Imagine that the human brain can be scanned in the smallest detail and recreated in a computer simulation. A person’s mind and memories, emotions and personality will be duplicated. In fact, a new and equally reliable version of this person will now exist in a potentially immortal digital form. Is it possible? And what “pitfalls” can be in this process, if such a thing ever happens?
Is digital immortality possible?
The scientific community increasingly assumes that the digitization of consciousness and its uploading into the virtual environment is more likely than not. Technology is likely to be developed in the distant future, but given how much interest this topic arouses, uploading consciousness into something like the Internet seems inevitable. Of course, we can’t be sure how this can affect our culture, but as artificial neural network modeling technology evolves, we can guess what the future might be like. One possible outcome is described by the psychologist Michael Graziano in his new article, conducting a thought-provoking experiment described below.
How to digitize the brain?
Suppose one day you go to a clinic to perform a similar operation. Let’s be optimistic and pretend that the technology works just fine. After the “digitization” procedure (let’s call it that) you are still yourself and do not get any new abilities. At the same time in the virtual world your virtual copy “wakes up”. It has your set of knowledge and skills. Your life experience and all your memories. The last thing your digital twin remembers is how he entered the clinic and went through the digitization process.
I prefer the “geometric” way of thinking about this situation. Imagine that your life is like the letter Y. – Graziano says. The basis of the letter is the moment of birth. And as you grow up, your personality is formed. Then you allow yourself to be digitized, and from there the letter Y branches out. Now there are two trajectories, each of which is equally you. The “biological” branch will inevitably die, but the “digital” branch will potentially live forever.
Each of us is already present in a virtual world with a constant flow of information through social networks, YouTube, Twitter and so on. We live in a digital multiverse universe and each of us lives in our own “virtual bubble”, where the parts of the multiverse are the pieces of the Internet we go into and the bubble is our personal space. Confidential information.
If it is possible to live a full digital world, and even so that people in it are with the same individuals and needs as in real life, without having the disadvantages of living in reality like disease, the majority of the population can agree to this. And what do you think about such digital immortality? As more and more people live in the virtual world, the balance of culture will shift from reality to digital reality. Taking into account that most people will pass through the procedure of consciousness transfer, at some point physical existence can become only the initial stage of personal development, and real life will start only after digitization.