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.[25]

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.[26]

Required computational capacity strongly depend on the chosen level of simulation model scale:[4]

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.[4]

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.[27]

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.[4]

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.[4][not in citation given] 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.[28] 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.[29] 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.[29] 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.[31]

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.[32] This is not to deny that minds are richly adapted to their substrates.[33] 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:[34] 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.[35] 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 somewhere else. At best, a copy of the original mind is created.[35] 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,[36] 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.[37][38]

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).[39][40] 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?[41] 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.[42] Numerous scientists, including Kurzweil, strongly believe that determining 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).[43][44][45]

In light of uncertainty on whether to regard uploads as conscious, Sandberg proposes a cautious approach:[46]

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 recognize it as their own mind.[47] 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.[46] 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.[46]

In addition, the resulting animal emulations themselves might suffer, depending on one’s views about consciousness.[46] 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:[48] 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.[46] 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.[48]

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.[49]

Many questions arise regarding the legal personhood of emulations.[50] Would they be given the rights of biological humans? If a person makes an emulated copy of himself and then dies, does the emulation inherit his 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?[50]

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.[49] 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.[49]

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.[49]

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.[55]

Emulations might be easier to control than de novo AI because

As counterpoint to these considerations, Bostrom notes some downsides:

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.[56][57] Mind uploading is also advocated by a number of researchers in neuroscience and artificial intelligence, such as Marvin Minsky[citation needed] while he was still alive. 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.[4]

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 to 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 is a formidable task, but it is far from being sufficient. Operation of 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 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.[58]

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Mind uploading – Wikipedia

Mind – Wikipedia

The mind is a set of cognitive faculties including consciousness, perception, thinking, judgement, language and memory. It is usually defined as the faculty of an entity’s thoughts and consciousness.[3] It holds the power of imagination, recognition, and appreciation, and is responsible for processing feelings and emotions, resulting in attitudes and actions.[citation needed]

There is a lengthy tradition in philosophy, religion, psychology, and cognitive science about what constitutes a mind and what are its distinguishing properties.

One open question regarding the nature of the mind is the mindbody problem, which investigates the relation of the mind to the physical brain and nervous system.[4] Pre-scientific viewpoints included dualism and idealism, which considered the mind somehow non-physical.[4] Modern views center around physicalism and functionalism, which hold that the mind is roughly identical with the brain or reducible to physical phenomena such as neuronal activity.[5][need quotation to verify] Another question concerns which types of beings are capable of having minds.[citation needed] For example, whether mind is exclusive to humans, possessed also by some or all animals, by all living things, whether it is a strictly definable characteristic at all, or whether mind can also be a property of some types of human-made machines.[citation needed]

Whatever its nature, it is generally agreed that mind is that which enables a being to have subjective awareness and intentionality towards their environment, to perceive and respond to stimuli with some kind of agency, and to have consciousness, including thinking and feeling.[citation needed]

The concept of mind is understood in many different ways by many different cultural and religious traditions. Some see mind as a property exclusive to humans whereas others ascribe properties of mind to non-living entities (e.g. panpsychism and animism), to animals and to deities. Some of the earliest recorded speculations linked mind (sometimes described as identical with soul or spirit) to theories concerning both life after death, and cosmological and natural order, for example in the doctrines of Zoroaster, the Buddha, Plato, Aristotle, and other ancient Greek, Indian and, later, Islamic and medieval European philosophers.

Important philosophers of mind include Plato, Descartes, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Searle, Dennett, Fodor, Nagel, and Chalmers.[6] Psychologists such as Freud and James, and computer scientists such as Turing and Putnam developed influential theories about the nature of the mind. The possibility of non-human minds is explored in the field of artificial intelligence, which works closely in relation with cybernetics and information theory to understand the ways in which information processing by nonbiological machines is comparable or different to mental phenomena in the human mind.[citation needed]

The mind is also portrayed as the stream of consciousness where sense impressions and mental phenomena are constantly changing[7][8]

The original meaning of Old English gemynd was the faculty of memory, not of thought in general.[citation needed] Hence call to mind, come to mind, keep in mind, to have mind of, etc. The word retains this sense in Scotland.[9] Old English had other words to express “mind”, such as hyge “mind, spirit”.[citation needed]

The meaning of “memory” is shared with Old Norse, which has munr. The word is originally from a PIE verbal root *men-, meaning “to think, remember”, whence also Latin mens “mind”, Sanskrit manas “mind” and Greek “mind, courage, anger”.

The generalization of mind to include all mental faculties, thought, volition, feeling and memory, gradually develops over the 14th and 15th centuries.[10]

The attributes that make up the mind is debated. Some psychologists argue that only the “higher” intellectual functions constitute mind, particularly reason and memory.[11] In this view the emotions love, hate, fear, and joy are more primitive or subjective in nature and should be seen as different from the mind as such. Others argue that various rational and emotional states cannot be so separated, that they are of the same nature and origin, and should therefore be considered all part of it as mind.[citation needed]

In popular usage, mind is frequently synonymous with thought: the private conversation with ourselves that we carry on “inside our heads.”[12] Thus we “make up our minds,” “change our minds” or are “of two minds” about something. One of the key attributes of the mind in this sense is that it is a private sphere to which no one but the owner has access. No one else can “know our mind.” They can only interpret what we consciously or unconsciously communicate.[13]

Broadly speaking, mental faculties are the various functions of the mind, or things the mind can “do”.

Thought is a mental act that allows humans to make sense of things in the world, and to represent and interpret them in ways that are significant, or which accord with their needs, attachments, goals, commitments, plans, ends, desires, etc. Thinking involves the symbolic or semiotic mediation of ideas or data, as when we form concepts, engage in problem solving, reasoning, and making decisions. Words that refer to similar concepts and processes include deliberation, cognition, ideation, discourse and imagination.

Thinking is sometimes described as a “higher” cognitive function and the analysis of thinking processes is a part of cognitive psychology. It is also deeply connected with our capacity to make and use tools; to understand cause and effect; to recognize patterns of significance; to comprehend and disclose unique contexts of experience or activity; and to respond to the world in a meaningful way.

Memory is the ability to preserve, retain, and subsequently recall, knowledge, information or experience. Although memory has traditionally been a persistent theme in philosophy, the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries also saw the study of memory emerge as a subject of inquiry within the paradigms of cognitive psychology. In recent decades, it has become one of the pillars of a new branch of science called cognitive neuroscience, a marriage between cognitive psychology and neuroscience.

