addressalign-toparrow-leftarrow-rightbackbellblockcalendarcameraccwcheckchevron-downchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-small-downchevron-small-leftchevron-small-rightchevron-small-upchevron-upcircle-with-checkcircle-with-crosscircle-with-pluscontroller-playcrossdots-three-verticaleditemptyheartexporteye-with-lineeyefacebookfolderfullheartglobegmailgooglegroupshelp-with-circleimageimagesinstagramFill 1light-bulblinklocation-pinm-swarmSearchmailmessagesminusmoremuplabelShape 3 + Rectangle 1ShapeoutlookpersonJoin Group on CardStartprice-ribbonprintShapeShapeShapeShapeImported LayersImported LayersImported Layersshieldstartickettrashtriangle-downtriangle-uptwitteruserwarningyahoo

London Futurists Message Board Events/Meetups › New Meetup: Cryonics UK, One Year On - An update from David Styles

New Meetup: Cryonics UK, One Year On - An update from David Styles

Jonathan
Im-not-a-number
London, GB
Post #: 78
...a more realistic approach might be a destructive scanning of the brain and uploading into a Virtual Reality simulation.

I've heard that using a combination of strong acids and aggressive solvents, it's possible to 'decap' locked flash memories and EEPROMs, then read out the contents using an electron microscope. Are you proposing a similar type of mechanism for the human brain?

If this is the case, were it even possible, then a simulation would not be real life and neither would it be a faithful re-presentation of the person's total personality; therefore your thesis doesn't satisfy any of the advertised agenda of Cryonics UK - who appear to be offering that corpses will be preserved and one day 'cured' of being dead - whereupon the now undead can resume their place in the world of the living.

It seems to me that emulation may be a more viable option, but even in that case you would then require a live brain to be destroyed, which would probably be a little bit illegal.

Therefore, perhaps you could clarify your proposal a little, since it doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

David W.
dw2cco
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 44
I've heard that using a combination of strong acids and aggressive solvents, it's possible to 'decap' locked flash memories and EEPROMs, then read out the contents using an electron microscope. Are you proposing a similar type of mechanism for the human brain?

If this is the case, were it even possible, then a simulation would not be real life and neither would it be a faithful re-presentation of the person's total personality

It's worth reflecting on whether a neuron-level copy of a brain would provide a faithful representation of a person's total personality.

In case that copy turns out not to provide that kind of representation, a more ambitious project could include copying aspects of structure below the level of the neuron, or parts of the physical body outside the brain.

If (and I know that's a big 'if') such a series of copies is possible - increasingly covering more and more detail - then I am doubtful that these copies would all fail to provide a faithful representation of a total personality. What would be missing?

a simulation would not be real life

Are you completely sure that you are not living inside a simulation?

It seems to me that emulation may be a more viable option, but even in that case you would then require a live brain to be destroyed, which would probably be a little bit illegal.

Presumably the experiment would be done first with an animal where destroying the brain is still legal. For example, a rodent could be trained to have knowledge of particular mazes. Could this knowledge be transmitted into a copy?

PS Anders Sandberg is probably the best person to discuss these questions with.
Dirk B.
user 9941666
London, GB
Post #: 62
I'll start with the crudest approximation.
We slice the frozen brain into extremely thin sections sufficiently thin to reveal the details of neurons, ganglia, axons, synaptic gaps, glial cells etc, and their interconnections. We would also need to do some readout of neuorchemical concentrations to determine (for example) axon strengths. Then after we have extracted exabytes of data a physical map of the now destroyed brain would be built in software. This is likely to be orders of magnitude less complex than the raw data.
The next step is to replace each element of that physical map with a "black box" software simulation eg a neuron would be replaced by a piece of software modelling what a neuron does. Ditto axons etc. Finally connect data inputs to the sensory inputs of the computer model of the brain. Then run the model with sensory inputs and outputs connected to a virtual reality sufficiently complex to realistically model the world. A bit like The Matrix.

