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Forum » SpaceEngine » Off-topic Discussions » The Future of Humanity & Intelligent life in the universe
The Future of Humanity & Intelligent life in the universe
DoctorOfSpaceDate: Thursday, 06.10.2016, 07:12 | Message # 391
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Quote JackDole ()
I think, for example, that all animals have a form of consciousness.


Well they do, all animals have some sort of environmental awareness, even ants. It just takes the right brain structure and number of neurons to begin to have a greater form of consciousness.

Quote JackDole ()
The consciousness of dolphins, orangutans, ravens, in my opinion, come very close to our form of consciousness.


Dolphins probably outrank most of those. The bad news is they evolved in entirely the wrong environment to ever get to a technical stage.

Some people classify dolphins as non human persons.

Quote JackDole ()
the killing of such animals should be classified as murder.


I wouldn't go that far but killing of such animals should be a crime at least in the same way killing a dog is a crime.

Quote JackDole ()
In my opinion, plants also have something like consciousness.


They have a form of environmental awareness, but much like ants or lower lifeforms it is simply reactionary.

Although one could argue even creatures like ourselves are nothing more than a more advanced reactionary awareness.

Quote JackDole ()
In this sense one could classify computers as a very low form of life, with a very low level of consciousness.


And that is exactly my reasoning. Although consciousness, the sense of self, and our ideas on what creates the sense of self are all illusory anyway and not at all what they most likely really are.

Quote Watsisname ()
have you heard of or played the game SOMA?


Heard about it plenty and even have it on my Steam wishlist. Plenty of people have recommended it and it sounds interesting.

Quote Watsisname ()
but inside is an absolutely brilliant examination of the nature of consciousness and the teletransportation paradox, particularly with copying human brain scans into machines.


I heard about that part. People copy their brains into the machine, and then the organic one is killed. I don't see this as a paradox as I personally subscribe to the Kurzweil view on this. As long as the pattern continues, not duplicated, then the original is still alive.

Basically if you copy yourself, its a copy and not the original in the subjective sense. You could still slowly augment yourself into becoming an android, and the end result would still be you.

Have a thought experiment

If I put you unconscious and cut your brain in half and then transplanted it into a clone body which body do YOU wake up in? To make this even more difficult, say we fill in the gaps with a robotic brain as the other half in each body and we copy the missing memories between each. Now both individuals are exactly identical and are both from the same brain. Do you still exist, are you both, or are you neither?





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WatsisnameDate: Thursday, 06.10.2016, 08:14 | Message # 392
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Quote DoctorOfSpace ()
I heard about that part. People copy their brains into the machine, and then the organic one is killed. I don't see this as a paradox as I personally subscribe to the Kurzweil view on this. As long as the pattern continues, not duplicated, then the original is still alive.

Basically if you copy yourself, its a copy and not the original in the subjective sense. You could still slowly augment yourself into becoming an android, and the end result would still be you.


Completely agree. smile You are not the matter you are made of, you are the pattern of the information within that matter. If that pattern persists, your sense of self persists, even if constructed in a totally new physical body.

The harsh part is when the "original" is not immediately destroyed after the copying process, so that there are diverging experiences. Then if one is destroyed, he experience death, while the other fork lives on.

Quote DoctorOfSpace ()
Have a thought experiment

If I put you unconscious and cut your brain in half and then transplanted it into a clone body which body do YOU wake up in?


There is a me who wakes up from being put unconscious. Everything seems normal and well. If he should then receive a brain scan for some reason, he discovers he has a half robot brain.

There is a me who wakes up from being put unconscious to discover they have moved to a new location somehow. Weird! If he should get a brain scan for some reason, he discovers he has a half robot brain.

Both are equally qualified to say they are me, but now they undergo diverging experiences and live separate lives.





 
DoctorOfSpaceDate: Thursday, 06.10.2016, 08:30 | Message # 393
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Quote Watsisname ()
even if constructed in a totally new physical body.


That would depend on time. If I immediately replaced all your cells right now with other cells or nanobots, you would die and a being that thinks it is you would take your place. However as cells grow and change over time the materials that make them up are changed out slowly piece by piece, so the pattern continues and for all intents and purposes you remain you.

However objectively there is no you so being teleported or copied makes no real difference. Our perception of time and our consciousness can be compared to a monitor screen refresh rate. Every second the image is refreshed and it is constantly changing, but the image we are presented is of one thing. In a similar sense the you from a second ago is not the you from now and the you from a second from now is also not the you from right now. Each sliver of processing gives us the illusion of a continual self that doesn't truly exist.

Quote Watsisname ()
Both are equally qualified to say they are me, but now they undergo diverging experiences and live separate lives.


People who have half of their brain removed, regardless of the half, still wake up after the surgery and think they are themselves.

