Re: Uplifting II

Technotranscendence (
Thu, 2 Dec 1999 22:23:49 -0800

On Thursday, December 02, 1999 5:52 PM Robert J. Bradbury wrote:
> I would however argue that "uplifting" without "uploading" is
> probably going to be fairly difficult. You are going to have
> a very difficult time discovering when you have actually achieved
> "sentience" without have a *lot* of diagnostics in the system.

I think you will run into the same problem with diagnostics in a uploaded system. The difference is, of course, that the uploaded brain can be more easily manipulated. Even so, right now, it would be easier to do as I said previously then work through getting accurate uploads.

In this vein, uplifting can be pretty low tech, though it mgiht take so long that uploading (and other) technology will surpass it in a few decades. Remember how canola oil was made edible...

> I don't think you can do it (with any certainty) with a pure
> biotech mediated approach. It might be possible with a combination
> of biotech generic-neuro-organs *and* nanobot mediated single-neuron
> monitoring and strength tuning. But grafting neuro-organs onto
> existing (and potentially widely different) neuroarchitectures is
> going to be a very *iffy* proposition. "Uplifting" primates - ok,
> dogs, pigs & cats - perhaps, dolphins & whales - fine. Octopodes -
> hmmmmm... Flies and Ants... doubtful. Yeast, you've got to be kidding.

The problem is coming up with all those technologies. I choose the octopus because it already is fairly intelligent, breeds in large numbers (lots of variation to notice and work with), is very different from humans (don't want to reinvent us:), has a short life cycle (allowing one to see results faster), and might be easier to hide from would be regulators/prohibitors. (I bet once an uplifting gets under way, there will be people out to stop, some of them using deadly force to destroy the uplifters and the uplifted.)

Though I'd love to see new technologies like that take hold and be used in such a process, I think, for now, we should focus on what we have. Pretend, if you will, that this is a business and we have to deliver a product -- and the product isn't a science fiction novel!:) -- in a certain time frame. We can take the approach of acting as if we will have all kinds of neat tech and base our plans and forecasts on that. Most likely, we'd be out of business before we went public. Or we can try to, as a certain person I know says, "build a tugboat that floats not a battleship that sinks.":)

> If you upload before uplifting the whole thing gets much easier.

Again, I'm not debating the long run ease, just saying that if you want to uplift something, we can start now. We don't have to wait for nanobots and other future tech.


Daniel Ust