Imagination is the activity of generating or evoking novel situations, images, ideas or other qualia in the mind. It is a characteristically subjective activity, rather than a direct or passive experience. The term is technically used in psychology for the process of reviving in the mind percepts of objects formerly given in sense perception. Since this use of the term conflicts with that of ordinary language, some psychologists have preferred to describe this process as “imaging” or “imagery” or to speak of it as “reproductive” as opposed to “productive” or “constructive” imagination. Things imagined are said to be seen in the “mind’s eye”. Among the many practical functions of imagination are the ability to project possible futures (or histories), to “see” things from another’s perspective, and to change the way something is perceived, including to make decisions to respond to, or enact, what is imagined.

Consciousness in mammals (this includes humans) is an aspect of the mind generally thought to comprise qualities such as subjectivity, sentience, and the ability to perceive the relationship between oneself and one’s environment. It is a subject of much research in philosophy of mind, psychology, neuroscience, and cognitive science. Some philosophers divide consciousness into phenomenal consciousness, which is subjective experience itself, and access consciousness, which refers to the global availability of information to processing systems in the brain.[14] Phenomenal consciousness has many different experienced qualities, often referred to as qualia. Phenomenal consciousness is usually consciousness of something or about something, a property known as intentionality in philosophy of mind.

Mental contents are those items that are thought of as being “in” the mind, and capable of being formed and manipulated by mental processes and faculties. Examples include thoughts, concepts, memories, emotions, percepts and intentions. Philosophical theories of mental content include internalism, externalism, representationalism and intentionality.[15]

Memetics is a theory of mental content based on an analogy with Darwinian evolution, which was originated by Richard Dawkins and Douglas Hofstadter in the 1980s. It is an evolutionary model of cultural information transfer. A meme, analogous to a gene, is an idea, belief, pattern of behaviour (etc.) “hosted” in one or more individual minds, and can reproduce itself from mind to mind. Thus what would otherwise be regarded as one individual influencing another to adopt a belief, is seen memetically as a meme reproducing itself.

In animals, the brain, or encephalon (Greek for “in the head”), is the control center of the central nervous system, responsible for thought. In most animals, the brain is located in the head, protected by the skull and close to the primary sensory apparatus of vision, hearing, equilibrioception, taste and olfaction. While all vertebrates have a brain, most invertebrates have either a centralized brain or collections of individual ganglia. Primitive animals such as sponges do not have a brain at all. Brains can be extremely complex. For example, the human brain contains around 86 billion neurons, each linked to as many as 10,000 others.[16][17]

Understanding the relationship between the brain and the mind mindbody problem is one of the central issues in the history of philosophy is a challenging problem both philosophically and scientifically.[18] There are three major philosophical schools of thought concerning the answer: dualism, materialism, and idealism. Dualism holds that the mind exists independently of the brain;[19] materialism holds that mental phenomena are identical to neuronal phenomena;[20] and idealism holds that only mental phenomena exist.[20]

Through most of history many philosophers found it inconceivable that cognition could be implemented by a physical substance such as brain tissue (that is neurons and synapses).[21] Descartes, who thought extensively about mind-brain relationships, found it possible to explain reflexes and other simple behaviors in mechanistic terms, although he did not believe that complex thought, and language in particular, could be explained by reference to the physical brain alone.[22]

The most straightforward scientific evidence of a strong relationship between the physical brain matter and the mind is the impact physical alterations to the brain have on the mind, such as with traumatic brain injury and psychoactive drug use.[23] Philosopher Patricia Churchland notes that this drug-mind interaction indicates an intimate connection between the brain and the mind.[24]

In addition to the philosophical questions, the relationship between mind and brain involves a number of scientific questions, including understanding the relationship between mental activity and brain activity, the exact mechanisms by which drugs influence cognition, and the neural correlates of consciousness.

Theoretical approaches to explain how mind emerges from the brain include connectionism, computationalism and Bayesian brain.

The evolution of human intelligence refers to several theories that aim to describe how human intelligence has evolved in relation to the evolution of the human brain and the origin of language.[25]

The timeline of human evolution spans some 7 million years, from the separation of the Pan genus until the emergence of behavioral modernity by 50,000 years ago. Of this timeline, the first 3 million years concern Sahelanthropus, the following 2 million concern Australopithecus, while the final 2 million span the history of actual Homo species (the Paleolithic).

Many traits of human intelligence, such as empathy, theory of mind, mourning, ritual, and the use of symbols and tools, are already apparent in great apes although in lesser sophistication than in humans.

There is a debate between supporters of the idea of a sudden emergence of intelligence, or “Great leap forward” and those of a gradual or continuum hypothesis.

Theories of the evolution of intelligence include:

Philosophy of mind is the branch of philosophy that studies the nature of the mind, mental events, mental functions, mental properties, consciousness and their relationship to the physical body. The mindbody problem, i.e. the relationship of the mind to the body, is commonly seen as the central issue in philosophy of mind, although there are other issues concerning the nature of the mind that do not involve its relation to the physical body.[30] Jos Manuel Rodriguez Delgado writes, “In present popular usage, soul and mind are not clearly differentiated and some people, more or less consciously, still feel that the soul, and perhaps the mind, may enter or leave the body as independent entities.”[31]

Dualism and monism are the two major schools of thought that attempt to resolve the mindbody problem. Dualism is the position that mind and body are in some way separate from each other. It can be traced back to Plato,[32] Aristotle[33][34][35] and the Nyaya, Samkhya and Yoga schools of Hindu philosophy,[36] but it was most precisely formulated by Ren Descartes in the 17th century.[37] Substance dualists argue that the mind is an independently existing substance, whereas Property dualists maintain that the mind is a group of independent properties that emerge from and cannot be reduced to the brain, but that it is not a distinct substance.[38]

The 20th century philosopher Martin Heidegger suggested that subjective experience and activity (i.e. the “mind”) cannot be made sense of in terms of Cartesian “substances” that bear “properties” at all (whether the mind itself is thought of as a distinct, separate kind of substance or not). This is because the nature of subjective, qualitative experience is incoherent in terms of or semantically incommensurable with the concept of substances that bear properties. This is a fundamentally ontological argument.[39]

The philosopher of cognitive science Daniel Dennett, for example, argues there is no such thing as a narrative center called the “mind”, but that instead there is simply a collection of sensory inputs and outputs: different kinds of “software” running in parallel.[40] Psychologist B.F. Skinner argued that the mind is an explanatory fiction that diverts attention from environmental causes of behavior;[41] he considered the mind a “black box” and thought that mental processes may be better conceived of as forms of covert verbal behavior.[42][43]

David Chalmers, Ph.D, has commented that the third person approach to uncovering mind and consciousness is not effective, such as looking into other’s brains or observing human conduct, but that a first person approach is necessary. Such a first person innovative exploration has revealed the mind is actually separate from the brain. It has been speculated that at birth the mind is possessed of Numerical Knowledge as a reflection of the concept that mathematics appears to explain the structure and functioning of the Universe.[44]

The mind has also been described as manifesting from moment to moment, one thought moment at a time as a fast flowing stream, where sense impressions and mental phenomena are constantly changing.[8][7]

Monism is the position that mind and body are not physiologically and ontologically distinct kinds of entities. This view was first advocated in Western Philosophy by Parmenides in the 5th Century BC and was later espoused by the 17th Century rationalist Baruch Spinoza.[45] According to Spinoza’s dual-aspect theory, mind and body are two aspects of an underlying reality which he variously described as “Nature” or “God”.