Given the benefit of the doubt in this scenario, we are simply assuming the other half of the brain is not just thrown away but given a new body, we should assume that the continual sense of self continues.

What this brings up an issue with is which body does the "you" that you think you are wake up in? If we apply my previous logic that consciousness in those regards is an illusion then it solves the problem.





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JackDoleDate: Thursday, 06.10.2016, 08:58 | Message # 394
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I think I'm not ready to let myself be "beamed".
Which Riker is the real Riker?
I believe none of them.
The real Riker has ceased to exist when he was beamed for the first time.

I think Reginald Barclay was quite right to be afraid of the transporter.





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WatsisnameDate: Thursday, 06.10.2016, 09:38 | Message # 395
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Quote DoctorOfSpace ()
What this brings up an issue with is which body does the "you" that you think you are wake up in? If we apply my previous logic that consciousness in those regards is an illusion then it solves the problem.


This drives right at the heart of the matter, and I think the hardest concept to get one's head around. It's the reason I love SOMA so much -- it expertly confronts the player with scenarios in which this question must be pondered.

My take on it is this: the question itself is wrongly posed. We approach it from a perspective that 'there can be only one of me'. So it is natural to ask: following this procedure, which body do you wake up in? But this is wrong. The question is wrong. The motivation is wrong.

There is no process which determines which body your self continues on in. If all the information responsible for your emergent experience of self and your memory of who you are is copied and put into a state which can then function as usual (as in think, experience, and reflect on that experience), while 'the original' goes on as usual as well, then we are forced to conclude that both resulting bodies are you. There are two beings, each with a continuous memory of the self and can equally justifiably say that they are the original.

Consider a case where you are about to receive an MRI to diagnose a medical issue. You go into the chamber, which whirs to life. Unfortunately, you have been deceived. It is not an MRI. It is an experimental bit of technology that scans your entire brain state and copies it. The information is then downloaded into a robot in another room.

What do you experience?

There is a you who goes through the scan, steps out, and goes on with life, knowing none the wiser of what just happened.

There is a you who goes through the scan, then suddenly experiences being teleported into a new room, and then discovers their body is now a robot. Whoa!

So, did you become the robot, or the person who lived on in the biological body?

Wrong question. Both of them are your causal descendants.





 
WatsisnameDate: Thursday, 06.10.2016, 09:44 | Message # 396
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Quote JackDole ()
I think I'm not ready to let myself be "beamed".
Which Riker is the real Riker?
I believe none of them.
The real Riker has ceased to exist when he was beamed for the first time.


This is equivalent to believing that you cease to exist every time you sleep and are replaced with a clone when you awake. smile





 
JackDoleDate: Thursday, 06.10.2016, 10:01 | Message # 397
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Quote Watsisname ()
This is equivalent to believing that you cease to exist every time you sleep and are replaced with a clone when you awake.

No.
When I sleep, I am not decomposed into my atoms and destroyed and then re-created from the information obtained from it.

Though I do not know for sure, I have never watched myself when I sleep! dry



In any case, it has never happened that when I woke up in the morning suddenly a copy lay next to me. biggrin





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Edited by JackDole - Thursday, 06.10.2016, 10:08
 
DoctorOfSpaceDate: Thursday, 06.10.2016, 10:13 | Message # 398
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Quote Watsisname ()

What do you experience?

There is a you who goes through the scan, steps out, and goes on with life, knowing none the wiser of what just happened.

There is a you who goes through the scan, then suddenly experiences being teleported into a new room, and then discovers their body is now a robot. Whoa!


Yes but there is a singular unit who is experiencing these things and that unit is the continual process of the first. Breaks in that process are an end to that being.

Quote Watsisname ()
So, did you become the robot, or the person who lived on in the biological body?

Wrong question. Both of them are your causal descendants.


You would continue to be the biology being in that scenario, subjectively. Objectively it doesn't matter

Quote Watsisname ()
This is equivalent to believing that you cease to exist every time you sleep and are replaced with a clone when you awake


That ties into what I said earlier regarding consciousness not being what we think it is.




On a completely unrelated note

Maximum human lifespan has already been reached
Quote
How many birthdays can you celebrate? Researchers calculated 125 years as the absolute limit of human lifespan.

A study published online today in Nature by Albert Einstein College of Medicine scientists suggests that it may not be possible to extend the human life span beyond the ages already attained by the oldest people on record.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/10/161005132823.htm





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WatsisnameDate: Thursday, 06.10.2016, 10:27 | Message # 399
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Quote DoctorOfSpace ()
Yes but there is a singular unit who is experiencing these things and that unit is the continual process of the first. Breaks in that process are an end to that being.


Why? How is it functionally different from being knocked unconscious, put on an airplane, and waking up in another country?

