Eugen Leitl writes:

[quoting Stathis]
> point in human evolution. But while we have been discussing the rich
> philosophical issues raised by this possibility, and touched on some of the > social issues in a world where copying is common, nobody has really talked > about how these copies will actually be made. It seems to me that our old


This has been discussed in other places though, ad nauseam. Of current
relevance is only one: building numerical models from crysectioned
cryopreserved (vitrified) human tissue. We won't see anything else within our
lifetime.

There you have a number of issues arising: loss of a few hour window
(everything not yet consolidated into long-term memory), destruction of the
original (destructivey copy), creation of an abstracted copy (or several
copies), based on a different substrate yet isofunctional.

This may be getting a little off topic for this list, but it has always seemed to me hopelessly naive to think that a person's mind could be emulated from cryopreserved brain tissue. It would be like trying to recreate a telephone conversation by examining a diagram of a city's telephone network. Even if you could get the anatomy correct, which would mean knowing every neuron's connection with every other neuron, you would have nowhere near enough information to model a human brain, let alone a particular human brain state at the time of death. You would also need to know the electrical potential at every point of every cell membrane; the ionic gradients (Na, K, Ca, pH and others) across every cell membrane, including intracellular membranes; the type, position and conformation of every receptor, ion channel and other proteins; the intracellular and local extracellular concentrations of every neurotransmitter; the workings of the cellular transport, synthetic and repair mechanisms for each neuron and probably also for each supporting glial cell; the intracellular and extracellular concentration of other small molecules such as glucose, O2, CO2; how all of this is changing with respect to time; and probably thousands of other paramemters, many of which would currently be unknown. Most of this information would probably be lost post-mortem, but even if some process could be found that preserves it, the sort of technology needed to scan a brain at this sort of detail would probably not be far short of atom for atom matter duplication and teleportation.

--Stathis Papaioannou

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