Two major problems.
a) It needs computing power at least (at a guess) millions of times greater than we have now.
b) If somehow the internals of a neuron are involved in significant information processing then the scanning has to be much finer and the computing power jumps up very substantially.
All this puts the technology, in my opinion, at least 50 years in the future.
But, if you are frozen, you can wait. And reviving people into a VR simulation would be vastly less expensive that doing some whole body nanotech resurrection.
A former member
Post #: 386
See i just don't buy this upload thing either - A copy of you cannot ever really be YOU! Even if you could it would just be partial as we are not the sum parts of our brains - there is a lot more than that to make the Self.
We know hearts have memories and possible personalities, the whole body seems to be a part of the Self lets not forget of course the relationships we have that also seem to be a part of the Self too. No AI or AGI is able to display any emotions (in fact AI research is very quiet about emotions) so how would we be able to upload emotions if we don;t even know how to even simulate them.
I think the upload thing is common theme because it seems like it should be possible: we back up hard drives and make mirror files all the time on computers. But we are NOT computers by any strectch of the imagination we are multicellular organisms which are self aware for want of better description. I don't see how any simulation could ever be rich enough to satisfy the Self. Think of the detail which goes into real life and all of the sensory outputs, laws of physics, so and so forth.
Can anyone tell me how big the machine would need to be to simulate 13.5 billion light years of known universe?
Dirk B.
user 9941666
London, GB
Post #: 65
Last question first. About a petaFLOPS ie not much.
Because all you have to simulate is what enters the senses - not the entire universe.
As for uploading, neural simulation would be identical to the original self unless you can come up with some reason why neurons and associated stuff cannot be simulated. Emotions etc are assumed to be artifacts of normal neural functioning. So if a neural map of a person is simulated, so is everything else from memory to responses to emotions. Whether such an uploaded "you" is really "you" - are you really the same person after a nights sleep?
terence f.
user 8611548
London, GB
Post #: 4
If it works you can wake up in some strange new world.
If it does not then you will never know.
Jonathan
Im-not-a-number
London, GB
Post #: 81
It's worth reflecting on whether a neuron-level copy of a brain would provide a faithful representation of a person's total personality.

I thought that was the point that I was making in asking whether a simulation would be good enough... In electrical engineering, the word 'emulation' is used to mean a very low-level reproduction of real life electrical signals. Thus, if we went out and purchased a professional microprocessor emulator, the software would come with a processor-shaped connection, that you would actually plug into a circuit board and use to run instructions with it.

So, thinking about a better definition, and speculating, we could split things into three levels:

Virtualization level. At this level, a high level emulation of large portions of the brain might be used to simulate the behaviour of multiple neurons and even entire Brodmann areas. Simulation at this level would probably be very human-specific, and might behave in noticeably different ways than the original.

Logical level. At this level, we could assume that each dendrite, ganglion, interneuron etc. is emulated as single units, as accurately as possible, based on experimental data, neurological research, probing of individual neurons before the subject died or Dirk's cryotome sectioning idea. I'd hazard a guess that this would allow us to map memory areas, and input / output signals, which might later be replicated with varying degrees of accuracy.

Signal level. At this level, all the electrochemical signals in the brain would be simulated, much like our microprocessor emulator mentioned above. The catch here is that in electrical engineering, even with current computer processing power we are unable to emulate even relatively simple circuitry from the 1970's at anywhere near the speed it ran at in the 1970's, using signal level emulation.

What we can do though is just rebuild the hardware from the 1970's, and use that rather than an emulated version; which makes me think it would probably be a whole lot easier to clone a new brain, and copy the information from one to the other. It seems to be commonly accepted here that one day information will be able to flow from wetware to electronic storage (although I have no clue as to how). So, I suspect it might be a heck of a lot easier to link one brain to another (avoiding the risk of a power outage during the transfer to a hard disk) and simply copy the information directly across.

