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The Elliquian Herald & Post
Issue 74 (Autumn) ~ August thru October 2017

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Author Topic: Would you live in a Virtual World  (Read 407 times)

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Offline dblkroseTopic starter

Would you live in a Virtual World
« on: June 15, 2016, 01:31:01 PM »
I was asked to post this here, instead of where I had it so that why it starts the way it does.

Since we all started talking about Virtual Reality and I had a long morning full of Flights I started thinking (always dangerous) and came up with something I would like to share with anyone in this forum and ask a Question afterwards. This is not a RP request but just sort of a question like the ones I've been asked in my application thread. Hopefully I am not breaking any rules here so please let me know if I am.

So here the story...

In the not so distance future a bio-corporation has announced it has discovered a way to upload the human consciousness into a AI. At first this is met with skepticism but the corporations pushes its discovery and before long (and after some ingenious lobbying) gets the nod to offer this opportunity to normal ever day citizens. What they claim is that they are able to take your actual consciousness and upload it into cloud base server where you will exist in a virtual paradise with creation of your hearts desires are simply an exercise of will and the allocation of data and space. While in this virtual world you will be task at running some of the worlds most advance applications giving a service back to your fellow humans. When not doing this you will be free to interact with other AI in a virtual world where you will be allocated a set amount of space to do with as you please. The project is called the Second Life Initiative and it's only offered currently in America. One of the main reason that this is being allowed by the US government is that the creation of AI is inevitable but we are much safer with AI that use to be human than AI that never was. Doing it this way avoid the whole Skynet problem.

Now here are some key points.

- This process is irreversible and your physical body is destroyed during the upload (at least your brain is).
- It has been announced that the process is not 100 percent successful and those who are not successful upload are simply dead.
- It takes more than a month to prepare for this procedure and it can not be performed any faster than that which means you can not just upload yourself while lying dying in a hospital. Your brain and more importantly your mind has to be made ready and this can not be done if your are in pain or under duress in any way.
- Diseases, damaged to the brain, mental degradation from old age and mental defects make you unable to survive the process (probably rules me out as much as I been told I have a mental defect)
- You are allowed only once time shortly after upload to talk to your living family and friends to say goodbye and to prove to those worried about you that you are all right. After that you have very limited contact with the physically living that doesn't involve your virtual job.   
- There are those who object to this from various religious groups who believe we are stealing the human soul from God, to psychologist and scientist who believe that the AI created isn't truly the original person who in effects dies during the process but an inhuman copy of that person. Some believe that the failure rate is higher than they are let on. Other's believe that the lack of contact with the AI after the procedure makes it highly possible that the Second Life isn't all it's crack up to be and might actually be a prison for the mind.
- Lastly you have to make this decision when your mind is at it's peak which differs from person to person but comes down to you have to make this decision before your real life is actually truly over.

So armed with this knowledge would you go thru the procedure yourself? Do you agree it's ethical and if you don't would you try to stop it?

Very interested in the feedback.

Offline Oreo

Re: Would you live in a Virtual World
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2016, 01:44:46 PM »
My decision comes from the latter end of the spectrum, so I may be biased. I would decline the offer. Reality is too precious. I am old, disabled, losing more every day than I thought I would be, but I still love the real thing.

Now, if they could determine in advance of a disease or condition that was a family trait and likely to happen, this would be an option I might have been tempted to accept.

Offline dblkroseTopic starter

Re: Would you live in a Virtual World
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2016, 02:00:58 PM »
Thanks for the response Oreo. I personally don't know what I would do (Which is why I asked). Sounds good in a sci-fi sort of way but what nags at me is can you really escape life like that even if's it's possible. Could you truly transplant what makes you unique? What would Paradise even look like if it's all an illusion. Still it's tempting.

As for your perspective. Love that you still love the real thing because there nothing better. Thanks for answering the question.

Offline Oreo

Re: Would you live in a Virtual World
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2016, 02:06:05 PM »
On the flip side of the coin, I wonder how it would work a a penal colony, in an RPG kind of scenario? It is an intriguing concept. Thank you for the question.

Then there is the whole possibility of pets given a place to go. Can you take them with you? Is there anything they can do in a virtual society?