Quote JackDole ()
No.


Yes. smile The you who wakes up tomorrow is your causal descendant.

Your consciousness shuts down when you sleep, some of your atoms are replaced, molecules moved, calories burned, memories reflected on and data massaged... and you trust that when you awaken again, the information in your brain which propagated forward through time according to causal rules will faithfully reconstruct the emergent experience of consciousness and your identity of self. Which it does, or so we all obviously hold to be true.

The teleporter does exactly the same thing when it copies you. Of course we have no idea if such a thing is actually possible (if quantum states are important for consciousness, then it may very well be impossible to produce a faithful scan without altering the original in an important way). But the purpose of the exercise is to assume that it is and see where the logic leads. The unavoidable conclusion is that the teleporter is more safe than day-to-day life. If you think it kills you, then you think you died last night and your current self is only a copy.

The only way around this is through a dualist philosophical view of the world, where consciousness is somehow special and not in the realm of physics. Which is fine if you believe that, I wouldn't try to dissuade anyone from it. I just don't think it's a view that lends to being testable or producing predictively useful models. I am biased by studying physics. smile





 
JackDoleDate: Thursday, 06.10.2016, 10:35 | Message # 400
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Quote DoctorOfSpace ()
Researchers calculated 125 years as the absolute limit of human lifespan.

This roughly corresponds to my preliminary planning.
I decided many years ago that I would be at least 120 years old.

I hope, however, that there are then methods to overcome these limitations.

For example, through brain transplantation in a newly created body.
Naturally, a method would have to be found to reverse brain decalcification. biggrin





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DoctorOfSpaceDate: Thursday, 06.10.2016, 10:41 | Message # 401
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Quote Watsisname ()
How is it functionally different from being knocked unconscious, put on an airplane, and waking up in another country?


The underlying system is still there. The brain is still running when you are unconscious. The continuation of you being you is contingent on that system continuing, but this is getting into the realm of immaterial subjectivity.





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SalvoDate: Thursday, 06.10.2016, 11:31 | Message # 402
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What I wonder is... If we managed to put the same patterns of an human brain into a computer (aka robot), how could we tell if the robot is conscious or not? If we ask to the robot it would answer that it is living, because the brain would react in the same way than the human brain does.




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Edited by Salvo - Thursday, 06.10.2016, 11:32
 
MosfetDate: Thursday, 06.10.2016, 11:54 | Message # 403
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I think we can't tell. You can only experience your own feelings, and by using your sensorial inputs you infer that others feel the same because your brain is judging other human beings have the same feelings, but strictly speaking you don't have proof of that. So if a robot is presenting to you the right patterns, I mean passing even psychological tests and all, what's the difference? None.




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JackDoleDate: Thursday, 06.10.2016, 11:55 | Message # 404
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I can not explain it well, certainly not in English.

There can be only one 'I'.
When I am decomposed into my atoms and copies are made from the information obtained, these copies all have their own 'I'.
But the original 'I', the unique 'I' that sees the world out of 'my' eyes, out of 'my' inside, does not exist anymore.

(To be honest, it is hard for me to imagine that this 'I' is no longer.
But probably every thinking being thinks this. After all, this is the reason that religion was invented.)


The copies that are made could be viewed as my identical children.
They would be identical with me at their 'birth', but they would not be me.

And they would evolve over time to completely different beings.

A clone made by me would not be me either. Also not when all the data from my brain were copied into the brain of the clone.
Some people consider this a method of eternal life. But it would still be just a copy. No matter what the copy thinks about it.

If, for example, there was a non-destructive scan method, and the original would not be destroyed, then what? I would be the original. And my copies? They would be what they are. Just copies. The unfortunate ones. dry

I do not think the consciousness is something outside of physics.
And I do not believe in souls' wanderings. And if an 'I' could be planted in another body, this would be souls' wanderings.
In my opinion.

When I'm dead, I'm dead. There can be as many copies as they want and claim they are 'I'. They would not be 'I'.

Quote Salvo ()
If we managed to put the same patterns of an human brain into a computer (aka robot), how could we tell if the robot is conscious or not?

If a computer is complex enough, and all the data of a human brain would be packed in the computer, then he must be viewed as a human being.

And I can not know if he actually has consciousness.
Just as little as we can know that from any other human being.
If we ask, the answer is yes. But how do we know that this is not just a programmed answer? We do not know it.
But I know I have consciousness. So I guess that's the same with other people. biggrin

Of course this is just my personal opinion.





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Edited by JackDole - Thursday, 06.10.2016, 11:59
 
DoctorOfSpaceDate: Thursday, 06.10.2016, 12:00 | Message # 405
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Even if that machine is a simple I/O device it is best to assume it is a person even if it isn't. If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck




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