RE: Paths to Uploading

Billy Brown (
Mon, 4 Jan 1999 12:44:28 -0600

Anders Sandberg wrote:
> I don't think you can get uploading without fine-grained models. How
> do you make a higher-level model of a mind without scanning it on a
> low level? Remember that the only thing we know are possible to scan
> are the actual physical processes going on in the head, not the
> information processes. And these scanable processes are low-level
> stuff like neural firing, neuron types, connectivity and so on, highly
> variable and individual.

Yes, but you don't need to be able to sim the entire brain at this level. You can build an abstract, generalized neuron simulator without ever simulating more than a small cluster of neurons at the molecular level. Set up one instance of the simulator for every neuron in the brain, and you've got an upload.

Of course, you still need to scan at the molecular level to get the data to initialize those simulators. The advantage is that you reduce the computational burden by a gigantic factor. The necessary knowledge of neurobiology should already exist by the time we can run even this simplified sim, so this approach should be feasible long before we could run the brute-force sim.

Billy Brown, MCSE+I