RE: Multiple Future Bens

From: Billy Brown (
Date: Mon Dec 23 2002 - 11:38:44 MST

Ben Goertzel wrote:
> I've been thinking about what I'm going to do with myself in
> 15-30 years or so...
> What I think I'd like to do is to create a *series* of 5 Bens:

In an ideal scenario, I see my own preferences as more of a process than a
goal. Remaining completely human and upgrading so fast as to loose any
semblance of personal continuity both seem like pointless exercises to me.
Instead, I'd like to pursue an open-ended process of personal enhancement,
but at a relatively leisurely pace.

So, I'd upgrade to the 'Ben 1' level pretty quickly, and then begin a
process where I go in for another upgrade on a regular basis. Maybe I get IR
vision this month, and a basic implant computer next month, and a
nuclear-powered metabolism a year or two down the road. The idea is to keep
the rate of change down to something I can comfortably adapt to - which, of
course, means that the rate of change will tend to increase as the effect of
various mental upgrades adds up.

I see this process leading through your 'Ben 2' and 'Ben 3' states, and on
to what I'll call 'Billy 4.5'. Billy 4.5 is a software intelligence created
by gradual uploading and upgrades, with most of the 'obvious' cognitive
enhancements one runs across in fiction. This includes robust
multiprocessing, so he can simultaneously operate several physical bodies
(human-like or not) and VR avatars.

Eventually, this kind of upgrade path would presumably lead into SI
territory, but it could take quite a long time. I usually consider Billy 4.5
to be about the most advanced kind of entity I can productively speculate
about, so that's where I usually stop.


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