Re: No AI for Nano/No Nano for copyloads

From: Emlyn (onetel) (
Date: Sat Jul 15 2000 - 21:36:44 MDT

> Emlyn writes:
> > If I was in a position to be cryonically suspended (which I don't think
I am
> > in Oz), I think I would make it very, very clear that I *volunteer* for
> > first uploading experiments. All the better if the general public thinks
> > dead, it is likely to be very difficult to organise if you fit the more
> > commonly accepted definition of being alive. I would hope that someone
> > at the time of the experiments actually gave a damn about me, and where
> > eventually ended up, but if not, well, I'd still rather be on the front
> > line. Exploit me, I don't care; becoming one of the first few Posthumans
> > got to come with a price tag. And ye gods, the payoff...
> But can this be considered *informed* consent? You don't know anything
> about the procedure, you don't know what the risks are. Would you
> volunteer if there was a 99%+ chance that your brain would simply be
> destroyed and we'd get some partial information out of it, that might
> guide future uploads? Would you volunteer if there was a large chance
> that a successful upload would be inordinately unpleasant, full of
> sensory deprivation, madness and pain?

If I get buried/cremated, that's a 100% chance. And unlike many on the list,
I don't see cryonic reanimation as a certainty by any means. You just have
to think of all those egyptian (?) mummies being used as fuel - a century
ago? It'll take time to get the technology, and time means change, no matter
how strongly you hedge against it.

Pre-transhumanism, I always intended to donate my organs, etc, hopefully my
brain would be used in the course of scientific work. I always imagined my
skeleton ending up in the middle of some purile medical student practical
joke; ahh the glory. So my brain ending up mush, and guiding future work,
that's a noble end.

Being subjected to conditions of torture? Yowsa, it's hard to say yes to
that. But I think, in this "corporate upload comes first and fills the
market" scenario, whoever it is is going to have to put up with such
treatment. urrgh. Wait a second, "inordinately unpleasant, full of sensory
deprivation, madness and pain"? I'm a windows programmer. Come get me.

Seriously, ummm, yes. Yes, yes, yes. I'll regret this some decades hence
when I'm screaming electronically for someone to kill me. Blech.

> At best, someone considering using an old cryonic suspension patient for
> these experiments would need to see a full legal document, laying out all
> possible circumstances, and describing whether the patient would permit
> the experiment in each case. Even then it is questionable whether the
> subject could fully understand the ramifications of what he is agreeing
> to, without having up to date information on the details of the procedure.

It'll still be ok if you are not considered legally alive. Is a cryonics
patient considered legally alive? There's no legal question of consent,
although there are some rules around corpses; I'm sure the cryonics
enthusiasts know more about this.

> I believe a superior approach, if you want subjects for a destructive
> upload, would be to use people on their deathbeds. Promise to pay
> their families millions of dollars if they agree; give them all kinds
> of documentation on the procedure and the possible consequences, good
> and bad. Give them tomes by philosophers and ethicists which will debate
> whether an upload could be alive, whether it would be the "same" person
> as them, whether it would suffer or rejoice at its new life.

Heh heh, with the first experiments, you probably can't afford to do any of
that. You will get a long way in a short time, I would imagine, if you could
do all kinds of not too ethical stuff. I would be quite unsurprised if the
first experiments are performed under conditions where the subjects are
considered legally dead (even if laws need to be changed to do it), and
where Chalmer's work is used as the defining public justification for
ethics, rather than say Dennett's; the idea being that any successful
upload, especially from a dead person, is just another algorithm running on
a machine, no special spark of consciousness, no biggy, nothing to see here

> In this way you can get fully informed consent to the procedure, and you
> can probably get a brain which is in much better shape than dragging out
> a decades old cryonics patient from the 20th century.
> Hal

You might get a real fanatic on his deathbed to sign up for this kind of
work. Wanna place odds on whether it gets done in a first or third world
country? Really, you'd want to proceed somewhere where life is really cheap.
Grubby stuff. How do I get in on the act?

Emlyn (I'm Davros)

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