Neurotechnology—Brain-Computer Interface and Whole Brain Emulation

The speaker is co-founder of Carboncopies Foundation, which is researching technologies leading toward neural prosthesis and whole brain emulation and studying the consequences of the emergence of these capabilities. For an examination of what a mature society with brain emulation may look like, I recommend Robin Hanson’s The Age of Em.

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This is both fascinating and frightening, causing me to consider the possibility that those now living (especially the young) might possibly be the last generation to face certain death. Even though I consider success (what would that look like?) unlikely in that time interval, I am struck with deep existential confusion at the mere thought. Interestingly, the interviewer, Allison Duettermann of the Foresight Institute, has appeared in several previous Scanalyzer videos. I find her to be extremely intelligent, well-spoken and a highly-effective advocate of an appealing and optimistic kind of futurism. The fact she is stunningly attractive doesn’t hurt. Actually, I want to email her and tell her how much she sounds like an optimistic rendition of me! She lives where I do, philosophically. I have been mulling over these same existential issues (with fewer possible technological solutions) - very passionately - since before I was her age. Had my brain a few more remaining testosterone receptors, I would probably be in love.

I don’t mean to sound cavalier about this at all; maybe I am unwittingly deflecting some of the deeper level angst which immediately follows the concept of emulation of an individual’s consciousness. I haven’t yet read The Age of Em, I will soon. I expect to be shaken, not stirred.