In exchange for your earthly, bodily existence (and maybe a few ducats), MindCloud will upload all of your memories, hopes, aspirations, and emotional and affective dispositions up onto a secure place in the cloud. In this place "you" will be able to explore and experience the ever-increasing contents therein, where "you" may contribute to such content by building up a new cloud-based narrative of "your life," and where "you" will also be able to satisfy virtual analogues of felt bodily urges and needs, without having actually to attend to the hassles of tending and caring for a corporeal body.
Would or would not accept such a deal? What would your concerns be? Here's what I think:
MindCloud is entertainment. MindCloud is fiction. And I can’t help but take the idea to its absolute—becoming God.
Plato (429—327 BCE) serves as the backbone of Western civilization and philosophy–recounting and preserving the theories of his contemporaries, as well as his own. Socrates (469—399 BCE), having never written a surviving word himself, is captured by Plato and acts as his mouthpiece. Though the duo seem inseparable, Plato credits Socrates as the original source of thought and almost all the philosophical work is presented by or through him.
Socrates is a proponent of ante rem dualism; presuming a prior existence of the soul [i.e., spirit / mind / psyche] and its separation from the body. The soul is a non-composite substance that is indescribable and existed among the Forms (partaking and understanding of their true / necessary perfections) prior to becoming, or existing through its encapsulation of the sensible body; the soul creating a bridge between the reasonable and empirical.
We as humans would be the GAI’s creator and its dependency lies in our ability to first understand our own intelligence—a field of study that is improving, but has yet provided answers to the most glaring questions. Once, and if, the questions of thinking, consciousness, and intelligence are answered, we’d then need the technical skill of developing that through duplication or imitation.
With that said, I believe human-compatible GAI is one day possible but it’s a long time coming. This isn’t so much of an issue of hardware or processing power, but due to how little we know about the human brain and how that lump of gray translates into a personality (“I” or consciousness) and intelligence.
The pre-Socratic philosopher Parmenides, who is thought to have been born between 540 and 515 BCE (dates are contested between Plato and Diogenes) is often dubbed “the father of metaphysics” and the first noted dualist. As the first a priori philosopher, Parmenides developed the modality of necessity, positing that true knowledge is obtained by reason alone, and largely rejecting a posteriori knowledge, or sense experience, due to the senses being misleading or causing false judgement.
In Parmenides’ poem, On Nature, he states that all knowledge should begin with “it is” and proceeds with reasonable deductions to explain being. This mental exercise yields certainty of truth (way of truth), and therefore is superior to empirical knowledge that can only offer a high probability of truth (way of seeming).
The Turing Test, as currently understood, is simply this: if a computer can perform in such a way that an expert cannot distinguish its performance from that of a human, then it is said that the computer also has that ability. So, the goal for programmers seeking to design intelligent computers is to design programs that will simulate human cognition in such a way as to pass the Turing Test.
However, Searle counters that a computer passing the Turning Test isn’t an actual intelligence and that the computer wouldn’t truly “understand” what it is doing, rather the computer would only be imitating / simulating believable human behavior. Under Turing’s test, even if the computer mirrored human behavior flawlessly, Searle posits that the computer still wouldn’t “really know” what, why, or how it came to the conclusions or responses that it did, or attribute any meaning to them—he demonstrates this in his famous example of The Chinese Room.