Thus, it sounds to me that Dirk, in suggesting we simulate the input as well as the processing, seems to be writing the original human out of the equation - by shifting everything into a big "black box" where presumably simulated people 'exist' in a sort of permanent Second life simulation, but separated from the real world and thus nobody would be able to test whether they were same person as before they 'went in' or not. This reminds me somewhat of the Hermeticists summoning Decan demons into statues, so that they could obtain knowledge, but I'm digressing here.

A copy of you cannot ever really be YOU! Even if you could it would just be partial as we are not the sum parts of our brains - there is a lot more than that to make the Self.

What more is there that makes the self? As far as I can tell, I would still be me, were I unfortunate enough to lose one or more limbs or one or more senses. However, in cases where people have suffered strokes or lost part of their neural functioning, then their behaviour / personality / memories have often altered radically. Further, emotions are just Biochemistry, which is something again controlled by the brain.

I've spoken to those knowledgeable about quantum computing, and it's been speculated that part of the brain might actually be a quantum computer, but that idea is so radical that few would want to wreck their careers, by publicly backing it. However, if that is not the case, then theoretically, if you could create a new you molecule by molecule, then you would actually have an exact clone of yourself. Needless to say the chances of this occurring in practise are somewhere between miniscule and nothing.

are you really the same person after a nights sleep?
&
Are you completely sure that you are not living inside a simulation?

Descartes Deceiving Demon is well known, as well as the criticism levelled against him (and Plato and Aristotle for that matter) that requiring certainty of knowledge makes it extremely difficult to prove anything to the rigor that Descartes requires.

This is a problem about the relation of causality to knowledge - given knowledge of a cause (and the laws of nature), we can usually predict what the effect will be - put your hand in the fire, you get burned - step in front of a fast moving car, you get run over.

But given the effect, it's very much more difficult to reason backwards to the cause; the Fire Investigation Unit could turn up to investigate the cause of a fire, but lots of things might have caused that fire - and it's even possible that they might never be able to figure out what the cause was - so the relationship between cause and effect isn't symmetrical.

Given a cause, there will be an effect. But given an effect, there could have been many causes able to produce the same effect. Therefore, even if we can't immediately predict the effect from the cause, we can always wait around to see what it is. On the other hand, if we can't determine the cause from the effect, tough luck, you'll never know.

Therefore, in asking the questions quoted above, you are asking us to reason backwards from effect to cause. So, indeed, I might have hallucinated that today I am still the same person that I was yesterday... possibly through illness, insanity, drugs, trauma, sensory deprivation, etc. Whichever way you look at it, nobody has ever produced a creditable solution to those types of question...

But, if I waken in a strange new world, the cause is the gross differences that I detect in my memories between yesterday and today, and the effect is arousing in an unfamiliar new environment. Here, I am reasoning from cause to effect, because I am aware that 'something' radical has occurred, and thus I'll want to know as a matter of utmost urgency exactly how it happenned.
Dirk B.
user 9941666
London, GB
Post #: 67
It seems that there are vast philosophical problems that remain intractable.
However, to some extent they might be amenable to experimental resolution.
This is largely what the Blue Brain project is about, simulating the neural structure of a rat:
http://bluebrain.epfl...­
When we get to the point of expanding such projects to larger mammalian brains we might be a realistic idea of what is necessary and what isn't. Of course, we will not know for sure until a full Human brain is emulated/simulated and we can ask "what's it like?".
If we are really lucky, we can get it to work with simple neuron models.
If we are really unlucky we might need to simulate quantum effects in each neuron.
A former member
Post #: 408
Gutted missed this meetup - Wanted to ask Mr Styles if he was a confidence trickster!
- does anyone have a youtubey link - need it for research into my book.
David W.
dw2cco
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 47
Gutted missed this meetup - Wanted to ask Mr Styles if he was a confidence trickster!
- does anyone have a youtubey link - need it for research into my book.

A video of the talk will be available at the usual YouTube location as soon as Adam has had the chance to process it (into the required 10 minute chunks) and upload it.

If you spend some time with cryonicists, like David Styles, you'll see that they genuinely believe in what they are saying, and are aware of the risks and uncertainties with that they're attempting.
Powered by mvnForum

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy