Another thought experiment. Bob has developed an artificial brain cell. It works exactly like a real,human brain cell and can be transplanted into the brain, to replace any lost cells. The other cells around it, do not 'know' that the cell is artificial, and to all intents and purposes, it is a real brain cell (albeit, made by Bob).
I volunteer to be Bob's first guinea pig. We are going to conduct a couple of interesting experiments. Bob is first going to replace my brain cells, with his artificial cells, one at a time. At what point am I going to feel differently, if at all? Bob begins the procedure and takes one of my brain cells and replaces it with his exact duplicate cell (importantly the cell is able to mimic the real cell exactly). No information is lost in the transplantation process. Do I feel differently after one cell has been replaced? Emphatically no. Bob goes on. He replaces, ten, twenty and more. The human brain contains thousands of brain cells. The intricate procedure continues until half of my brain consists of Bob's artificial cells and half are my own brain cells. Do I feel differently now? Finally, Bob has replaced all of my brain cells with his artificial copies. In front of him stands Louie, but one who's brain cells are entirely man-made. Do I feel different? That is a difficult question to answer. But I guess I probably don't feel anything. I'll explain.
Let's try a slightly different experiment. Instead of replacing my brain cells, Bob merely links lots of his artificial cells in the same configuration as my own brain cells. Where before he scanned each cell separately, replacing them one at a time, this time he's going to scan my whole brain, and build an exact, working artificial version, built from exact duplicates of my brain cells. This time I am not operated on, and Bob and I get to switch on my artificial double. And? This Louie is different from the clone of the forbidden experiment. His brain matches mine, at the moment it was scanned. His cells encode my experience and my personality. He knows my secrets and can answer any question about my past. But. He isn't me! I'm not sitting in two places at once. I'm still sat on top of my shoulders, from my one and only vantage point. This other artificial me, may be an exact duplicate, but still he isn't me. Whether he has his own viewpoint, you'll have to ask him.
So if the artificial brain isn't me, what about the first experiment? If I replaced every cell in my brain with an artificial neurone, wouldn't I just have given up my own peculiar and unique vantage point, to my artificial twin?
Seems to me that clones, transporters and artificial brain cells are all hard ways of making other conscious beings. The easy way is of course, sex.Go Top