Saturday, June 12, 2010

H+ Summit on Livestream

I am watching the H+ Summit talks via Livestream.

I just listened to two great talks by John Smart and Ken Hayworth. Yes, Mind Uploading may be closer than many think, and it may eventually be available to my generation (and I am probably older than you). Visit the Brain Preservation Foundation now.

Ken's "uploading may be only 15 years in the future" is SO refreshing compared to the cautious and boring attitude of today's moderate transhumanists, repented ex-transhumanists and anti-transhumanists in disguise. I feel back in the 90s, let's hope it lasts.

Summary of the two talks, from the IEET blog:

John Smart: the Brain Preservation Foundation

He’s talking about the brain preservation prize. 100,000 unique humans die every day.

Medicine has many frontiers today. Although we haven’t made a bunch of progress in preventing biological death, computer scientists have made a lot of progress in their fields.

Anatomists can preserve whole human bodies for later viewing with a lot of detail.

Brain Preservation Prize is like the X prize. They have an anonymous donor who will pay $100k to the first winner.

Cryonics is currently available, but the methods used in cryonics aren’t currently good enough to win our prize.

Vitrification is a possible winner, but plastination is the most promising. It’ll be simple, dependable, and potentially variable.

What would plastination look like? Perfusing the brain with a chemical that fixes the cellular proteins, and hours later perfusing a dangerous and toxic chemical to fix the lipids, and then another chemical.

What are the motivations for this? The human conncetome, biomimicry, and bio-inspired machines. This could eventually lead to humans capable of empathy and morality.

Some people could preserve their brains for the advancement of life.

In the future, we should be able to extract whole memories and experiences from a static brain.

And of course, some people will preserve their brains so that their minds could be uploaded or transferred to enhanced/robotic bodies in the future.

And some who are deeply uncertain about the future may choose to preserve their brains in a kind of Pascal’s Wager.

What can you do? One step a lot of people forget is to be happy. Science and technology are magical, and we’re incredibly lucky to be alive right here, right now.

 Ken Hayworth: Can we extract a mind from a plastic-embedded brain?

He show some increasing thin sections of brains. Eventually, we get enough information to reconstruct the precise structure of each neuronal structure. Not only that, but things like amino structures of receptor proteins are preserved.

They’re multiple techniques that can do this kind of things. One of them he’s talking about could be made 100% accurate.

Using a heated-knife subdivsion, we could image an entire brain at the synapse level with that kind of reliability, but we have a long way to go to scale it up that much.

They’re incredibly detailed computational theories of the human mind, he recommends the books Unified Theories of Cognition by Allen Newelll, and How Can the Human Mind Occur in the Physical Universe? by John R. Anderson. He also recommends two books on consciousness.

He says as a transhumanist he can put 2 and 2 together, and see how this could relatively quickly to uploading.

Whose mind could be extracted? Your mind. The only thing that’s stopping that is the lack of reliable brain preservation.

Sign the petition to make this a reality.