Nick Bostrom writes:
> Robin Hanson:
> > The earliest uploads will likely be cryonics patients, without much
> > hope of getting a regular body anytime soon.
Why should they want to get bodies? Apart from intrinsically higher and drastically cheaper diversity in artificial reality, a Dysonian computer cluster or a Jupiter brain is not a suitable environment for any classical body. Why limiting oneself to human senses if I can utilize anything from proximal probe over accelerometry, magnetometry, MS, particle detectors, inteferometry arrays, &c&c? Exercise your own imagination on the motorics part. But, once again, if the material realm of a stellar system is entirely under your control, maxing out on computation while keeping the number of resources allocated to sensomotorics at an absolute mininimum (in a pinch, you could always reuse these atoms in new configurations albeit at a time penalty and resources wasted in dormant basal autoreplicator capability) is obviously a good strategy. Only coevolution-artefacted nonlinearities would seem to disturb the Brave New Postmaterial world scheme. (Of course, as this is way PostSingularity, we're off exploring the Neverneverextrapolation-land again. Pray don't knock down the lametta, the ultraviolet bunnies hate that).
> At least they could get a good robot body. That's already possible
> today. What more can anybody possibly ask for than a pair of
> vidoecameras to see with, a pair of microphones to hear with, and a
> set of hydraulic limbs to move around with? ;-)
Thank you, I'd rather be a cluster of active-orbit-controlled boxes in high solar orbit swinging around my own gravitation center, while other parts of me are busily processing our stellar neighbourhood. (Of course there will be probably no 'me', just a memetic bouillabaisse (sp?) virtually swirling in diverse bitbuckets of multiple shapes and sizes).
> Anyway, I don't think that uploading will be possible until we have
> mature nanotechnology and by then it might also be possible to
Nanotechnology strong enough to allow autoreplication by mechanosynthesis is actually unnecessary for uploading, in a pinch we could settle with vanilla molecular circuitry/macroscopic autoreplicators. Since the plumbing layer is not visible in artificial reality, this should not concern us too much (but it would be less pretty, agreed). See Joe Strout's pages for details.
> manufacture human bodies (though it's a difficult task).
If drextech is feasible, a way of producing living tissue and whole living critters would seem to build a beasty in vitrified state around a fractal diamondoid channel/scaffolding network, then flash-devitrify it into life by pumping energy into the network and dissipating it more or less uniformly, then retracting/breaking down the scaffolding. Of course even if we do it very gently, it will give the homo novus more than a case of sore throat, but it should be survivable, especially if we allow for a bit of anaesthesized regeneration. See no point in it, though. Bodies are out of fashion.