Scientist suggests mind-uploading tech that creates a virtual copy of you to live forever may be ready in our lifetimes
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Have you ever wondered what the future of humanity would look like? Well, you might be able to see it sooner than you thought.
This is because scientists believe that those of us who are alive today might be around long enough to see technology advance beyond our imaginations.
What is this amazing thing that could happen?
We could upload our brains to computers, essentially ‘living’ forever.
By essentially creating a virtual copy of yourself, it’ll be kept safe on a computer for so much longer than our bodies can survive.
According to a senior lecturer at the University of Western Australia, we might be a lot closer to making this a reality.
Clas Weber specialises in philosophy of the mind, AI and metaphysics, and they believe that technology will be capable of uploading our brains, or at least mapping them, in the net decade.
He explained: "It took years and hundreds of millions of dollars to map the first human genome about 20 years ago."
"Today, the fastest labs can do it within hours for about $100.
"With similar gains in efficiency, we might see mind-uploading technology within the lifetimes of our children or grandchildren."
But mapping the brain is just the start, as there are three challenges to overcome before an upload can begin.
One is being able to develop the technology to actually upload our brain, as this requires a cloning and transferring ability that we haven’t got yet.
Weber said: "Trying to simulate the human brain would be a monumental challenge.
"Our brains are the most complex structures in the known universe. They house around 86 billion neurons and 85 billion non-neuronal cells, with an estimated one million billion neural connections.
"For comparison, the Milky Way galaxy is home to about 200 billion stars."
There is also the issue of whether a simulated brain could ‘give rise to a real mind’.
By using AI, they hope to mimic some parts of how the mind works, but it could take a long time.
The last issue is whether or not it’ll be your mind and you or just a synthetic person with copied memories.
Weber explained: "Only then does mind uploading become a way for you to live on.
"Imagine your brain is transplanted into the empty skull of another person’s body.
"Is the resulting person, who has your memories, preferences and personality, you – as the mental camp thinks?
"Or are they the person who donated their body? In other words, did you get a new body or did they get a new mind?"
He also went on to warn that uploading a mind is a ‘huge leap of faith’ to whether it’ll work or not.