The most common monisms in the 20th and 21st centuries have all been variations of physicalism; these positions include behaviorism, the type identity theory, anomalous monism and functionalism.[46]

Many modern philosophers of mind adopt either a reductive or non-reductive physicalist position, maintaining in their different ways that the mind is not something separate from the body.[46] These approaches have been particularly influential in the sciences, e.g. in the fields of sociobiology, computer science, evolutionary psychology and the various neurosciences.[47][48][49][50] Other philosophers, however, adopt a non-physicalist position which challenges the notion that the mind is a purely physical construct.

Continued progress in neuroscience has helped to clarify many of these issues, and its findings strongly support physicalists’ assertions.[56][57] Nevertheless, our knowledge is incomplete, and modern philosophers of mind continue to discuss how subjective qualia and the intentional mental states can be naturally explained.[58][59]

Neuroscience studies the nervous system, the physical basis of the mind. At the systems level, neuroscientists investigate how biological neural networks form and physiologically interact to produce mental functions and content such as reflexes, multisensory integration, motor coordination, circadian rhythms, emotional responses, learning, and memory. At a larger scale, efforts in computational neuroscience have developed large-scale models that simulate simple, functioning brains.[60] As of 2012, such models include the thalamus, basal ganglia, prefrontal cortex, motor cortex, and occipital cortex, and consequentially simulated brains can learn, respond to visual stimuli, coordinate motor responses, form short-term memories, and learn to respond to patterns. Currently, researchers aim to program the hippocampus and limbic system, hypothetically imbuing the simulated mind with long-term memory and crude emotions.[61]

By contrast, affective neuroscience studies the neural mechanisms of personality, emotion, and mood primarily through experimental tasks.

Cognitive science examines the mental functions that give rise to information processing, termed cognition. These include perception, attention, working memory, long-term memory, producing and understanding language, learning, reasoning, problem solving, and decision making. Cognitive science seeks to understand thinking “in terms of representational structures in the mind and computational procedures that operate on those structures”.[62]

Psychology is the scientific study of human behavior, mental functioning, and experience. As both an academic and applied discipline, Psychology involves the scientific study of mental processes such as perception, cognition, emotion, personality, as well as environmental influences, such as social and cultural influences, and interpersonal relationships, in order to devise theories of human behavior. Psychological patterns can be understood as low cost ways of information processing.[63] Psychology also refers to the application of such knowledge to various spheres of human activity, including problems of individuals’ daily lives and the treatment of mental health problems.

Psychology differs from the other social sciences (e.g. anthropology, economics, political science, and sociology) due to its focus on experimentation at the scale of the individual, or individuals in small groups as opposed to large groups, institutions or societies. Historically, psychology differed from biology and neuroscience in that it was primarily concerned with mind rather than brain. Modern psychological science incorporates physiological and neurological processes into its conceptions of perception, cognition, behaviour, and mental disorders.

By analogy with the health of the body, one can speak metaphorically of a state of health of the mind, or mental health. Merriam-Webster defines mental health as “A state of emotional and psychological well-being in which an individual is able to use his or her cognitive and emotional capabilities, function in society, and meet the ordinary demands of everyday life.” According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there is no one “official” definition of mental health. Cultural differences, subjective assessments, and competing professional theories all affect how “mental health” is defined. In general, most experts agree that “mental health” and “mental disorder” are not opposites. In other words, the absence of a recognized mental disorder is not necessarily an indicator of mental health.

One way to think about mental health is by looking at how effectively and successfully a person functions. Feeling capable and competent; being able to handle normal levels of stress, maintaining satisfying relationships, and leading an independent life; and being able to “bounce back,” or recover from difficult situations, are all signs of mental health.

Psychotherapy is an interpersonal, relational intervention used by trained psychotherapists to aid clients in problems of living. This usually includes increasing individual sense of well-being and reducing subjective discomforting experience. Psychotherapists employ a range of techniques based on experiential relationship building, dialogue, communication and behavior change and that are designed to improve the mental health of a client or patient, or to improve group relationships (such as in a family). Most forms of psychotherapy use only spoken conversation, though some also use various other forms of communication such as the written word, art, drama, narrative story, or therapeutic touch. Psychotherapy occurs within a structured encounter between a trained therapist and client(s). Purposeful, theoretically based psychotherapy began in the 19th century with psychoanalysis; since then, scores of other approaches have been developed and continue to be created.

Animal cognition, or cognitive ethology, is the title given to a modern approach to the mental capacities of animals. It has developed out of comparative psychology, but has also been strongly influenced by the approach of ethology, behavioral ecology, and evolutionary psychology. Much of what used to be considered under the title of “animal intelligence” is now thought of under this heading. Animal language acquisition, attempting to discern or understand the degree to which animal cognition can be revealed by linguistics-related study, has been controversial among cognitive linguists.

In 1950 Alan M. Turing published “Computing machinery and intelligence” in Mind, in which he proposed that machines could be tested for intelligence using questions and answers. This process is now named the Turing Test. The term Artificial Intelligence (AI) was first used by John McCarthy who considered it to mean “the science and engineering of making intelligent machines”.[65] It can also refer to intelligence as exhibited by an artificial (man-made, non-natural, manufactured) entity. AI is studied in overlapping fields of computer science, psychology, neuroscience and engineering, dealing with intelligent behavior, learning and adaptation and usually developed using customized machines or computers.

Research in AI is concerned with producing machines to automate tasks requiring intelligent behavior. Examples include control, planning and scheduling, the ability to answer diagnostic and consumer questions, handwriting, natural language, speech and facial recognition. As such, the study of AI has also become an engineering discipline, focused on providing solutions to real life problems, knowledge mining, software applications, strategy games like computer chess and other video games. One of the biggest limitations of AI is in the domain of actual machine comprehension. Consequentially natural language understanding and connectionism (where behavior of neural networks is investigated) are areas of active research and development.