Offline dblkroseTopic starter

Re: Would you live in a Virtual World
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2016, 02:40:41 PM »
Actually if I was to flesh out the story one of the issue would have the huge number of Prisoners who elect to go Virtual and how the Prisons would empty out as well as nursing homes, and homeless. Yet an investigating mind would start to wonder how so many of these people who be viable candidates to a Virtual Paradise. Would start to lead to what is really happening to these people and where would they be going. Since a Virtual requires very little to sustain them might be a perfect way to get rid of undesirables. Perhaps a Dark Side to the Second Life Initiative.

Pets would be something else. Could they make the transition and truly understand what has happen and make use of it. We know (As I love Cat's) that they are capable of love and have feelings but are they truly Self Aware as to have an idea what Death is? I think what makes Dogs and Cats so special is that they don't and therefor are capable of so much more intense loyalty and love.

Offline midnightblack

Re: Would you live in a Virtual World
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2016, 02:55:04 PM »
To answer the opening questions, I have nothing of real importance to hold on to in my life and I don't see that changing in any conceivable future. After that, there's the comforting certainty of death that nullifies everything anyway. If I had to choose between this and a gamble that can result either in the same finality of a pretty meaningless life (in the grand scheme of things at least) or my perennial existence in cyberspace where I'm pretty much free to do whatever I want, I would be out of my mind to refuse. I would never look back to my past life as I have nothing to lose. I don't see why anyone should have a saying in this and decide in the place of an individual if he should do it or not. Of all conceivable things, at least the conscience that emerges from the stuff going around in your skull should be yours to do with as you please, without external interference. You may call it escapism, I call it a shot worth taking.

The topic itself is quite fascinating. The fact that your mind happens to be inhabiting a body is more or less "a by the way" that may not be exactly relevant in the long term. It's not that inconceivable to imagine a future where you abandon your husk, send your mind over at the speed of light to a different planet and just build a physical realization of yourself there, from dirt, with whatever adaptations you need to survive in the new environment.  I believe that the "self" and its freedom to navigate streams of thoughts are the only truly enduring aspects of your being. The fact that your mind inhabits a body or a hard-drive means very little as long as it remains free to think.

If you are into reading books, I recommend an old little story that touches briefly, but beautifully, on this matter, "The Mysterious Stranger" by Mark Twain. If you are into video games, a title that is closer to the topic and brings some interesting questions is Soma.

Offline TotesRider

Re: Would you live in a Virtual World
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2016, 04:23:58 PM »
I think i would be down with this. The only hard thing would be saying good bye to my family.

One thing that would be cool is if we could put our AI self into a mechanical body. Like say along with handling files and applications for say a factory, i can also put myself into the mind of one of the assembly machines
Aaand obligatory Sealab 2021 reference

Offline dblkroseTopic starter

Re: Would you live in a Virtual World
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2016, 09:02:24 PM »
Adult Swim was the greatest thing to happen to Comic Network besides Toonami. Nice on TotesRider. I miss my Samurai Jack

Offline Inkidu

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Re: Would you live in a Virtual World
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2016, 11:09:52 PM »
Those are some pretty steep and honestly arbitrary stipulations. I wouldn't go for it, especially seeing as I have to work in the virtual world too. The deal as you described it is one-hundred percent lame, and not even guaranteed to work. It's just lemon of a deal.

Offline Caitlin

Re: Would you live in a Virtual World
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2016, 12:00:18 AM »
I would never do it for these reasons;
1) Your entire being would become property of somebody else and can be abused or made to do things that you don't want to, you essentially become a slave to their system since they can just pull the plug when they want.
2) When I'm at my peak in my mind (which depending on the mental function is between 25 - 43) I'm already living my life to the fullest and wouldn't want to change it for anything else.
3) I made a pact with myself that no matter how bad things get in life that I'd never give up for easy comforts and instead work hard to improve my situation, this would go directly against that pact.
4) I want to see my grandchildren and do fun stuff with them at a later age (I'm only 33 atm), this would deny me one of the most precious things in life.
5) I don't think that I'll ever stop strifing to become more than I am now, turning into an AI would halt my progress. Theoratically you could develop your mental processes more, but I'm not going to rely on some company to make that so, see 1).
6) I don't want immortality. I'm an atheist and I don't believe in heaven or hell, I believe in receiving one chance and having to make the most out of that. This feels like cheating the system.

In short; it really sounds like you're getting the dirty end of the stick if you go through with this and it goes against several of my core principles and ethics.