A story featuring human minds replicated in a computer is the novella Izzard and the Membrane by Walter M. Miller, Jr. He has conversations with Izzard as he works on it, and when he asks it if it is self-aware, it says "answer indeterminate" and then asks "can human individual's self-awareness transor be mechanically duplicated?
In Izzard's words, "to duplicate consciousness of deceased, it will be necessary for you to furnish anthropometric and psychic characteristics of the individual. These characteristics will not determine transor, but will only give its general form. Knowing its form, will enable me to sweep my circuit pattern through its mathematical region until the proper transor is reached.
At that point, the consciousness will appear among the circuits. In The Altered Ego by Jerry Sohl , a person's mind can be "recorded" and used to create a "restoration" in the event of their death. In a restoration, the person's biological body is repaired and brought back to life, and their memories are restored to the last time that they had their minds recorded what the story calls a 'brain record'  , an early example of a story in which a person can create periodic backups of their own mind which are stored in an artificial medium.
The recording process is not described in great detail, but it is mentioned that the recording is used to create a duplicate or "dupe" which is stored in the "restoration bank",  and at one point a lecturer says that "The experience of the years, the neurograms, simple memory circuits—neurons, if you wish—stored among these nerve cells, are transferred to the dupe, a group of more than ten billion molecules in colloidal suspension.
They are charged much as you would charge the plates of a battery, the small neuroelectrical impulses emanating from your brain during the recording session being duplicated on the molecular structure in the solution. An early example featuring uploaded minds in robotic bodies can be found in Frederik Pohl 's story "The Tunnel Under the World" from Burckhardt is already familiar with the idea of putting human minds in robotic bodies, since this is what is done with the robot workers at the nearby Contro Chemical factory. As someone has once explained it to him, "each machine was controlled by a sort of computer which reproduced, in its electronic snarl, the actual memory and mind of a human being It was only a matter, he said, of transferring a man's habit patterns from brain cells to vacuum-tube cells.
Strap him down, probe into his brain with searching electronic needles. The machine scans the patterns of the mind, translates what it sees into charts and sine waves. Impress these same waves on a robot computer and you have your chemist.
Or a thousand copies of your chemist, if you wish, with all of his knowledge and skill, and no human limitations at all. Dorchin could charge companies to use the townspeople as test subjects for new products and advertisements.
Why Brain-to-Brain Communication Is No Longer Unthinkable | Innovation | Smithsonian
Something close to the notion of mind uploading is very briefly mentioned in Isaac Asimov 's short story The Last Question : "One by one Man fused with AC , each physical body losing its mental identity in a manner that was somehow not a loss but a gain. Clarke 's novel The City and the Stars , also from this novel was a revised and expanded version of Clarke's earlier story Against the Fall of Night , but the earlier version did not contain the elements relating to mind uploading.
The story is set in a city named Diaspar one billion years in the future, where the minds of inhabitants are stored as patterns of information in the city's Central Computer in between a series of year lives in cloned bodies. Various commentators identify this story as one of the first if not the first to deal with mind uploading, human-machine synthesis, and computerized immortality.
The uploaded people believe that they are "alive", but in reality they are playing elaborate and advanced fantasy games. In a twist at the end, the author changes everything into one of the best "multiverse" ideas of science fiction.
In Robert Silverberg 's To Live Again , an entire worldwide economy is built up around the buying and selling of "souls" personas that have been tape-recorded at six-month intervals , allowing well-heeled consumers the opportunity to spend tens of millions of dollars on a medical treatment that uploads the most recent recordings of archived personalities into the minds of the buyers.
Federal law prevents people from buying a "personality recording" unless the possessor first had died; similarly, two or more buyers were not allowed to own a "share" of the persona. In this novel, the personality recording always went to the highest bidder. However, when one attempted to buy and therefore possess too many personalities, there was the risk that one of the personas would wrest control of the body from the possessor.
More info here. Ebook can be read and downloaded up to 6 devices. Ignore and show page. David J. Format: pages, XIV, p. For Libraries. Larger Image. Or we can find our energy sapped by an evening with a "poor me" friend, or become faintly disgusted by our own thinking if we've read too many romance novels in one go. As our bodies are shaped by the food we eat, our brains are shaped by what we put into them. So of course the internet is changing our brains.
