September 23

Brain immortality: possibility or a myth?

Uploading the mind into a computer is one of the likely paths to human immortality.

Despite scientific breakthroughs every year, the human brain is still poorly understood. The idea of transferring consciousness from the brain to the new artificial body may seem out of reach, but it is feasible.

In what part of the brain is consciousness located and how can it be read and loaded into a computer? Everything is difficult both to understand and study, but the successful implementation of this process is possible under three basic assumptions:

  • Physicalism. Simply put, it is a representation of the same consciousness in the form of the structure and biochemistry of the brain in which it is contained.

  • Scalability. It implies a complete understanding of the brain and the ability to simulate all processes occurring in it in electronic form.

  • The theory of computability. Any simulation on a computer is represented as a program code. The theory of computability allows you to create correct software that allows virtual consciousness to work like the original.

Even if you use pictures to show everything in your brain, to simulate the processes that happen in it, you also need to understand the laws and rules of its work. Simulation should be dynamic, just like the function of the brain, from one millisecond to the next, during which it will develop, think, see and act. So far, no one knows whether this can be done or whether technology can generate a virtual copy of us. The peculiarity of consciousness is that it consists not only of those things that are known to us - it also includes unknown aspects.

It is currently unclear if the use of "mind uploading" will be possible, but scientists are studying the potential ethical implications of the technology. In their opinion, if someone thinks that "complete brain emulation" is only a matter of time, it is worth thinking about the moral rights of the new brain image: who will be able to download our consciousness into the virtual world? What rights will the virtual consciousness have? What are the possible abuses of this technology?

Researchers conduct computer simulations of neural networks, which are systems that mimic brain activity.

They believe that the creation of more complex artificial networks should probably be done gradually. Before anyone attempts to simulate the entire human brain, scientists are likely to simulate the animal brain first. Some scientists believe that virtual laboratory animals can replace real laboratory animals in scientific and medical research.

And although mind uploading is theoretically possible, for its practical implementation, it will take more than one hundred years to develop technology and scientific understanding.

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