The debate about the nature of the mind is relevant to the development of artificial intelligence. If the mind is indeed a thing separate from or higher than the functioning of the brain, then hypothetically it would be much more difficult to recreate within a machine, if it were possible at all. If, on the other hand, the mind is no more than the aggregated functions of the brain, then it will be possible to create a machine with a recognisable mind (though possibly only with computers much different from today’s), by simple virtue of the fact that such a machine already exists in the form of the human brain.

Many religions associate spiritual qualities to the human mind. These are often tightly connected to their mythology and ideas of afterlife.

The Indian philosopher-sage Sri Aurobindo attempted to unite the Eastern and Western psychological traditions with his integral psychology, as have many philosophers and New religious movements. Judaism teaches that “moach shalit al halev”, the mind rules the heart. Humans can approach the Divine intellectually, through learning and behaving according to the Divine Will as enclothed in the Torah, and use that deep logical understanding to elicit and guide emotional arousal during prayer. Christianity has tended to see the mind as distinct from the soul (Greek nous) and sometimes further distinguished from the spirit. Western esoteric traditions sometimes refer to a mental body that exists on a plane other than the physical. Hinduism’s various philosophical schools have debated whether the human soul (Sanskrit atman) is distinct from, or identical to, Brahman, the divine reality. Taoism sees the human being as contiguous with natural forces, and the mind as not separate from the body. Confucianism sees the mind, like the body, as inherently perfectible.

Buddhist teachings explain the moment-to-moment manifestation of the mind-stream.[7][8] The components that make up the mind are known as the five aggregates (i.e., material form, feelings, perception, volition, and sensory consciousness), which arise and pass away continuously. The arising and passing of these aggregates in the present moment is described as being influenced by five causal laws: biological laws, psychological laws, physical laws, volitional laws, and universal laws.[8][7] The Buddhist practice of mindfulness involves attending to this constantly changing mind-stream.

According to Buddhist philosopher Dharmakirti, the mind has two fundamental qualities: “clarity and cognizes”. If something is not those two qualities, it cannot validly be called mind. “Clarity” refers to the fact that mind has no color, shape, size, location, weight, or any other physical characteristic, and “cognizes” that it functions to know or perceive objects.[66] “Knowing” refers to the fact that mind is aware of the contents of experience, and that, in order to exist, mind must be cognizing an object. You cannot have a mind whose function is to cognize an object existing without cognizing an object.

Mind, in Buddhism, is also described as being “space-like” and “illusion-like”. Mind is space-like in the sense that it is not physically obstructive. It has no qualities which would prevent it from existing. In Mahayana Buddhism, mind is illusion-like in the sense that it is empty of inherent existence. This does not mean it does not exist, it means that it exists in a manner that is counter to our ordinary way of misperceiving how phenomena exist, according to Buddhism. When the mind is itself cognized properly, without misperceiving its mode of existence, it appears to exist like an illusion. There is a big difference however between being “space and illusion” and being “space-like” and “illusion-like”. Mind is not composed of space, it just shares some descriptive similarities to space. Mind is not an illusion, it just shares some descriptive qualities with illusions.

Buddhism posits that there is no inherent, unchanging identity (Inherent I, Inherent Me) or phenomena (Ultimate self, inherent self, Atman, Soul, Self-essence, Jiva, Ishvara, humanness essence, etc.) which is the experiencer of our experiences and the agent of our actions. In other words, human beings consist of merely a body and a mind, and nothing extra. Within the body there is no part or set of parts which is by itself or themselves the person. Similarly, within the mind there is no part or set of parts which are themselves “the person”. A human being merely consists of five aggregates, or skandhas and nothing else.

In the same way, “mind” is what can be validly conceptually labelled onto our mere experience of clarity and knowing. There is something separate and apart from clarity and knowing which is “Awareness”, in Buddhism. “Mind” is that part of experience the sixth sense door, which can be validly referred to as mind by the concept-term “mind”. There is also not “objects out there, mind in here, and experience somewhere in-between”. There is a third thing called “awareness” which exists being aware of the contents of mind and what mind cognizes. There are five senses (arising of mere experience: shapes, colors, the components of smell, components of taste, components of sound, components of touch) and mind as the sixth institution; this means, expressly, that there can be a third thing called “awareness” and a third thing called “experiencer who is aware of the experience”. This awareness is deeply related to “no-self” because it does not judge the experience with craving or aversion.

Clearly, the experience arises and is known by mind, but there is a third thing calls Sati what is the “real experiencer of the experience” that sits apart from the experience and which can be aware of the experience in 4 levels. (Maha Sathipatthana Sutta.)

To be aware of these four levels one needs to cultivate equanimity toward Craving and Aversion. This is Called Vipassana which is different from the way of reacting with Craving and Aversion. This is the state of being aware and equanimous to the complete experience of here and now. This is the way of Buddhism, with regards to mind and the ultimate nature of minds (and persons).

Due to the mindbody problem, a lot of interest and debate surrounds the question of what happens to one’s conscious mind as one’s body dies. During brain death all brain function permanently ceases, according to the current neuroscientific view which sees these processes as the physical basis of mental phenomena, the mind fails to survive brain death and ceases to exist. This permanent loss of consciousness after death is often called “eternal oblivion”. The belief that some spiritual or incorporeal component (soul) exists and that it is preserved after death is described by the term “afterlife”.

Parapsychology is the scientific study of certain types of paranormal phenomena, or of phenomena which appear to be paranormal,[67] for instance precognition, telekinesis and telepathy.

The term is based on the Greek para (beside/beyond), psyche (soul/mind), and logos (account/explanation) and was coined by psychologist Max Dessoir in or before 1889.[68] J. B. Rhine later popularized “parapsychology” as a replacement for the earlier term “psychical research”, during a shift in methodologies which brought experimental methods to the study of psychic phenomena.[68] Parapsychology is controversial, with many scientists believing that psychic abilities have not been demonstrated to exist.[69][70][71][72][73] The status of parapsychology as a science has also been disputed,[74] with many scientists regarding the discipline as pseudoscience.[75][76][77]

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Mind – Wikipedia

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 1950s.

An early story featuring something like mind uploading is the novella Izzard and the Membrane by Walter M. Miller, Jr., first published in May 1951.[1] 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[2]), and Izzard defines it by saying “A self-awareness transor is the mathematical function which describes the specific consciousness pattern of one human individual.”[3] 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.”[4] 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'[5]), an early example of a story in which a person can create periodic backups of their own mind. 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”,[6] 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.”[7] During restoration, they take the dupe and “infuse it into an empty brain”,[7] 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.[8]

An early example featuring uploaded minds in robotic bodies can be found in Frederik Pohl’s story “The Tunnel Under the World” from 1955.[9] 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.[10][11][12][13]

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 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 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 and reconnected to this dreamworld.

