Chatbots and Uploads

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Chatbots and Uploads

Post by dcrevier » Fri Sep 24, 2021 3:13 pm

Of late a number of organizations have been trying to build chatbots that simulate deceased persons. See for example ... tion-dead/.

Of course these bots are mostly make believe for now, and in no way constitute an actual revival of the departed person. However I believe that this is but the first iteration of a long and gradual process that will eventually deliver the real deal. The bots will be improved over time and at some point, if enough information is available on the original person, it will be reasonable to consider that the entity being interacted with is this person, come back from the dead. Such a virtual revival could constitute an alternative to the physical revival of suspended bodies aimed at by cryonicists.

So when does a chatbot become an upload? In the following I've tried to come up with a set of criteria to answer this question. What I am aiming for is a document that would state when it would be acceptable for a cryonics organization to perform or authorise a patient's revival as an upload, should the patient have expressed this desire. It is very much a work in progress, but I'd like to submit it to this forum for consideration. Comments, questions and suggestions are welcome.

Conditions for an acceptable uploading

Recognizably similar. The uploaded person (henceforth "the upload") should be detailed and accurate enough to be recognizably the original person while interacting with people who knew them, if such are available.

Origin of information. Various sources of information could be combined in order to perform an uploading of the required accuracy. These sources could be, by decreasing order of importance and without excluding other possible sources:
  • specific information on the original persons's neural connections and other physically relevant data. This data could be extracted from the original's frozen or plasticised brain and body, through scanning or some other technology such as analysis by nanomachines. Ideally this data should include relevant properties of each synapse, neuron and glial cell. In principle this information should be sufficient to create an acceptable upload. Should the quality of the biopreservation not be sufficient to provide that information, more generic information, such as the sizes of individual brain regions, could be used, in addition with the following sources of information, appropriately combined.
  • biographical information taken from diaries, photographs, recordings, personal archives, memories of living relatives or friends, web posts, or any other personal information available
  • information from the original's DNA and resulting body and character
  • generic biographical information: places of residence, schools attended, languages spoken, events and facts that the original would have been aware of, information on people they knew, relevant cultural and societal information
Architecture of a brain. The substrate generating the upload's behaviour and consciousness should have an architecture similar to that of a human brain, at least at Marr's algorithmic level, interpreted as follows. The substrate could be other than biological, and neurons need not be represented explicitly. However the substrate should perform, in parallel, operations similar to those performed by identifiable groups of neurons in a brain, such as cortical columns.

Body. The upload should have a body, virtual or physical, similar to that of the original person and providing similar sensory information and stimulation. It should also have the basic desires and instincts of a human being.

Continuous existence. The upload should experience a continuous independent life in a virtual or physical environment. In particular it should not be a functionality activated only when interaction with it is desired, and deactivated otherwise.

Expectation of a good life. The upload should have reasonable expectation of a free and happy existence. In particular it should have fequent contact with other uploaded and/or live humans.

Single copy. Provisions should be made so that at any one time a single copy of the upload is activated.

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