What do you think about transferring our consciousness to machines?

Photo by Rodrigo Galindo from FreeImages

Human consciousness isn’t something that will be “transferred” into a binary host anytime soon. Even if we have a complete digital snapshot of the brain, down to the smallest measurable detail of every atom, that image would still need to be emulated in some computer system. That emulation would require us to have a complete understanding of not only consciousness in general (including the subconscious), but the specific variants of each individual source brain. Even with the correct emulation environment, we still only have a copy that is divergent from the original a fraction of a second after the scan.

Consciousness isn’t just some ball of energy that we can move to a new host. It is the sum of a constant fluctuation of biochemical reactions going on in our gray head muscle. I feel the idea of transferring consciousness is not something that will result in anything useful until far beyond the singularity, if at all (we will likely find biological solutions that make the idea of transferring obsolete).

AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) will be a consciousness native to a digital framework. It will have capabilities far beyond our brains without the limitations of a consciousness made from meat. They are, two entirely different formats.

The fact that we can continue being “us” even after brain injuries where we lose sections of brain matter to disease or trauma could potentially allow us to slowly replace parts of the brain, but it would have to be with something that the remaining parts recognize and can reprogram. That would mean it would either need to be biological in nature itself, or have sufficiently advanced I/O arrays to communicate with the existing brain matter.

All of this supporting tech and understanding may be slower to realize than efforts to simply protect and preserve the reactions within existing brains. I feel the path to immortality will start with learning how to stop degenerative brain diseases associated with aging and focusing on building an artificial nervous system that can be connected to our brains. This way we can replace our entire bodies with biological and non-biological parts.

Transferring consciousness may be something we achieve eventually, but I don’t think it will be something that happens in a time frame useful to anyone reading this. However, brain longevity is absolutely an achievable goal within most of our lifetimes.

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