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

Mind uploading | Transhumanism Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia

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 – Wikipedia

Whole brain emulation (WBE), mind upload or brain upload (sometimes called “mind copying” or “mind transfer”) is the hypothetical futuristic process of scanning 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 responds in essentially the same way as the original brain (i.e., indistinguishable from the brain for all relevant purposes) and experiences having a conscious mind.[1][2][3]

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 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 that is inside (or connected to) a (not necessarily humanoid) robot or a biological body in real life.[4]

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”, and a means for functional copies of human minds to survive a global disaster or interstellar space travels. Whole brain emulation is discussed by some futurists as a “logical endpoint”[4] 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.[5] Mind uploading is a central conceptual feature of numerous science fiction novels and films.

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.[6] 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.

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 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,[10] and Rodolfo Llinas.[11]

Such an artificial intelligence capability might provide a computational substrate necessary for uploading.

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.[4][citation needed] Using these models, some have estimated that uploading may become possible within decades if trends such as Moore’s law continue.[12]

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.[13]

An uploaded astronaut would be the application of mind uploading to human spaceflight. This would eliminate the harms caused by a zero gravity environment, 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.[14][15]

In terms of contemporary analogues to serve as near-term candidate for the design of such a mission protocol, NASA-trained commercial astronaut Christopher Altman is unique among spacefarers, having specialized in artificial intelligence and brain simulation in work recognized as World’s Most Complex Artificial Brain in the Guinness Book of World Records, later moving into information security and quantum information technology before selection for spaceflight training, then serving as director for the Tau Zero Interstellar Foundation, successor to the NASA Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Program. NASA awarded Tau Zero a grant to study such alternatives in 2017 program Interstellar Propulsion Review.[16][17][18][19][20][21]

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.[22] 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.[24]

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.[25]

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.[26]

Required computational capacity strongly depend on the chosen level of simulation model scale:[4]

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.[4]

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.[27]

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.[4]

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.[4][not in citation given] 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.[28] 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.[29] 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.[29] 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.[31]

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.[32] This is not to deny that minds are richly adapted to their substrates.[33] 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:[34] 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.[35] 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 somewhere else. At best, a copy of the original mind is created.[35] 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,[36] 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.[37][38]

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).[39][40] 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?[41] 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.[42] Numerous scientists, including Kurzweil, strongly believe that determining 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).[43][44][45]

In light of uncertainty on whether to regard uploads as conscious, Sandberg proposes a cautious approach:[46]

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 recognize it as their own mind.[47] 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.[46] 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.[46]

In addition, the resulting animal emulations themselves might suffer, depending on one’s views about consciousness.[46] 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:[48] 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.[46] 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.[48]

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.[49]

Many questions arise regarding the legal personhood of emulations.[50] Would they be given the rights of biological humans? If a person makes an emulated copy of himself and then dies, does the emulation inherit his 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?[50]

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.[49] 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.[49]

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.[49]

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.[55]

Emulations might be easier to control than de novo AI because

As counterpoint to these considerations, Bostrom notes some downsides:

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.[56][57] Mind uploading is also advocated by a number of researchers in neuroscience and artificial intelligence, such as Marvin Minsky[citation needed] while he was still alive. 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.[4]

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 to 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 is a formidable task, but it is far from being sufficient. Operation of 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 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.[58]

Follow this link:

Mind uploading – Wikipedia

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 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 responds in essentially the same way as the original brain (i.e., indistinguishable from the brain for all relevant purposes) and experiences having a conscious mind.[1][2][3]

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 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 that is inside (or connected to) a (not necessarily humanoid) robot or a biological body in real life.[4]

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”, and a means for functional copies of human minds to survive a global disaster or interstellar space travels. Whole brain emulation is discussed by some futurists as a “logical endpoint”[4] 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.[5] Mind uploading is a central conceptual feature of numerous science fiction novels and films.

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.[6] 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.

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 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,[10] and Rodolfo Llinas.[11]

Such an artificial intelligence capability might provide a computational substrate necessary for uploading.

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.[4][citation needed] Using these models, some have estimated that uploading may become possible within decades if trends such as Moore’s law continue.[12]

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.[13]

An uploaded astronaut would be the application of mind uploading to human spaceflight. This would eliminate the harms caused by a zero gravity environment, 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.[14][15]

In terms of contemporary analogues to serve as near-term candidate for the design of such a mission protocol, NASA-trained commercial astronaut Christopher Altman is unique among spacefarershaving specialized in artificial intelligence and brain simulation, work recognized as World’s Most Complex Artificial Brain in the Guinness Book of World Recordslater moving into information security and quantum information technology before selection for spaceflight training, then serving as director for the Tau Zero Interstellar Foundation, successor to the NASA Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Program. In April 2017, NASA awarded Tau Zero a $500,000 grant for the study of such programs in a proposal entitled Interstellar Propulsion Review.[16][17][18][19][20][21]

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.[22] 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.[24]

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.[25]

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.[26]

Required computational capacity strongly depend on the chosen level of simulation model scale:[4]

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.[4]

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.[27]

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.[4]

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.[4][not in citation given] 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.[28] 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.[29] 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.[29] 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.[31]

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.[32] This is not to deny that minds are richly adapted to their substrates.[33] 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:[34] 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.[35] 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 somewhere else. At best, a copy of the original mind is created.[35] 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,[36] 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.[37][38]

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).[39][40] 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?[41] 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.[42] Numerous scientists, including Kurzweil, strongly believe that determining 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).[43][44][45]

In light of uncertainty on whether to regard uploads as conscious, Sandberg proposes a cautious approach:[46]

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 recognize it as their own mind.[47] 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.[46] 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.[46]

In addition, the resulting animal emulations themselves might suffer, depending on one’s views about consciousness.[46] 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:[48] 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.[46] 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.[48]

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.[49]

Many questions arise regarding the legal personhood of emulations.[50] Would they be given the rights of biological humans? If a person makes an emulated copy of himself and then dies, does the emulation inherit his 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?[50]

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.[49] 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.[49]

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.[49]

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.[55]

Emulations might be easier to control than de novo AI because

As counterpoint to these considerations, Bostrom notes some downsides:

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.[56][57] Mind uploading is also advocated by a number of researchers in neuroscience and artificial intelligence, such as Marvin Minsky[citation needed] while he was still alive. 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.[4]

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 to 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 is a formidable task, but it is far from being sufficient. Operation of 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 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.[58]

See the rest here:

Mind uploading – Wikipedia

Mind map – Wikipedia

This article is about the visual diagram. For the geographical concept, see Mental mapping.

