Re: Uploading: End of the mundane and trouble with duplicates

Anders Sandberg (
23 Aug 1998 19:36:27 +0200

Emmanuel Charpentier <> writes:

> Another solution would simply be to have only one neural net (the
> original :) but many thought processes. The configuration/topology of
> the neural net is mainly the long term memory, the firing of neurons
> and synapses is mainly the working memory, so you just need to
> duplicate the later one... no? What you obtain is layers of persona.
> You can have 1000 thought processes and just one neural net
> configuration.

Nice idea, although I don't believe in it. It seems that the distinction between topological long-term changes and short term activities is rather blurred; most likely there are processes on all scales, making the short-term effects (calcium levels, dynamical synapses etc) necessary for longer-term effects (LTP, synaptic movements) and permanent storage. So the thought processes would have trouble with their long-term memory: each would suffer a kind of encoding impairment that would likely be rather distressing.

> Of course, it could still leads to serious troubles: how do you
> share important new informations? How do you change the configuration
> of the neural net (I guess sleep is a key)?

Sleep is likely the key of long-term memory consolidation, but obviously we learn during the day before going to sleep too. Maybe, if we are lucky (but don't count on it, this is something I'm almost certain doesn't work) you would only need to deal with the medial temporal lobe memory system. Then each process will have its own copy of the MTL and during sleep the exoself could run consolidation between the MTL of process 1 and the shared cortex, then consolidation for process 2, and so on. But don't count on it, most likely low-level learning is going on across the cortex as a part of normal thinking.

> What do you do with your body, because you still have only one?

Why only one? If you can do this with the neural nets, making extra bodies should be fairly simple (for those who want bodies. I would like to exist partially as processes on the net)

>Can a neural net layer function
> normally without a body?

Can a human function normally without a body? Most likely no, although the definition of normal may change. We are input-output driven, and without inputs we tend to fall asleep or get sensory deprivation problems, and without body feedback emotions become blunted. Most likely even completely virtual people will need simulated bodies, at least until they can be modified enough to handle new senses and forms of action.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y