Re: Upload rehearsal?

Anders Sandberg (
Tue, 29 Oct 1996 19:39:41 +0100 (MET)

On Mon, 28 Oct 1996, Chris Hind wrote:

> Gods in the judeo-christian sense mean all knowing which will be partially
> true as an upload since your brain will have access to the sum of human
> knowledge pooled into a vat of ideas stored all over the internet.

Well, the Internet makes us into very partial gods. The big problem is
not access, it is finding and using information. And that is very
nontrivial, we need to develop computer-aided cognition (CAC).

> Being a
> God also means having the power to create life and with nano, or even
> closer to our present time: genetic engineering. We have almost filled the
> requirements for being a judeo-christian god. Why would I need a super-AI
> for any of this?

Seen any nano recently? Noticed some megaengineering? I shouldn't be
sarcastic, but we are very far from the judeo-christian god. I would say
we will only get close to the transcendent entity they refer to at the
Omega Point. (see below)

And yes, you would need super-AI to create life with nano, either as a
part of yourself or as your designer. It is not trivial at all (just look
at any book on cell biology). Creating good artificial life in virtual
reality is hard enough.

> Human brains can already be make to multitask stemming
> from multiple personality disorder where multiple people can live out of
> the same brain.

These personalities does not work in parallel, instead they seem to be
different metastable "attractors" of the brain. The person shifts between
them (and they can be extremely different - there are even differences in
their sensory evolked potentials!), but when a personality isn't "used"
it doesn't exist. But we have plenty of other multitask power in our
unconscious mind.

> >Yes, I would definitely start working on building worlds (not entire
> >universes at first), but their complexities are still limited by the
> >amount of computation power we have - and that will be limited and cost
> >money too. Read _Permutation City_ by Greg Egan for some ideas.
> You need not even render them! You can describe them in fine detail on
> paper or in a text file and when truely simple VRML design tools come
> around, you can begin building these worlds and gradually upgrade them to
> the next design format standard that comes out and continually increase the
> detail till uploading time comes.

I was talking about running them. Let's say I want to create a cellular
automaton universe (the Autoverse) with roughly the same internal size and
complexity as the solar system. Assume we use clever compression so we
only have to deal with the places where matter exists, then we have around
10^31 kg of virtual matter, containing around 10^23 "atoms" each - 10^54
bits for the whole simulation. This simulation will not run in a computer
smaller than a star unless we can find some very clever optimizations...

> Won't change your mind much? Hows knowing the sum of human knowledge sound?
> Remember with uploading you fill the requirements for a judeo-christian god
> which is the god-like being standards which most people refer to.

No, you will at best become something close to a greek god - powerful,
knowledgeable, immortal and able to change yourself and the world. But you
are still not the least bit transcendent, omniscient, omnipotent or

The sum of human knowledge sounds nice. But I want more.

> Why in even a primitive upload you will have some sort of virtual
> environment such as looking through the eyes of an avatar in Alpha World or
> having the first person perspective of the player in quake. You will have
> some sort of sensory data coming in or it would be torture to sit in stasis
> waiting for technology to increase to the point of good VR. Especially as
> an uploaded being, waiting for sufficently advanced VR would be torture
> because if your mental processes are _much_ faster, one day of waiting may
> seem like 10 years and this is a very conservative estimate.

But you could of course simply halt them until the necessary technology
arrives. Instant (forward) timetravel.

> I could care
> less if my ideas were the only thing that transferred to the digital realm.
> I want to live in it! ME! ME! ME!


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