A mind map is a diagram used to visually organize information. A mind map is hierarchical and shows relationships among pieces of the whole.[1] It is often created around a single concept, drawn as an image in the center of a blank page, to which associated representations of ideas such as images, words and parts of words are added. Major ideas are connected directly to the central concept, and other ideas branch out from those.

Mind maps can be drawn by hand, either as “rough notes” during a lecture, meeting or planning session, for example, or as higher quality pictures when more time is available. Mind maps are considered to be a type of spider diagram.[2] A similar concept in the 1970s was “idea sun bursting”.[3]

Although the term “mind map” was first popularized by British popular psychology author and television personality Tony Buzan, the use of diagrams that visually “map” information using branching and radial maps traces back centuries. These pictorial methods record knowledge and model systems, and have a long history in learning, brainstorming, memory, visual thinking, and problem solving by educators, engineers, psychologists, and others. Some of the earliest examples of such graphical records were developed by Porphyry of Tyros, a noted thinker of the 3rd century, as he graphically visualized the concept categories of Aristotle. Philosopher Ramon Llull (12351315) also used such techniques.

The semantic network was developed in the late 1950s as a theory to understand human learning and developed further by Allan M. Collins and M. Ross Quillian during the early 1960s. Mind maps are similar in radial structure to concept maps, developed by learning experts in the 1970s, but differ in that the former are simplified by focusing around a single central key concept.

Buzan’s specific approach, and the introduction of the term “mind map” arose during a 1974 BBC TV series he hosted, called Use Your Head.[4][5] In this show, and companion book series, Buzan promoted his conception of radial tree, diagramming key words in a colorful, radiant, tree-like structure.[6]

Buzan says the idea was inspired by Alfred Korzybski’s general semantics as popularized in science fiction novels, such as those of Robert A. Heinlein and A. E. van Vogt. He argues that while “traditional” outlines force readers to scan left to right and top to bottom, readers actually tend to scan the entire page in a non-linear fashion. Buzan’s treatment also uses then-popular assumptions about the functions of cerebral hemispheres in order to explain the claimed increased effectiveness of mind mapping over other forms of note making.

Buzan suggests the following guidelines for creating mind maps:

As with other diagramming tools, mind maps can be used to generate, visualize, structure, and classify ideas, and as an aid to studying[7] and organizing information, solving problems, making decisions, and writing.

Mind maps have many applications in personal, family, educational, and business situations, including notetaking, brainstorming (wherein ideas are inserted into the map radially around the center node, without the implicit prioritization that comes from hierarchy or sequential arrangements, and wherein grouping and organizing is reserved for later stages), summarizing, as a mnemonic technique, or to sort out a complicated idea. Mind maps are also promoted as a way to collaborate in color pen creativity sessions.

In addition to these direct use cases, data retrieved from mind maps can be used to enhance several other applications; for instance expert search systems, search engines and search and tag query recommender.[8] To do so, mind maps can be analysed with classic methods of information retrieval to classify a mind map’s author or documents that are linked from within the mind map.[8]

Cunningham (2005) conducted a user study in which 80% of the students thought “mindmapping helped them understand concepts and ideas in science”.[9] Other studies also report some subjective positive effects on the use of mind maps.[10][11] Positive opinions on their effectiveness, however, were much more prominent among students of art and design than in students of computer and information technology, with 62.5% vs 34% (respectively) agreeing that they were able to understand concepts better with mind mapping software[10]. Farrand, Hussain, and Hennessy (2002) found that spider diagrams (similar to concept maps) had limited, but significant, impact on memory recall in undergraduate students (a 10% increase over baseline for a 600-word text only) as compared to preferred study methods (a 6% increase over baseline).[12] This improvement was only robust after a week for those in the diagram group and there was a significant decrease in motivation compared to the subjects’ preferred methods of note taking. A meta study about concept mapping concluded that concept mapping is more effective than “reading text passages, attending lectures, and participating in class discussions”.[13] The same study also concluded that concept mapping is slightly more effective “than other constructive activities such as writing summaries and outlines”. However, results were inconsistent, with the authors noting “significant heterogeneity was found in most subsets”. In addition, they concluded that low-ability students may benefit more from mind mapping than high-ability students.

Beel & Langer (2011) conducted a comprehensive analysis of the content of mind maps.[14] They analysed 19,379 mind maps from 11,179 users of the mind mapping applications SciPlore MindMapping (now Docear) and MindMeister. Results include that average users create only a few mind maps (mean=2.7), average mind maps are rather small (31 nodes) with each node containing about 3 words (median). However, there were exceptions. One user created more than 200 mind maps, the largest mind map consisted of more than 50,000 nodes and the largest node contained ~7500 words. The study also showed that between different mind mapping applications (Docear vs MindMeister) significant differences exist related to how users create mind maps.

There have been some attempts to create mind maps automatically. Brucks & Schommer created mind maps automatically from full-text streams.[15] Rothenberger et al. extracted the main story of a text and presented it as mind map.[16] And there is a patent about automatically creating sub-topics in mind maps.[17]

Mind-mapping software can be used to organize large amounts of information, combining spatial organization, dynamic hierarchical structuring and node folding. Software packages can extend the concept of mind-mapping by allowing individuals to map more than thoughts and ideas with information on their computers and the Internet, like spreadsheets, documents, Internet sites and images.[18] It has been suggested that mind-mapping can improve learning/study efficiency up to 15% over conventional note-taking.[12]

Continue reading here:

Mind map – Wikipedia

Mind Uploading

Welcome

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.

Excerpt from:

Mind Uploading

Mind map – Wikipedia

This article is about the visual diagram. For the geographical concept, see Mental mapping.

A mind map is a diagram used to visually organize information. A mind map is hierarchical and shows relationships among pieces of the whole.[1] It is often created around a single concept, drawn as an image in the center of a blank page, to which associated representations of ideas such as images, words and parts of words are added. Major ideas are connected directly to the central concept, and other ideas branch out from those.

