RE: what it's like to be uploaded

From: Billy Brown (
Date: Mon Feb 21 2000 - 21:33:05 MST wrote:
> You've missed my point entirely. I have read any and everything I can on
> jacking in, etc. Thanks for giving me a couple titles, but... Most of us
> read sci-fi. I want to know what THE LIST envisions their OWN personal
> experience of uploading, not what sci-fi authors think. I believe it might
> valuable to do so *on list* since this is the pool of talent that is most
> inherently prone towards researching and making such a thing possible --
> exactly NOT as fiction, but as their own reality. I even know people who
> studying neuroscience to help it happen!!

Now there's an interesting question.

Keeping in mind that actual uploading is much, much harder that
garden-variety VR, I think you need to expect a pretty radical experience.
Uploading required some combination of nanotechnology, advanced neuroscience
and AI (you can trade off one parameter for the others, so we can't predict
the exact mix, but at least two of them have to be pretty mature).
Obviously, we aren't talking about something that could happen tomorrow.

So, I'd expect that less drastic methods of intelligence enhancement will
come first. By the time you can upload everyone will already have a
wearable computer system with neural interfaces, and you'll be used to
constantly interacting with non-sentient AI assistants of all sorts. You'll
already be used to being able to look out of any unsecured sensor in the
solar system, be it a camera or a neutrino detector. You'll already have
lots of experience with VR worlds, your interaction with the real world is
heavily virtualized, and you've had a chance to play with real-world
physical modifications.

What does a person in that situation do with uploading?

The main difference I see is that it removes a lot of inertia from the
system. Now you can inhabit any kind of physical body as easily as visiting
a web site. You can have an equally good interface into any VR world you
care to visit, instead of being limited by the physical performance of your
interface equipment. You can run yourself faster or slower than real time,
and your software interfaces aren't limited by the bandwidth of organic

>From there on you're essentially an AI implemented in lots of messy legacy
code. There should be a huge market for mental modifications, since some
significant fraction of the population is going to upload themselves, and
self-enhancement should become progressively easier as you replace chunks of
neuron simulation with something more manageable.

Billy Brown

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