What is the worst possible outcome of making use of an alternative piece of hardware in substitution for squishy neurons?
Read for yourself near endless wonderment 1, heady and confident, premature awe 2 of an imagined reality yet to be realized. How wonderful it will be to be able to transform one’s own consciousness and experience by iterative self-invention in a way never possible with the current hardware.
What is the strangest consequence of housing one’s “self” in a mechanical storage device? And what can be done, meanwhile, to prevent the undead from becoming perpetually dependent upon the living to maintain them?
In life one is never fully autonomous, never truly independent. But one can nevertheless express vitality in struggle.
In death — in such an imagined future — one will be activated and deactivated; turned off then on, then back off, then on again at the will and at the pleasure of someone other than one’s own struggling self. In such a reality, a “life time” would be part of an endless and discontinuous game which the living would most certainly play at the expense of the dead.
This is not just the reality of a hypothetical and glorious, cinematic A.I., which would pretend to “live”, most certainly at the whim of a system operator: This will be the constant reality of a human “singularity”.
- Michael Graziano, Endless fun. aeon (Aeon Media Ltd, 18 December 2013) (retrieved, 2013-12-17, http://aeon.co/magazine/being-human/virtual-afterlives-will-transform-humanity) ↩
- Ray Kurzweil, The singularity is near : when humans transcend biology. New York: Viking, 2005 ↩