Re: disadvantages of uploading

Anders Sandberg (
Thu, 12 Jun 1997 23:38:22 +0200 (MET DST)

On Thu, 12 Jun 1997 wrote:

> To simulate physical object (which we all are) in all detail (all detail to
> our knowlege) would take more physical space than the original object.

Not necessarily. Most objects are highly redundant (order usually
means that the object can be described succintly, chaos is hard to
describe), which means you can optimize the simulation a lot.
Besides, if your simulation has a lowest scale, a computer using
scales below it could easily be smaller.

> We may well be able to simulate the 'functions' of a brain, but would this be
> a brain? Just because we've made rules to make it look like a brain, doesn't
> mean it *is* a brain. I believe that in-order to simulate a brain you would
> have to simulate every detail, thus offering no advantages over the original
> brain (infact the new brain would be at a disadvantage).

But what is "every detail"? Every neural network? Every neuron? Every
synapse? Every ion channel? Every atom? Every quantum? If it turns
out that it is enough to simulate ever synapse, then we could likely
build a nanocomputer that is smaller. Quantum computing might even
make it possible to do some atomic scale simulations in a smaller
space if we are lucky and clever.

My personal guess is that we will need roughly the synaptic level of
detail; ion channels are practically identical (a kind of
nanodevices really) and can likely be handled statistically, if atoms
were important we would have a trouble with them wandering around the
whole place, and quantum effects are best left to the Church of the
Holy Trinity of Penrose, Hameroff and Sarfatti. :-)

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