Re: Super intelligences

Hal Finney (
Wed, 5 Aug 1998 22:05:34 -0700

Nick Bostrom wrote...
>Transhumanists tend to want to grow into and become
>superintelligences themselves. The two ways in which they hope to do
>this are: (1) Through gradual augmentation of their biological
>brains, perhaps using nootropics, cognitive techniques, IT tools
>(e.g. wearable computers, smart agents, information filtering
>systems, visualization software etc.), and, in the future, neuro/chip
>interfaces and bionic brain implants. (2) Through mind uploading.

Jay,, responded:
> As Bruce Sterling has written "its all shapers vs mechs" after that. The two
> great visions of human-trans-evolution, the extension and manipulation of
> biology with genetic engineering and advanced medical technology vs the up-
> loaded cybernetic agumentation/prostheses.

There is no natural place to draw a line between these two, however. A biological body augmented with nanotech may use materials we don't normally associate with biology. There is a continuum between ordinary biological bodies and things like cyborgs and robots.

As far as uploading, this does suggest an architecture where the seat of consciousness is within stationary structures while manipulation is done via remotes. However there is nothing inherent in the upload concept which would prevent some or all of the consciousness moving into the remote manipulators, and you are again back to the cyborgs/robots.

The bottom line is that you have matter, energy, and the laws of physics. Conscious entities will use these to accomplish their goals. Trying to categorize their means as biological vs technological is not going to be useful in the long run.