December 12, 2023

Man to Machine: Mind-Uploading is Nearly Here

The idea of becoming immortal by uploading yourself into a mechanical form and living forever is fast approaching reality, according to scientists.

Brain scanning technology has come a long way, so much so we are now able to watch neurons communicate with each other.

Clas Weber, a senior lecturer at the University of Western Australia, says the technology for mapping the human mind is rapidly gaining traction; he compares the pace to how the human genome took “years and hundreds of millions of dollars”, but just two decades later, the same result can be produced for a fraction of the cost.

“With similar gains in efficiency, we might see mind-uploading technology within the lifetimes of our children or grandchildren,” claims Weber, who specialises in philosophy of the mind, artificial intelligence and metaphysics.

This technology could effectively enable the entirety of the human brain – including emotions, personality and, most importantly, memories – to be uploaded into an electronic receptacle, allowing the person to live on as a digital version of themselves.

However, this all hinges on if we can simulate the human brain because it houses roughly 86 billion neurons and 85 billion non-neuronal cells, along with a million billion neural connections. To put that into perspective: the Milky Way Galaxy contains 200 billion stars.

This is one of many questions outstanding before we can make the leap, but the hope is that society will eventually have developed the answers needed by the time the technology is here.