Multiple Future Bens

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Mon Dec 23 2002 - 07:46:41 MST

Hi all,

I've been thinking about what I'm going to do with myself in 15-30 years or

What I think I'd like to do is to create a *series* of 5 Bens:

Ben1: pretty much like me, but with an immortal, illness-free body and more
control over things like sleep, anger, etc. ...

Ben2: a human-computer hybrid, with a human body but a neural link into
computer systems

Ben3: A Ben in a humanoid robot body, with the ability to breathe in space,
fly, etc.

Ben4: an uploaded computer program seeded with my mind, and allowed to grow
more intelligent, but specifically required to maintain communication with
Ben1, Ben2 and Ben3

Ben5: an uploaded computer program allowed to evolve and self-modify in any
direction ... quite probably it will soon become clever enough to be
disinterested in Ben1, Ben2, Ben3 and Ben4 and effectively "disappear"...

I think every human being should be offered any or all of these
possibilities. Some will reject all of them, which is fine.

I am curious what you folks think.

Of course, we don't want the list polluted with mini-responses like "Yeah,
sounds good to me" or "I prefer option 5," etc. This is not a poll!

What I'm curious about is if anyone has clearly-articulable reasons or
feelings leading them to prefer a different sort of choice -- e.g. "option 5
only" or "option 2 only" etc. -- or a different option not on the list (e.g.
"my brain transplanted into a chinchilla's body" -- but with a detailed
explanation ;)

Based on conversations with ordinary people, I think that option 1 is
appealing very widely in the human populace, whereas the other options are
scary. This is partly just a statement that the public has a very low
"Shock Level", of course.

-- Ben Goertzel

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