Examples in History, Popular Culture, and the News
Some of these technologies have been seen in the past.
The popular culture of Science-Fiction uses these advanced technology ideas precisely because they are inherently problematical. In other words, these ideas are the essence of drama.
One problem in researching this paper is that the news is filled with technology stories about augmenting the mind.
Historically, the written word, and then the printed word, augmented the mind by increasing its storage capacity. The computer, and the Internet, have greatly amplified that capacity. But before external technology, we had the technology of the mind itself. The Iliad is around only because people memorized it. Memory skills still exist, e.g., slam poets. But now it's nothing compared to the practical Capacity of the Google-aided mind.
Capacity in the news.
1. Microsoft's MyLifeBits™
This project is designed to collect and data-mine the immense mountain of everything you've ever heard, seen, or written. MyLifeBits™ is a lifetime store of everything.
2. DARPA's LifelogFor anyone not familiar with DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), a micro-history lesson: DARPA was begat by ARPA, which also begat Arpanet, which begat the Internet. DARPA is one of the world's foremost drivers of human enhancement, but not always publicly.
So I was surprised to find this public AP report: Pentagon documents state that the goal of the DARPA project LifeLog is to develop software that deduces behavioral patterns from monitoring people's daily activities . . . Here's another quote from the same report:
Did you catch it? What did you see? Everything he or she sees? Really? Ever had the TV or the radio on when you weren't really paying attention? Are you willing to be liable for everything you see or hear?
In Popular Culture: Like every Science Fiction movie ever made with a computer as Super Brain.
Projects in the news enhancing brain Capability range from genetic engineering to the super-intelligences of AI and superbrain computers.
RelocationThere are probably some historical examples of mind uploading, but they probably ended up in asylums.
Relocation is variously referred to as mind uploading, whole-brain emulation, and mind transfer. One significant current effort aimed at Relocating the brain is the Blue Brain project, a collaboration between IBM and a Swiss university team.
Modestly called the most ambitious project in the field of neuroscience, it uses the world's most powerful supercomputer, IBM's Blue Gene, to simulate a mouse brain down to molecular and gene levels of processing. The project leader says it's the equivalent of going to the moon.
Last July, another Relocation story in the news was a report from Dr. Ian Pearson, head of the Futurology at British Telecom. He predicted the uploading of the mind by 2050. He based his prediction on the same factor as everyone else. All we need to upload the brain to a computer is more computer power. Here's what I think about sure things:
The problem is, quite simply, that we don't have a sufficient understanding of brain, mind, or consciousness. Not that we'll never have that knowledge. But assuming that it is inevitable the way more computing power is inevitable is just plain silly.
A recent PBS program stated that in his last few years, Leonardo da Vinci organized his notebooks for posterity. For someone who was interested in everything, made notes all the time, and finished only a tiny percent of his projects, Leonardo's Notebooks are highly structured. Clearly, he intended these for the future.
Digital immortality means gathering a person's data and using the best possible current interactive presentation of a digital persona making it accessible to the world, forever.
Longevity in Popular Culture
Nothing says popular culture like Disney. And who's more popular than Abe Lincoln?
How about Ronald Reagan?
How about Ronald Reagan? I went to his website. I was the only person there. It's in sad shape, obviously unfinished. Instead of finding a good example of digital immortality, I found a reason why we need standards.
The mission of the Digital Immortality Institute (DII) is to examine the ethical, social, and technological problems of digital immortality through investigation, conferences, and public forums. And promote the practicality of digital immortality through research and example.
Current examples of Longevity in the news range from extending life (cryonics) to extending aspects of mind (digital immortality) to extending brain existence (uploading).
But did you know about:
Those small discs contain data and pictures about the deceased.
Virtual Headstones online @ www.londonmemorial.co.uk
The World Wide Cemetery @ www.cemetery.org
Lifelong memories at www.mem.com
Legacy.com is the leading provider of online obituaries
Forever Network: Funeral Chapel Cemetery Library of Lives
BUT THERE'S ANOTHER MAJOR TREND:
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Digital Immortality InstituteThis is the Examples page to the T2006 Paper page for DII