Re: (Ir)Relevance of Transhumanity in a Strong AI Future

Dan Clemmensen (
Fri, 23 Jan 1998 19:54:42 -0500 wrote:
> What relevance does transhumanity have in a future where the strong AI
> hypothesis turns out to be true? The intuitive answers appears to be "very
> little". To the extent that we can create artificial minds that are more
> intelligent that the human mind, transhumanity would appear to have the same
> significance in such a world as trans-raccoonism has today.
There is a fundamental difference. Trans-racoons are not the
progenitors of humans.

There are two possible relationships between humanity and
post-human computer-based superintelligences (SI). Humans will either
be "merely" the progenitors, or human-derived conscionesses will be
incorporated into the SI. Even if we are "only" the initial
creators of th SI, this still places us in the same relationship
to the SI as we are to our human children. Unless you believe in
an afterlife, our children and the artifacts and ideas we leave behind
is all there is. With SI, your progeny are likely to remember
you longer than your merely human decendents would, so you are
more "relevant" to the SI than to simple humanity.

More interesting is the possibility that your consciousness will
be incorporated into the SI, or will evolve into the SI, or will
upload into the SI, anywhere along the contuum from separate
unmodified entity to complete assimilation. In any such
scenario, you are as relevant to the SI as your current
self is to you self of next week.