Mind Upload: A Myth Or A Distinct Possibility?
The desire to be free from the limits of the human experience is as old as our first stories. We exist in an endless universe, only bound by the laws of physics and yet our consciousness is trapped in mortal machines made of meat! With the breathtaking explosion of innovation and progress, for the first time, the concept of leaving our flesh piles behind and uploading our minds into a digital utopia seems possible. Mind upload seems possible.
Mind uploading and digital immortality are some of the core themes of the game Cyberpunk 2077. The game is based on a grim dystopian future where humanity has progressed far beyond today’s technology and explores what such rapid growth in technology could mean for humanity. This topic is not much discussed as many think this is beyond the scope of humankind. But, the same was said about universe exploration and here we are, private companies sending rockets to space! So, let’s not underestimate ourselves yet again.
So, is it possible to upload our mind into a computer?
Well, it’s complicated but not impossible. What do we mean by mind upload? To begin with, the mind is one of those words that are really hard to define. It is thought to be the collective abilities of our consciousness and intelligence. The thing that lets you imagine, recognize, and dream. Mind uploading can be considered as the hypothetical concept of making a copy of this inner world and transferring it into a computer to run a simulator of our consciousness.
Only defining a problem is in itself a complicated task, let alone making the simulation work. Let’s consider that simulation of minds upload works then also it is based on the following three assumptions:
Our mind is in our brain’s structure, arrangement, and biochemistry. This idea that everything about the mind could be found in the brain is called physicalism.
At some point, we will understand the brain well enough and possess the technology to simulate all of its aspects to make a digital mind copy.
Computer software can host our mind – the most important one. This also implies that our mind must be computable. The thing is, there is no physical property in the brain, including consciousness that cannot be simulated accurately even if it requires a lot of code.
While there are many questions, the real question is how we turn the static blueprint of the brain into an active thing? Even if we have a scan down to the level of synapses we need laws and rules that animate the wiring diagram to make all this work. But we don’t know whether it is possible to create a dynamic simulator of the brain that exists from one microsecond to the next. It all hinges on the nature of the problem – are the brain and mind just complicated and a lot of work to figure out or are they complex in a way that we can’t solve?
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