It is a faith that says data on silicon and the puzzle of carbon-based consciousness are somehow compatible.

I think whether or not they’re compatible depends on how consciousness arose in living beings. I suspect it was merely a gradual increasing of complexity in our sensory input processing, in which case, I see no reason why a suitably complex artificial intelligence couldn’t also develop a consciousness of its own that could potentially be compatible with ours.

But I don’t think compatibility is the real issue. I think the issue is continuity.

Suppose there are no compatibility issues, and we are able to successfully convert a person’s consciousness into a digital format where it can live forever on the internet, or even be placed in a robot body.

Where I think faith and wishful thinking come into it is in the belief that this digital copy of your consciousness would be anything more than just that — a copy. It wouldn’t be you. It would just be a clone.

Writer.

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