Mind maps can be drawn by hand, either as “rough notes” during a lecture, meeting or planning session, for example, or as higher quality pictures when more time is available. Mind maps are considered to be a type of spider diagram.[2] A similar concept in the 1970s was “idea sun bursting”.[3]

Although the term “mind map” was first popularized by British popular psychology author and television personality Tony Buzan, the use of diagrams that visually “map” information using branching and radial maps traces back centuries. These pictorial methods record knowledge and model systems, and have a long history in learning, brainstorming, memory, visual thinking, and problem solving by educators, engineers, psychologists, and others. Some of the earliest examples of such graphical records were developed by Porphyry of Tyros, a noted thinker of the 3rd century, as he graphically visualized the concept categories of Aristotle. Philosopher Ramon Llull (12351315) also used such techniques.

The semantic network was developed in the late 1950s as a theory to understand human learning and developed further by Allan M. Collins and M. Ross Quillian during the early 1960s. Mind maps are similar in radial structure to concept maps, developed by learning experts in the 1970s, but differ in that the former are simplified by focusing around a single central key concept.

Buzan’s specific approach, and the introduction of the term “mind map” arose during a 1974 BBC TV series he hosted, called Use Your Head.[4][5] In this show, and companion book series, Buzan promoted his conception of radial tree, diagramming key words in a colorful, radiant, tree-like structure.[6]

Buzan says the idea was inspired by Alfred Korzybski’s general semantics as popularized in science fiction novels, such as those of Robert A. Heinlein and A. E. van Vogt. He argues that while “traditional” outlines force readers to scan left to right and top to bottom, readers actually tend to scan the entire page in a non-linear fashion. Buzan’s treatment also uses then-popular assumptions about the functions of cerebral hemispheres in order to explain the claimed increased effectiveness of mind mapping over other forms of note making.

Buzan suggests the following guidelines for creating mind maps:

As with other diagramming tools, mind maps can be used to generate, visualize, structure, and classify ideas, and as an aid to studying[7] and organizing information, solving problems, making decisions, and writing.

Mind maps have many applications in personal, family, educational, and business situations, including notetaking, brainstorming (wherein ideas are inserted into the map radially around the center node, without the implicit prioritization that comes from hierarchy or sequential arrangements, and wherein grouping and organizing is reserved for later stages), summarizing, as a mnemonic technique, or to sort out a complicated idea. Mind maps are also promoted as a way to collaborate in color pen creativity sessions.

In addition to these direct use cases, data retrieved from mind maps can be used to enhance several other applications; for instance expert search systems, search engines and search and tag query recommender.[8] To do so, mind maps can be analysed with classic methods of information retrieval to classify a mind map’s author or documents that are linked from within the mind map.[8]

Cunningham (2005) conducted a user study in which 80% of the students thought “mindmapping helped them understand concepts and ideas in science”.[9] Other studies also report some subjective positive effects on the use of mind maps.[10][11] Positive opinions on their effectiveness, however, were much more prominent among students of art and design than in students of computer and information technology, with 62.5% vs 34% (respectively) agreeing that they were able to understand concepts better with mind mapping software[10]. Farrand, Hussain, and Hennessy (2002) found that spider diagrams (similar to concept maps) had limited, but significant, impact on memory recall in undergraduate students (a 10% increase over baseline for a 600-word text only) as compared to preferred study methods (a 6% increase over baseline).[12] This improvement was only robust after a week for those in the diagram group and there was a significant decrease in motivation compared to the subjects’ preferred methods of note taking. A meta study about concept mapping concluded that concept mapping is more effective than “reading text passages, attending lectures, and participating in class discussions”.[13] The same study also concluded that concept mapping is slightly more effective “than other constructive activities such as writing summaries and outlines”. However, results were inconsistent, with the authors noting “significant heterogeneity was found in most subsets”. In addition, they concluded that low-ability students may benefit more from mind mapping than high-ability students.

Beel & Langer (2011) conducted a comprehensive analysis of the content of mind maps.[14] They analysed 19,379 mind maps from 11,179 users of the mind mapping applications SciPlore MindMapping (now Docear) and MindMeister. Results include that average users create only a few mind maps (mean=2.7), average mind maps are rather small (31 nodes) with each node containing about 3 words (median). However, there were exceptions. One user created more than 200 mind maps, the largest mind map consisted of more than 50,000 nodes and the largest node contained ~7500 words. The study also showed that between different mind mapping applications (Docear vs MindMeister) significant differences exist related to how users create mind maps.

There have been some attempts to create mind maps automatically. Brucks & Schommer created mind maps automatically from full-text streams.[15] Rothenberger et al. extracted the main story of a text and presented it as mind map.[16] And there is a patent about automatically creating sub-topics in mind maps.[17]

Mind-mapping software can be used to organize large amounts of information, combining spatial organization, dynamic hierarchical structuring and node folding. Software packages can extend the concept of mind-mapping by allowing individuals to map more than thoughts and ideas with information on their computers and the Internet, like spreadsheets, documents, Internet sites and images.[18] It has been suggested that mind-mapping can improve learning/study efficiency up to 15% over conventional note-taking.[12]

Link:

Mind map – Wikipedia

Mind uploading | Transhumanism Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia

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 – Wikipedia

Whole brain emulation (WBE), mind upload or brain upload (sometimes called “mind copying” or “mind transfer”) is the hypothetical futuristic process of scanning 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 responds in essentially the same way as the original brain (i.e., indistinguishable from the brain for all relevant purposes) and experiences having a conscious mind.[1][2][3]

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 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 that is inside (or connected to) a (not necessarily humanoid) robot or a biological body in real life.[4]

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”, and a means for functional copies of human minds to survive a global disaster or interstellar space travels. Whole brain emulation is discussed by some futurists as a “logical endpoint”[4] 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.[5] Mind uploading is a central conceptual feature of numerous science fiction novels and films.

Substantial mainstream research in related areas is being conducted in animal brain mapping and simulation, development of faster super computers, virtual reality, braincomputer interfaces, connectomics and information extraction from dynamically functioning brains.[6] 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.

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 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,[10] and Rodolfo Llinas.[11]

Such an artificial intelligence capability might provide a computational substrate necessary for uploading.

