On the irrationality of mind-uploading: a rely to Neil Levy
- 916 Downloads
In a paper in this journal, Neil Levy challenges Nicholas Agar’s argument for the irrationality of mind-uploading. Mind-uploading is a futuristic process that involves scanning brains and recording relevant information which is then transferred into a computer. Its advocates suppose that mind-uploading transfers both human minds and identities from biological brains into computers. According to Agar’s original argument, mind-uploading is prudentially irrational. Success relies on the soundness of the program of Strong AI—the view that it may someday be possible to build a computer that is capable of thought. Strong AI may in fact be false, an eventuality with dire consequences for mind-uploading. Levy argues that Agar’s argument relies on mistakes about the probability of failed mind-uploading and underestimates what is to be gained from successfully mind-uploading. This paper clarifies Agar’s original claims about the likelihood of mind-uploading failure and offers further defense of a pessimistic evaluation of success.
KeywordsMind-uploading Strong AI Pascal’s Wager
I am grateful to Neil Levy and Mark Walker for very helpful discussion of this paper.
- De Grey A, Rae M (2007) Ending aging: the rejuvenation breakthroughs that could reverse human aging in our lifetime. St Martin’s Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Hajek A (2008) Pascal’s wager. Stanford Encylopedia of Philosophy. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/pascal-wager/
- Kurzweil R (2005) The singularity is near: when humans transcend biology. Penguin, LondonGoogle Scholar
- Nussbaum M (1992) Love’s knowledge: essays on philosophy and literature. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Olson E (1997) The human animal: personal identity without psychology. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
- Pascal B (1995) Pensees. Translated by A.J. Krailsheimer. New York, PenguinGoogle Scholar
- Sandberg A, Bostrom A (2008) Whole brain emulation: a roadmap. Technical Report #2008‐3. Future of Humanity Institute, Oxford University. http://www.fhi.ox.ac.uk/Reports/2008-3.pdf