Practical Mind Uploading Approach

Adam Foust (
Sat, 23 Dec 1995 11:58:25 +0000

[[[ Please delete this message if it is a duplicate. The message that
I sent last night to _transhuman@logrus.org_ appears to have
failed to get through. I am resending to _transhuman@umich.edu_. ]]]]

Hello! I've been lurking about but haven't posted anything to this list
yet. I would like to present a notion that occurred to me regarding
mind uploading. The subject is very much of interest to me, but because
I haven't completed all the reading, the idea I am about to present may
not be entirely new.

Must we upload our minds into software/cybernetics, destroying our
existing human minds/bodies in the process? It seems most reasonable in
a survival sense to upload our minds by merely *copying* them, with no
more danger to our original form than being submitted to a CAT scan,
etc. (In programming terms, this would be equivalent to "forking").
This would be a particularly attractive uploading option for those
with misgivings about the (theoretical) process, and it would have
potential advantages over the "all or nothing" option.

Having both a biological (original) copy of oneself as well as an
uploaded (hopefully) superintelligent, self-evolving copy would be
extra insurance against any glitches on either end. Meanwhile the
uploaded twin of onesself could work out the technical issues of
integrating the two of you at a later time (this is, of course, assuming
that the "improved" version of you would care. My hunch is that it
would... it's possible that your uploaded self would abandon (human)
you--possibly for your own good--or just decide to cryofreeze your body
for safe keeping.)

Ones uploaded self could potentially act as a benevolent big brother (as
opposed to the government variety), looking out for financial matters,
suggesting courses of action, etc. This would in fact be an attractive
arrangement for those humans who don't themselves (human) want to be
posthuman (who to look out for your best interests but an advanced
version of yourself?.. not that this would always work as expected).
Your remaining human self might serve as an agent for your "higher self"
as well.

It's very possible that the uploaded version of a person would benefit
from the human half. We as adults are often very much attached to our
childhood memories (even the bad ones)... and a posthuman's human
existence would be analogous to a childhood of sorts. Additionally, it
seems very likely that posthumans will value experiences very highly.
Could anything be more intriguing than being able to experience the
"ascension" of humanity or any number of other possible major events
from both sides/perspectives (human and posthuman)?

The gist of my idea is instead of simply striving to ascend from human
to post/superhuman, it seems safer to plan on being both (at least
at first).

[Adam Foust] * *