by Alex Vikoulov
"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
By definition, posthumanism 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 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 informational, computational by nature. There's only one Universal Consciousness, we individualize our consciousness through the filter of our nervous system, but the consciousness itself, our very inner subjectivity, the self in a big sense, is universal, and knowing it through experience has been called enlightenment, illumination, awakening, or transcendence, through the ages.
Any container with sufficiently intergrated network, 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 "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"), influence by the larger system dynamics, etc.
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 mindspace network, "hive mind", each of us being a product of our "techno-culture". And yet, we are entitled to a certain degree of freedom in order to evolve our consciousness thanks to network interactions 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 non-invasive and seamless process, at the end of which, we all will morph into "substrate-independent" immortal digital minds.
In the future, 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 person (also called 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...
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Tags: self-transcendence, transcendence, sentience, self-awareness, Strong AI, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, exocortex, Ray Kurzweil, Syntellect Hypothesis, Digital Physics, conscious experience, theogenesis, infomorph, infomorph commonality, noosphere, superintelligence, singularity, mind uploading, postbiological superintelligence, posthuman superintelligence, the Syntellect emergence, technological singularity, Intelligence Supernova, virtual world, VR, virtual reality, VR experience, dimensionality, Global Brain, conscious agent, human evolution, human condition, AI assistant, digital assistant, transcendent other, AI, AGI, artificial general intelligence, real virtualities, Metaverse, transhumanism, substrate-independent mind, digital mind, digital immortality, wetware, neural interface, posthumanism, transcendentalism, neo-transcendentalism
*Image Credit: Shutterstock
About the Author:
Alex Vikoulov is a neo-transcendentalist, cosmist, singularitarian, evolutionary extrapolist, digital philosopher, futurist, founder of Ecstadelic Media, painter and media artist, author of "The Syntellect Hypothesis: Five Paradigms of the Mind's Evolution". Graduated from Armstrong University, Berkeley, CA. Lives in Burlingame, California (San Francisco Bay Area).