Computers will advance to the point of obtaining beyond human intelligence and self-awareness – consciousness.
Computing technology will continue to miniaturize and add bandwidth into smaller spaces.
Caveat: While there are limits on miniaturization, not all techniques have yet been explored. When some structure, such a silicon chip, reaches its absolute capacity, alternative approaches will be developed which will allow for smaller densities, or will allow for increased bandwidth at the existing limits.
Given these Propositions:
Artificial Super Intelligence will capitalize on miniaturization and develop independent “bodies” that will have the capacity to mimic human appearance and behavior. (R. Daneel Olivaw and Commander Data like beings).
As the processes above proceed and advance, the human *connectome and most or all other human consciousness considerations will be mapped and will have the ability to be replicated.
At some point it will be possible to copy, transmit, or move a human’s memories and feelings, as well as copy or replicate their *connectome and patterns into an artificial intelligent capable system that duplicates the individual’s appearance. In colloquial terms, we would be able to avoid death by “moving” into a machine that duplicates our own self.
For the sake of argument, let us avoid discussion of “soul” and “spirit”. Let us operate from the framework that memory, pattern, *connectome replication, and replication of the **enteric nervous system is sufficient to keep the “self” intact.
FURTHERMORE, for the sake of debate, let us assume that the transfer is perfect, or at least presents no anomalies greater than those experienced by a mild stroke. That when your consciousness, your self-awareness, is moved or copied into the device – a device that looks exactly like you – that you are indeed there; that you continue to live – for the sake of argument.
Would you, in those final nanoseconds before your consciousness leaves you – before you “die” – would you choose to be transferred? Ie. Would you be willing to become the form of Transhuman set out in the Suppositions above?
If you would elect to be transferred (see Question 1), would you feel it necessary to inform family and friends that your natural body had “died”, or would you feel that the transition was nothing more than a “repair job” and there would be no need to tell others?
Would you be concerned that, in telling others that your natural body had ceased to function, that you would be treated differently even though you looked, acted, thought, remembered, and felt just as you always had?
* Connectome: a comprehensive map of the neural patterns of the human brain.
** Enteric Nervous System: The nervous system of the gut; throat, stomach, intestines, and colon, which contains as many nerves as the brain and can remember and learn. The source of the “gut feeling.”