Re: [sl4] Re: Uploads coming first would be good, right?

From: Matt Mahoney (
Date: Fri Feb 20 2009 - 08:10:38 MST

--- On Thu, 2/19/09, Johnicholas Hines <> wrote:

> On Thu, Feb 19, 2009 at 8:58 PM, Matt Mahoney
> <> wrote:
> > I'm not opposed to uploading. I just think we
> should call it what it is, a program that imitates you well
> enough to fool everyone you know. It's not magic. In a
> future where everything you say or do is public knowledge,
> it won't even require brain scanning.
> I think your criterion of "well enough to fool your friends" allows
> many non-faithful representations of a human. I'd rather the goal of
> uploading to be a more stringent criterion, something like: "experts
> in the field of brain simulations agree that the errors in the
> emulation are comparable in size to the thermal and other
> fluctuations that biological humans enjoy".

What kind of magic is that? In fact, my criteria is too strict. Even if others could tell the difference from the original, you (the upload) are really the only one that needs to be convinced that your silicon mind faithfully emulates the carbon based version. It is easy to program that belief given any arbitrary set of memories. Why should you care if they were different? You wouldn't know. If you insisted on accuracy and you researched your former self and found discrepancies, your program could be updated and the memory of that discovery could be erased.

As a practical matter, upload hosting services will strive for accuracy because seeing your dead friends and relatives brought back to life will be necessary to convince you to pay for their services. If they also need to wave a magic wand to transfer your consciousness, they will do that too. It is up to you whether you let them exploit your evolved fear of death.

-- Matt Mahoney,

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