The year is 2045. Singularity is upon us. While your body has aged, you have the choice to live forever by transferring your consciousness into a computer.
What do you do?
Would you choose death or immortality?
This scenario seems like a pipe dream yet it could come to fruition sooner than you think. According to Dr. Hannah Critchlow, an accomplished neuroscientist at Cambridge University, “mind uploading” might be possible within the lifetimes of baby boomers.
While the brain is an amazing piece of technology, we do know that it functions like a large, albeit exceptionally complex, circuit board. The brain’s neural connections operate in a manner similar to the electric circuits used in computers. Chritchlow believes that computer scientists will eventually create a computer with trillions of circuit connections that make it possible to download human consciousness. If this occurs, it might be possible to live within a machine.
The most important features of the brain would be scanned, mapped, copied, transferred and stored onto a computational device so that we could all live within a simulated world instead of perishing like those who came before us.
What would life inside of a computer be like? If the immortality program is designed to replicate our current reality, would you be interested in living forever? Your computerized body and mind would never deteriorate so retirement might not exist. Can you imagine laboring at the behest of virtual capitalists for eternity? Or would scarcity no longer be a problem in such a virtual world?
Futurist extraordinaire, Nick Bostrom, believes that we are living in such a computer simulation right now. According to philosophers like Bostrom, there is a strong chance that humanity is re-enacting a drama that actually occurred long ago. According to the historical simulation argument, our existence occurs in a supercomputer created by highly advanced life forms. Bostrom argues that these intelligent beings create historical simulators as a means of pseudo-time travel. They might even actively control our reality similar to how we play video games. It’s a bit like Age of Empires meets The Sims.
Pretend for a moment that the academics in the Bostrom camp are actually correct. If your reality is an experience contained within a computerized historical simulation, opting to upload your consciousness to a second computer would add yet another layer to your existence. It would be like digging a new rabbit hole inside of the one that you already ventured into when your consciousness came to condense within — or be created by — your central nervous system.
Perhaps there is a reason why the human body is designed to gradually malfunction and cease operating. Could it be that we chose to incarnate into these bodies as a means of engaging in a temporary physical experience?
Breaking the natural life-death cycle through “brain uploading” is a ballsy roll of the dice. What if our consciousness moves into another dimension upon death and the veil is pulled back to reveal the true meaning of human life? It is possible that the experience following your human existence is a grandly decadent, never-ending stream of pleasure to reward you for your servitude on planet Earth.
Are you willing to miss out on possible ‘salvation’ due to a fear of the unknown? Put on your thinking cap, because the choice may soon be yours.