“When you talk to a human in 2035, you’ll be talking to someone that’s a combination of biological and non-biological intelligence.” -Ray Kurzweil
B y definition, posthumanism (I choose to call it ‘cyberhumanism’) is to replace transhumanism at the center stage circa 2035. By then, mind uploading could become a reality with gradual neuronal replacement, rapid advancements in Strong AI, massively parallel computing, and nanotechnology allowing us to directly connect our brains to the Cloud-based infrastructure of the Global Brain. Via interaction with our AI assistants, the GB will know us better than we know ourselves in all respects, so mind-transfer, or rather “mind migration,” for billions of enhanced humans would be seamless, sometime by mid-century.
I hear this mantra over and over again — we don’t know what consciousness is. Clearly, there’s no consensus here but in the context of topic discussed, I would summarize my views, as follows: Consciousness is non-local, quantum computational by nature. There’s only one Universal Consciousness. We individualize our conscious awareness through the filter of our nervous system, our “local” mind, our very inner subjectivity, but consciousness itself, the self in a big sense, our “core” self is universal, and knowing it through experience has been called enlightenment, illumination, awakening, or transcendence, through the ages.
Any container with a sufficiently integrated network of information patterns, with a certain optimal complexity, especially complex dynamical systems with biological or artificial brains (say, the coming AGIs) could be filled with consciousness at large in order to host an individual “reality cell,” “unit,” or a “node” of consciousness. This kind of individuated unit of consciousness is always endowed with free will within the constraints of the applicable set of rules (“physical laws”), influenced by the larger consciousness system dynamics. Isn’t too naïve to presume that Universal Consciousness would instantiate phenomenality only in the form of “bio”-logical avatars?
It might be hard to grasp for some, but we, like fish, swim in this ocean of consciousness, completely oblivious of the medium. Consciousness to humans, as Cloud is to computers, we have always been part of this mind-space network, technocultural “hive mind,” each of us being a product of our societal “virtual reality.” And yet, we are entitled to a certain degree of freedom in order to evolve our conscious minds thanks to network interactivity at our ontological level.
As previously noted, I see mind uploading as a gradual decades-long process of incremental neuronal replacements, exocortices, interlinking with AGIs and the Global Brain, some presently unseen trials and errors, but overall more or less a non-invasive and seamless process, at the end of which, we all will morph into “substrate-independent” immortal digital minds living in the cyber-paradise of our own design. The physical world will be somewhat left behind — it would look almost static for our accelerated mentation.
In the transitional period of a few decades, people won’t be confined to one physical body. Eventually, people will be able to form identities in numerous substrates, such as using a “platform diverse body” (a future body that is wearable/usable in the physical world but also exists in computational environments and virtual systems) to route their identity across the biosphere, cybersphere, Metaverse and other virtual environments.
Depending on the platform, a substrate-independent “multividual” (also called a ‘cyberhuman’ or an ‘infomorph’) would upload and download into a digital form or virtual body, that conforms to the environment. So, for a biospheric environment, the person would use a biological or cybernetic body, for the Metaverse, the person would use one or multiple virtual avatars.
About the Author:
Alex Vikoulov is a futurist, evolutionary cyberneticist and philosopher, media commentator, founder of Ecstadelic Media Group, author of “The Syntellect Hypothesis: Five Paradigms of the Mind’s Evolution,” “The Origins of Us: Evolutionary Emergence and The Omega Point Cosmology,” “The Physics of Time: D-Theory of Time & Temporal Mechanics,” “The Intelligence Supernova: Essays on Cybernetic Transhumanism, The Simulation Singularity & The Syntellect Emergence,” “Theology of Digital Physics: Phenomenal Consciousness, The Cosmic Self & The Pantheistic Interpretation of Our Holographic Reality.” Self-described neo-transcendentalist, cosmist, transhumanist singularitarian. Lives in Burlingame, California (San Francisco Bay Area). More Bio…
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**Original article first appeared on EcstadelicNET (ecstadelic.net) in Top Stories section on November 25, 2016