Uplifting anyone?

Twink (neptune@mars.superlink.net)
Sun, 16 Nov 1997 15:10:59 -0500 (EST)

Since I am new to this list, I feel it might be better to start a thread, then
pickup with the current discussions. I know many would be trans-
humanists are interested in uplifting -- i.e., making a nonsentient species
sentient. I am too. (I know there must be stuff/web pages out there on
this already, so forgive any redundancies. And point them out to me!:)

Often when I tell people about this -- and not just anyone, but people I
think might share an interest in it or at least be able to talk about it in a
sensible way -- they see it as either pointless or insane. Pointless,
because we already have humans. No need to reinvent the mind...:)
Insane, because they think it might akin to putting a human in a non-
human body. Imagine putting your mind in the body of a weasel. Sure,
it might be nice for a romp in the park, has potential if you want to
solve your rodent problem in an exciting way, but the limitations!

My arguments for uplifting -- and believe me, my interest is pedestrian:
I'm not losing sleep over this, come what may:) -- are threefold. I see it
as a way to experiment on minds in general. The pay off here is that
if we can uplift, say, a dog, then hopefully, the technology/technique
will carry over into intelligence enhancement in humans.

Next, uplifted dogs, to stick with my example, would also be good for
lots of things that might be done by humans but that a dog's abilities
are better at (e.g., guarding property), but which current robots are
not yet up to.

Third, the gains for the culture/memescape might be great. We get
the bonus of an added perspective. This is almost like using genetic
algorithmns to design bridges as opposed to human engineering. The
dog perspective on the world will help up to expand the limits of ours.

Those are my quickie reasons for uplifting. I look forward to your

Daniel Ust