Let me begin this thread by stating that I read through the topic of transhumanism started by our esteemed TA member Nate Lundgren last year and felt like it did not address the issue of consciousness transfer. There was a lengthy debate on the definition/semantics of transhumanism and whether it is rightfully characterized as dogma. Hopefully this thread will focus more on the implications of transferring human consciousness into an alien body.
If the technology was available and you were near the end of your physical life would you consider transferring your consciousness into a droid/robot? If our consciousness is our primary essence would this process not ensure our existence 'in perpetuity'? Also, if you could specify, would you request having the dark unfortunate memories of your current human existence not transferred?
As technological advancements gain increasing momentum we are toying with the ability to transfer our very cognitive thoughts at some point. Would our taking over the controls of human evolutionary development in the "posthuman age" lead to an improvement as a sentient being or it would it all unravel and be our ultimate demise?
There are certainly many considerations. A large one being would we retain our present compliment of emotional states after the transfer? Would our mental state develop in the direction of being a purely logic-oriented being devoid of compassion and empathy? That would be a wrong turn in my estimation.
I see where it could become a very slippery slope indeed. On the other hand having the ability to glide endlessly into the future with my consciousness jumping from agent to agent is alluring.
And also, what gender would you be?
I read a weird series by a bloke called Tad Williams, called Otherlands, where virtual reality had become a big business and the characters could immerse themselves in the "Net" completely, with all senses operating. I don't think I've ever read anything like it before but I think it would answer your Walt Disney questions in an all time longest ever way!. Here's the wiki summary of it - it was a really long read, but somehow incredibly gratifying in the loops and twists, and all the loose ends were satisfyingly tied off.
I'll check that out.
I'm thinking you could be one of three: him, her, neutral. Parts interchangeability perhaps?
"... one of three: him, her, neutral."
What about us hermaphrodites.
"what gender would you be?"
Whatever gender your anatomy is.
"If the copy is perfect right down to emotions, what of electronic emotions?"
This is an area where I believe there would be huge difficulty in emulating our current consciousness. Going from binary control to analog control will be very tricky.
It depends on the robot. Does it have sexual functions? Then I'm in. Also, is it waterproof? If not, I may have to rethink this. I would not omit negative memories because they make up part of my identity.
"I would not omit negative memories because they make up part of my identity."
A consideration is whether you would be a happier more contented being after the transfer without having to deal with the darker experiences of your biological life.
A man is sitting in his office when a genie appears, and asks "what is your third wish?" The man replies "hey, what happened to my first and second wishes?". "You had them", the genie replies. "You don't remember because your first wish distressed you so greatly, your second wish was to obliterate all knowledge and memory of the first wish. I have fulfilled both. What is your third wish?" The man decides that one wish is better than none, thinks for a moment, then says "I wish to understand a woman's mind completely. I want to know exactly how they think and what goes on in their heads".
"Granted!" says the genie, "funny thing, that was your first wish, too".
I see a dilemma for the Genie, if the Genie granted the third wish the knowledge and memory of the first wish would be placed back into the man's mind thereby violating the second wish. The Genie would have "ungranted" the second wish, I not sure mind you, but I am fairly sure this would either tear a hole in space-time or create an never ending loop between the first and second wish.
Or the Genie could possibly be dismissed from his/her job. :)