Duplicate other people from my mind?

Harvey Newstrom (harv@gate.net)
Thu, 17 Sep 1998 00:09:21 -0400

Here is a strange idea I had. We have been talking about duplicating all of a person's thoughts into an upload as a means to recreate a person. Ignoring the discussion of whether it transfers or copies an individual, I think we all agree that it creates an individual that is very similar to the original.

Now, to copy me, I assume that we have to read my thoughts and memories. My desires, memories, goals, etc., must not only be read and duplicated, but I think they must be decipherable and interpreted.

Now, suppose that I am cryogenically frozen and brought back in the future. They may have scanned my entire mind and recreated my thought processes into a new body for me. What about my family members who were not recorded, stored and recreated? They are gone and lost forever.

But, I have memories of them. What they looked like, how they acted, what they said, how they lived. What if all the known data about a family member is also read out of my mind, and used to recreate that family member? It wouldn't be a true representation, but it would be a recreation of my perception of them. If the recreation looked the same, spoke the same, acted the same, generated the same kinds of reactions and conversations, I probably couldn't tell the difference. As far as I would know, that person would have been recreated.

To carry the idea further, what if they gather information about this person from many different people? Each person would have a different perspective than me, and would have different data that I wouldn't know. The resulting recreation would be an individual that would fool all of us into thinking it was just like the original person. The recreation would have data from all of us, so it could still tell each of us things we didn't know about it. It might even be able to synthesize data together and come up with conclusions about itself that nobody else knew, because none of us had the complete picture.

Such a person would be a perfect recreation, as far as any outside observer could tell. Families might be able to recreate lost members who did not survive. Such a recreation would not know the original's secret fantasies, desires, or fears. Anything hidden by the original would be lacking in the recreation. The recreation would be of the public mask represented to the world, and may or may not be very similar to the actual original.

Any comments about this method of recreating people? It wouldn't meet my definition of survival. But it might be interesting to create a new person to replace a lost person.

Harvey Newstrom                                  <mailto:harv@gate.net>
Author, Engineer, Entrepreneur,             <http://www.gate.net/~harv>
Consultant, Researcher, Scientist.           <ldap//certserver.pgp.com>