The Lounge is rated PG. If you're about to post something you wouldn't want your
kid sister to read then don't post it. No flame wars, no abusive conduct, no programming
questions and please don't post ads.
That article was actually what got me thinking about this. Though, it seems like they are talking about a body transplant (I see the "self" as more associated with the brain/mind than the body, and so the transplant to me would be of the body, not of the head).
So far scientists were able to just clone which is a copy of the actual thing. As we all know this materialistic body can be cloned or duplicated , However what we have to think is we are not the body. Every one are unique, that means the cloned copy cannot act or be like you. Even If you are trying to transfer the snapshot of the mind, what you do is for that particular instance of time. You can relate the same to database snapshot that's with respect to memory, there's tons of things we do not know how the consciousness really works ?
We don't necessarily need to know all about the inner-workings of the consciousness to replicate it. For example, if we reproduce every cell, every electrical impulse, every chemical balance, and even down to every atom, I expect we'd be able to copy a mind along with the brain. Some say part of the mind exists in the quantum-level fluctuations below the atomic level, but I suspect that is mostly just noise that gets drowned out by the larger operations of atoms and energy.
Basically, I think of an atom as a person swimming in a pool of water (space). The direction they are swimming is their energy. A quantum fluctation would be a single drop of water splashing on their back. On very rarely would that affect the swimmer's actions. Those single drops would mostly be drowned out.
Now, if we take the cylon approach, then we will have to know how the consciousness really works.
I’ve always felt that there would be always be a bit of a dichotomy with regard to the conscious mind or self-awareness.
If the collective memories, which can be considered an abstract set of conditions, were to be placed in a suitable host, would the self-awareness and personality transfer to the new host as a new self-aware person? Now there are two people that have the same memories and personality but the original person would have no conscious awareness of the new persons experience. In doing so I would gain no benefit, there would just be the copy who thinks he is me.
In it, cyberbrains allows people to swop their bodies for new ones, selectively turn off senses such as hearing or pain, securely communicate (with encryption and all) without moving a muscle, surf the web while driving, and even upload one's thoughts, memories and consciousness to the internet. Much of the story deals with questions like where exactly the line between humans and machines are (or if such a line still exists), what individuality means, how a soul features into the whole mix (i.e. can machines have souls, is the soul a uniquely human thing, etc.).