How could it not? It's not surprising that we're now more accustomed to reading short-form pieces, to accepting a Wikipedia summary, rather than reading a whole book. The claim that we're now thinking less well is much more suspect. But since we're not going to dismantle the world wide web any time soon, the more important question is: how should we respond? I suspect the answer is as simple as making time for reading. No single medium will ever give our brains all possible forms of nourishment. We may be dazzled by the flashing lights of the web, but we can still just step away.
Read a book.
Brain, Mind and Internet
Sink into the world of a single person's concentrated thoughts. Time was when we didn't need to be reminded to read. Well, time was when we didn't need to be encouraged to cook. That time's gone. None the less, cook. And read. We can decide to change our own brains — that's the most astonishing thing of all. Whether or not the internet has made a difference to how we use our brains, it has certainly begun to make a difference to how we think about our brains.
The internet is a vast and complex network of interconnected computers, hosting an equally complex network — the web — of images, documents and data. The rapid growth of this huge, manmade, information-processing system has been a major factor stimulating scientists to take a fresh look at the organisation of biological information-processing systems like the brain. It turns out that the human brain and the internet have quite a lot in common. They are both highly non-random networks with a "small world" architecture, meaning that there is both dense clustering of connections between neighbouring nodes and enough long-range short cuts to facilitate communication between distant nodes.
Both the internet and the brain have a wiring diagram dominated by a relatively few, very highly connected nodes or hubs; and both can be subdivided into a number of functionally specialised families or modules of nodes. It may seem remarkable, given the obvious differences between the internet and the brain in many ways, that they should share so many high-level design features. Why should this be? One possibility is that the brain and the internet have evolved to satisfy the same general fitness criteria.
They may both have been selected for high efficiency of information transfer, economical wiring cost, rapid adaptivity or evolvability of function and robustness to physical damage. Networks that grow or evolve to satisfy some or all of these conditions tend to end up looking the same.
Brain, Mind and Internet: A Deep History and Future
Sometimes I think my ability to concentrate is being nibbled away by the internet; other times I think it's being gulped down in huge, Jaws-shaped chunks. In those quaint days before the internet, once you made it to your desk there wasn't much to distract you. You could sit there working or you could just sit there. Now you sit down and there's a universe of possibilities — many of them obscurely relevant to the work you should be getting on with — to tempt you.
To think that I can be sitting here, trying to write something about Ingmar Bergman and, a moment later, on the merest whim, can be watching a clip from a Swedish documentary about Don Cherry — that is a miracle albeit one with a very potent side-effect, namely that it's unlikely I'll ever have the patience to sit through an entire Bergman film again. Then there's the outsourcing of memory. From the age of 16, I got into the habit of memorising passages of poetry and compiling detailed indexes in the backs of books of prose. So if there was a passage I couldn't remember, I would spend hours going through my books, seeking it out.
Now, in what TS Eliot, with great prescience, called "this twittering world", I just google the key phrase of the half-remembered quote.
I Feel Good
Which is great, but it's drained some of the purpose from my life. Exactly the same thing has happened now that it's possible to get hold of out-of-print books instantly on the web. That's great too. But one of the side incentives to travel was the hope that, in a bookstore in Oregon, I might finally track down a book I'd been wanting for years.
It's curious that some of the most vociferous critics of the internet — those who predict that it will produce generations of couch potatoes, with minds of mush — are the very sorts of people who are benefiting most from this wonderful, liberating, organic extension of the human mind. They are academics, scientists, scholars and writers, who fear that the extraordinary technology that they use every day is a danger to the unsophisticated.
They underestimate the capacity of the human mind — or rather the brain that makes the mind — to capture and capitalise on new ways of storing and transmitting information. When I was at school I learned by heart great swathes of poetry and chunks of the Bible, not to mention page after page of science textbooks.
And I spent years at a desk learning how to do long division in pounds, shillings and pence. What a waste of my neurons, all clogged up with knowledge and rules that I can now obtain with the click of a mouse.
I have little doubt that the printing press changed the way that humans used their memories. It must have put out of business thousands of masters of oral history and storytelling. But our brains are so remarkably adept at putting unused neurons and virgin synaptic connections to other uses. The basic genetic make-up of Homo sapiens has been essentially unchanged for a quarter of a million years. Yet 5, years ago humans discovered how to write and read; 3, years ago they discovered logic; years ago, science.
- The "Squishy" Future of Mind Control Brain-Computer Interfaces.
- Brain, Mind and Internet - A Deep History and Future | D. Staley | Palgrave Macmillan.
- Mind uploading in fiction - Wikipedia.
- The empty brain.
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