Re: Implementation, Simulation, and Emulation

From: Lee Corbin (
Date: Tue Mar 18 2008 - 22:05:04 MDT

Matt wrote (Sent: Monday, March 17, 2008 2:14 PM)

> --- Lee wrote:
>> But it is *so* important to know whether your husband has been
>> successfully uploaded, or if the incredibly smart AI is just faking it
>> (though faking it well enough to fool you). After all, if he's just
>> being faked---I call that simulation---then he's dead! Yikes!
>> So I will continue to insist that the goal of uploading is to emulate
>> a human consciousness, not simulate it, and we need some sort
>> of terminological distinction for this, if not the one I've been pushing
>> on this list and Extropians for five or ten years.
> You just modify the neurons that makes you falsely believe that there is a
> distinction to make you also believe that the upload is successful.

>From your brief reply, I gather that you do not believe in such a

So there is no essential difference between, say, your wife and her
abrupt replacement by an extremely skilled actress fashioned to
look just like her, but who is really laughing at you all the time, and
despises all the values your wife used to hold before her demise?

I cannot believe that you'd endorse this simulation replacing your wife,
not if you truly love her.

Now what about if she dies suddenly in her sleep, but a very kindly
and well-meaning AI plants a tiny microchip in her backbone that
manages to send out signals to all parts of her body that cause
exactly the same thinking and acting to be done be done by the body?
In other words, this microchip, over which the AI has no further use
and no further interest in, *emulates* your wife. That is, this new
creature is conscious in just the same way as your wife was, has
inner thoughts and suspicions in the same way, has the same tastes
and loves and hates and, in general values.

Surely this emulation "really is" your wife---it's just that she's been
uploaded. That's best for her, surely you concede, than being
replaced by a fiendish actor who is really a different person


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