Friday, October 1, 2010

My talk tonight at the Transhumanism and Spirituality Conference 2010

UPDATE with slides and video clip: The Cosmic Visions of the Turing Church

Tonight I will give a talk at the Transhumanism and Spirituality Conference 2010. The conference will explore the intersection of religion, science, spirituality and technology, from a transhumanist perspective. Transhumanism advocates the ethical use of technology to expand human capacities, and observes that if our rapid technological evolution continues to accelerate then humanity will become a new species before the end of the 21st century.

I will give a talk on The Cosmic Visions of the Turing Church. Abstract: Following the Turing-Church conjecture, minds can be uploaded from biological brains to other computational substrates. Mind uploading research may achieve practical results within decades. Given the technology, humans may live indefinitely, colonizing the universe, and resurrecting the dead by "copying them to the future". Perhaps they will create synthetic realities inhabited by sentient minds; perhaps we are in a synthetic reality. These considerations parallel the tenets of many religions. The Turing Church will be a meta-religion, without central doctrine, characterized by common interest in the promised land where science and religion meet, science becomes religion, and religion becomes science.

I will talk remotely to the audience at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City and to those who will watch the live stream of the conference. I wish to thank the organizers for setting up the live stream, this should be done for all conferences. This is the stream URL, please come to watch all talks and participate in the discussions. After the talk I will post my slides here, and I understand that the videos of all talks will be available online after the conference.