soft incremental uploads

Eric Watt Forste (
Fri, 9 Aug 1996 18:46:24 -0700

At 2:28 AM 8/9/96, Eugene Leitl wrote:
>As low-artefact brain cryopreservation is an absolute prerequisite for
>uploading (soft incremental uploads are a myth, imo) I am perfectly happy
>with the Prometheus project.

What about the near-future use of cognitive prostheses? I mean neural-net
chips that are trained to mimic functions of very small pieces of human
brain tissue that might be used to cure the kind of aphasias and other
cognitive deficits that small ischemic strokes and other brain injuries can
cause. I think economic demand within the health-care industry will lead to
heavy funding of this technology path, and once the engineering research to
develop silicon cognitive prostheses is well underway, the same
technologies can be used to enhance and expand "normal" function.

Once people start using silicon neural-nets to expand and enhance normal
brain function, one can imagine a smooth path to a point in which one's
"identity" has gradually moved "into" the silicon prostheses, because
eventually there would simply be more and faster computational power on the
prosthesis side. The sorts of computational structures that neural networks
support (minds, in this case) can be extremely protean and flexible.

The logical end result of this technology path would be something similar
to Greg Egan's "jewel" or Ndoli device. I don't think the possibility of
soft incremental uploads can be so easily dismissed until after we learn
more about the way neural networks (both artificial and natural) work.

Eric Watt Forste <>