Re: Ken MacLeod on AI and uploads

From: Dani Eder (
Date: Fri Apr 02 2004 - 09:40:57 MST

Perhaps I'm
> just being stubborn, but I remain unconvinced that
> it's possible at all. To
> claim that human personalites, with real continuity
> with those they've been
> copied from, can exist in a virtual environment
> raises philosophical
> questions far deeper than most stories on the
> subject even consider, and
> far too deep for me to go into here.

My answer to such comments is this mind experiment
(pun intended):

Imagine that you live a good portion of your life
in a 'VR suit'. This is a device that feeds you
sensory inputs (sight, sound, touch) and in turn
passes back your actions. It is immaterial whether
you actually walk around wearing this suit, like
a suit of armor, or whether you are stationary
and a suitable robot does the walking around for

Now imagine further that the VR suit (or some suitable
equipment off to the side) has a multiple of human
processing capacity, so that it not only takes in
all the sensory inputs you get, in parallel, but
models your outputs and attempts to match them.
If you get to the point where the model acts
essentially identically to the real person, I claim
you have copied the personality.

Now that you have the copied personality interacting
in the real world, you can substitute inputs from
an artificial environment, and you are now fully


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