If You Upload Your Mind to a Computer - Are You Still You?

You are probably assuming that the body and brain are somehow destroyed or consumed in the process.

The uploaded individual is a digital descendent. He will have all your memories and preferences, according to the precision of the upload process.

The digital individual will also have a continuous concious experience, extending back to you. This means they will feel and be like you as much as you feel like being the same individual you were before you went to bed, or yourself a month ago.

It is possible that technical constraints of the virtual environments in which digital minds live is not a perfect copy to what we experience. In such case, the digital descendent would feel dislocated from reality, like you would feel if you had to live in a different world, Mars or a submarine, where many things feel different and act different. This don't affect the concious continuity, but it can make it feel less credible. Technical improvements should help with this.

Legaly, it can be argued that the digital descendent is entitled to inherite all your property, maybe your contracts and identity also, if the contracts envisioned such possibility and contractants agree. If not, this would need judicial decisions to resolve.

When the original brain is left intact, the fact that the digital descendent has a different existence than you becomes apparent. I don't see many live people agreeing their digital descendents can have as many rights as themselves, even if they will be treated humanely.

This happens because the process of uploading probes your most intimate memories and thoughts. The individual is completely exposed and cannot reasonably agree to not having control of those memories and thoughts after the process.

Of course some minority can still want to give their digital descendents full autonomy, I imagine this could create all sorts of conflicts if the descendents are disloyal or opportunistic.

Thinking of uploaded individuals as descendents don't diminish the value of the individual neither the value of the process. Most biological reproduction does not and cannot transmit your intimate thoughts, priceless memories and unique preferences to your descendents. Being able to preserve and transmit that portion of us to beloved descendents is amazing and rewarding beyond any technology we have today.

The digital descendents are interconnected with us in the most intimate way. The experience of having such partners and heritage is also invaluable. They will love and improve the word in all ways influenced and participant in your own love and wishes for the world.

Of course, as technology advances even beyond uploading, there will be processes in which concious and physical continuity of the brain can be mantained which the brain is changed into a much improved organ. In such process, the physical continuity garantees your identity and individuality.

The brain changed by biological improvements and artificial components would be incredibly durable, integrated to digital systems, extremely more capable. In this way, you can build a digital self at the same time as your physical self, in a perfect physical and concious continuity, perfect loyalty, cooperation and harmony. Such improved physical and digital existence would be the sophisticated equivalent of learning and living using a new language, under a new culture and new identity, still having all your previous memories and knowledge guiding the process so you improve yourself and achieve worthy goals.

/r/singularity Thread Link - singularityhub.com