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The Digital MindHow Science is Redefining Humanity$
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Arlindo Oliveira

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780262036030

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262036030.001.0001

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(p.273) 12 Speculations
The Digital Mind

Arlindo Oliveira

The MIT Press

This chapter, the last chapter in the book, presents some far-fetched ideas about the future of technology and the human species. It starts by discussing the concept of technological singularity, an even that would create a discontinuity in the evolution of technology. The idea that mind uploading may one day become possible leads many people to believe that the singularity will one day happen, making it possible to eradicate death entirely. Approaches such as cryonics, that aim at preserving bodies until the singularity arrives, are considered and discussed. The creation of digital minds also raises complex questions about the possible future existence of intelligences much superior to those of humans, leading to the problem of how to deal with such intelligences. Finally, the chapter analyses the possible relations between digital minds, the long term future of technology and how these questions may be related with Fermi’s paradox: if there are many intelligences in the galaxy, how come we never met any?

Keywords:   Technological singularity, Mind uploading, Cryonics, Super-intelligences, Fermi’s paradox

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