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.[4][citation needed] Using these models, some have estimated that uploading may become possible within decades if trends such as Moore’s law continue.[12]

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.[13]

An “uploaded astronaut” would be the application of mind uploading to human spaceflight. This would eliminate the harms caused by a zero gravity environment, the vacuum of space and cosmic radiation to the human body and would allow smaller spacecraft, like the proposed StarChip.[14][15]

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.[16] 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.[18]

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.[19]

Five years later, after successful simulation of part of a rat brain, the same scientist was much more bold and optimistic. In 2009, when he was director of the Blue Brain Project, he claimed that

A detailed, functional artificial human brain can be built within the next 10 years[20]

Required computational capacity strongly depend on the chosen level of simulation model scale:[4]

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.[4]

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.[21]

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.[4]

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.[4][not in citation given] 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.[22] 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.[23] 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.[23] 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 also 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.[25]

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.[26] This is not to deny that minds are richly adapted to their substrates.[27] 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:[28]

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.[29] 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 somewhere else. At best, a copy of the original mind is created.[29] 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,[30] 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.[31][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 determining 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 recognize it as their own mind.[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 himself and then dies, does the emulation inherit his 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:

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.[50][51][52] Mind uploading is also advocated by a number of researchers in neuroscience and artificial intelligence, such as Marvin Minsky[citation needed] while he was still alive. 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.[4]

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 to 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 is a formidable task, but it is far from being sufficient. Operation of 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 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.[53]

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Mind uploading – Wikipedia

Stellar Lumens Applications: Businesses That Accept XLM Currency

What is Stellar Lumens
Stellar is an open source network with the same blockchain technology used by bitcoin. But unlike bitcoin, Stellar’s transactions settle in 2 to 5 seconds allowing users to quickly exchange government-backed currencies. Stellar’s native coins are officially called lumens, or xlm. The best way to answer ‘what is Stellar lumens’ is to compare it with Ripple. Stellar lumens (xlm) is to the layman what Ripple (xrp) is to banks and financial institutions.

The year 2017 saw big names like IBM and Deloitte becoming.

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Ripple Price Forecast: Korbit, IMF & Other Causes of XRP Price Crash

Ripple News Update
At the end of last week, it looked like cryptocurrencies would outrun the storm of government regulations bearing down on them. But that analysis was all wrong—it’s now clear that we were sitting in the eye of the storm.

However, the momentary calm wasn’t so bad. It led to a short-lived rally in Ripple prices, which in turn revived some enthusiasm on Reddit and other discussion boards.

Then a barrage of bad news broke over the weekend. Not only did this snap the optimism, but it reminded us that governments are getting.

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Ripple Price Forecast: Korbit, IMF & Other Causes of XRP Price Crash

Ethereum Price Forecast: Davos Meetings Could Impact ETH Price Future

Ethereum News Update
On Tuesday, Ethereum prices continued to falter as investors rotated funds out toward fiat currency. ETH prices dropped 11.4% against the U.S. dollar, bringing the ETH to USD rate down to $947.05.

It wasn’t pretty. But there’s some hope on the horizon because…it’s Davos time again.

Every year, the global elite gather in a tiny Swiss town (of all places) for the World Economic Forum. The fabulously wealthy rub shoulders with the inordinately powerful. Billionaires are a dime a dozen, and all the while, 10,000 local Swiss try to ignore the whole event.

For all its absurdities, though, Davos is still the place of “high.

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Ethereum Price Forecast: Davos Meetings Could Impact ETH Price Future

Litecoin Price Prediction: Aliant Payments to Support LTC & Other Great News

Daily Litecoin News Update 
Yesterday’s Litecoin news update had some bad news. Although none had anything to do with Litecoin directly, they seemed to affect its price. Today’s update is a 180-degree turn from there. I bring you some good news that would brighten up your day if you’re an LTC “HODLer.” Here goes:

A major merchant processor just confirmed it would be adding support for Litecoin payments..

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Litecoin Price Prediction: Aliant Payments to Support LTC & Other Great News

Litecoin Price Forecast: Bad News Is Scaring Jumpy Investors, But Worry Not

Daily Litecoin News Update
A dark cloud is once again hanging over crypto-land. After two days of recovery following the massive crash, cryptocurrencies are back in the red zone. But this cloud has a silver lining that investors must not miss.

Here are three major negative headlines that have sparked pessimism in the crypto-world in the past couple days.

First, South Korea continued the tradition by leading the charge against cryptocurrencies. To begin with, South Korea’s largest bank will no longer be supporting bank accounts linked with cryptocurrency exchanges.

Secondly, the largest Korean exchange, Korbit, says it will no longer be entertaining.

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Litecoin Price Forecast: Bad News Is Scaring Jumpy Investors, But Worry Not

Ripple Price Forecast: Reddit Comments, Crypto Valuation & XRP Value

Ripple News Update
One of my Ripple news updates stirred up controversy on Reddit yesterday. I want to address some of the comments made before returning to our regularly scheduled programming.

Reddit user “stalker474” started the thread. He seemed surprised at my $10.00 XRP price prediction probably because XRP prices have trended down in recent weeks.

A few other users came to my defense, saying that “To be fair, he held to his $2 by the end of 2017, both when it was $0.10, and when it was $0.20 in early december. He ended up being right.”.

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Ethereum Price Forecast: ETH Poised to Become Safe-Haven Asset in 2018

Ethereum News Update
From the outside, all digital assets look the same. A lot of volatility. A lot of upside potential. Not a lot of variety.

This two-dimensional view of cryptocurrencies is pretty common among newbie investors, but experienced hands know it’s not true. There’s a world of difference between Monero and XRP, or between NEM and Dash. Cryptos are not one and the same.

Investors learn these nuances over time. Another important lesson is about “safe-haven assets.”

According to conventional wisdom, Bitcoin is the safe-haven asset of.

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Ethereum Price Forecast: ETH Poised to Become Safe-Haven Asset in 2018

Litecoin Price Prediction: Upcoming Litecoin Upgrade To Make it Even Cheaper Than Bitcoin

Daily Litecoin News Update
It’s a quiet day in the cryptocurrency world. The storm has settled and the sun is out. Investors are finally out of choppy waters and trading with more peace of mind. Top cryptos, including Litecoin are trading in the green. At this point another piece of good news may serve as the icing on the cake that Litecoin investors may have been longing to taste.

Litecoin founder Charlie Lee updates from the headquarters that Litecoin’s next upgrade is on its way. As promised, the developers will be cutting down transaction fees to further make LTC transactions cheaper for users.

Later, he also updates that Litecoin, like Bitcoin, would be integrating.

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Litecoin Price Prediction: Upcoming Litecoin Upgrade To Make it Even Cheaper Than Bitcoin

Kraken Exchange Review: Facts to Know Before Buying Any Cryptocurrency

Kraken Exchange Review
Kraken is one of the most popular exchanges where users can buy and sell cryptocurrencies. It is arguably the largest Bitcoin exchange, based on liquidity. Kraken was also the first Bitcoin exchange to have its trading price and volume displayed in the “Bloomberg Terminal”.

Having established its reputation in the cryptocurrency world, Kraken is the first choice of many international cryptocurrency traders.

The following table is a Kraken exchange review with all the basic info you need.
Kraken.

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