Minduploading.org is a collection of pages and articles designed to explore the concepts underlying mind uploading. The articles are intended to be a readable introduction to the basic technical and philosophical topics covering mind uploading and substrate-independent minds. The focus is on careful definitions of the common terms and what the implications are if mind uploading becomes possible.
Mind uploading is an ongoing area of active research, bringing together ideas from neuroscience, computer science, engineering, and philosophy. This site refers to a number of participants and researchers who are helping to make mind uploading possible.
Realistically, mind uploading likely lies many decades in the future, but the short-term offers the possibility of advanced neural prostheses that may benefit us.
What is mind uploading?
Mind uploading is a popular term for a process by which the mind, a collection of memories, personality, and attributes of a specific individual, is transferred from its original biological brain to an artificial computational substrate. Alternative terms for mind uploading have appeared in fiction and non-fiction, such as mind transfer, mind downloading, off-loading, side-loading, and several others. They all refer to the same general concept of “transferring” the mind to a different substrate.
Once it is possible to move a mind from one substrate to another, it is then called a substrate-independent mind (SIM). The concept of SIM is inspired by the idea of designing software that can run on multiple computers with different hardware without needing to be rewritten. For example, Java’s design principle “write once, run everywhere” makes it a platform independent system. In this context, substrate is a term referring to a generalized concept of any computational platform that is capable of universal computation.
We take the materialist position that the human mind is solely generated by the brain and is a function of neural states. Additionally, we assume that the neural states are computational processes and devices capable of universal computing are sufficient to generate the same kind of computational processes found in a brain.