Wednesday, February 28, 2024
HomescienceCan a dead person be revived?

Can a dead person be revived?


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I have always believed that if something like resurrection, that is, bringing a certain dead person back to life, would be possible at any time, it would be biological, through biotechnological techniques. The probability of doing something like that is negligible, but a completely different option appeared on the horizon some time ago, which is actually possible today.

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“The human brain is the only physical organ that there is no doubt that it possesses consciousness” – prof. Joseph Ledoux in His History of Our Consciousness, ed. CCPress.

Do computer programs allow the dead to be revived?

Imagine a computer program based on advanced technologies of so-called artificial intelligence that we train on the data of a deceased person. We give her correspondence, diaries, audio and video recordings, photographs, describe her habits and life history, everything we can. A properly built algorithm will be able to generate a digital interactive image of that person’s face in real time, just like their voice, and the words spoken will be powered by software that’s a bit more advanced than today’s chatbot. It is a matter of a year, a few years at most, before this “resurrection” becomes possible.

Of course, this wouldn’t really be the dead person. Or someone who left us or rejected us and we miss him, because this option can also happen. Your husband or wife leaves you in a state of despondency and desperation to create an algorithm that digitally imitates him/her in a way that is virtually indistinguishable from the real algorithm. In any case, it will still be just a program that generates images, sounds and data. On the outside – behaviorally – it will be “indistinguishable” from a real mind and person, although on the “inside” it will be “empty”, without real personality, consciousness, emotions, private thoughts and life history. Just a perfect imitation, without the slightest bit of phenomenological depth, a true choice for communication, understanding and bond-building potential.

It is unlikely that the average person would want to be deceived in this way, many will find the possibility of creating an interactive digital visualization of the deceased eccentric, whether for religious, ethical or psychological reasons. But a desperate, distraught, or mentally disturbed person is more likely to be receptive to this kind of “service,” and the uneducated may even believe that such a program is phenomenologically active, conscious, and emotional. The question is also whether the average person of tomorrow will be like today. After all, making copies of the dead might become normal over time. “If a work is popular, it becomes acceptable, even when it is immoral or immoral.”

People don’t make choices unless they have an opportunity to make them possible. When an option comes to the table, a lot can change. The ugly but accurate comparison is treason. In the case of living in a small group, they know each other well, like the first ones Homo sapiensBut also with a close group of friends, betrayal is somewhat unlikely. But in today’s big city, where there are enough potential partners for a long life, many people are faced with a choice or temptation: either be faithful or cheat, or perhaps make the betrayal relative and take the easy way out, choosing an “open relationship”? When the possibility of digitally “resurrecting” a deceased parent or partner becomes real, many will want access, no matter the consequences.

A digital copy versus a biological copy

It is worth stopping for a moment and considering the fundamental difference between the traditional, understandable copy, that is, the effect of biological cloning, and the digital copy, which I am writing about in this text. In the case of a biotechnology process, a new baby is brought into the world with the same genetic material as the prototype (aside from mutations that occur during life in different cell lines), and from which DNA has been taken for cloning. Such a person is a separate real virtual entity. She has her own body, gains her own experiences, feels, and her independent personality is formed. I mean, probably, because a human has never been cloned (at least not officially; it’s never been announced) for moral and ethical reasons, but it would undoubtedly be a separate kind of twin.

In the case of an artificial intelligence program, we are talking about a perfect imitation. There are no real experiences, apparent sensations, independent consciousnesses and memories behind them, but words chosen statistically so perfectly that their semantics to a person would sound like the words of the person on the basis of whose data this program was created. There was a book called< Secret of the Marabou Cipher >> And there was a chameleon that could impersonate anyone, but he had nothing inside of him, and he didn’t have his own personality” – says Dr. Katarzyna Szumlewicz, a philosopher from the University of Warsaw, co-host of the podcast “Departure Mind RecordsIn a simple way it reflects what advanced AI programs of this kind are.

A real medium, the return of the fairies

Whereas the traditionally understood abilities of psychics or fairies remain only in a matter of faith, and sometimes directly documented extortion, in digital revival technology I see potential not only for restoring these “occupations”, but even giving them the great responsibility and well-deserved prestige. How exactly?

Let’s think of the world in a few, a dozen years or so at most, when a service to create a digital “person” for the deceased, an ex “partner” or an imaginary “ideal friend” (trained on our data that it is compatible with us and right for us) will be something that is available relatively easily and cheaply. If this were to happen, it could lead to various social problems – after all, “resurrecting” the dead, “copying” the living, or “creating” new “false” people is an excellent recipe for increased social entropy, personality disorder, induction of “mass psychosis.” Then there are the legal and ethical issues: Do we have the moral right to “revive” the dead, “copy” the living, create an imaginary “new mind”?

It’s a powerful tool, even if it becomes simple, easy to use, and cheap. I remember fairy tales in which an old man, shaman or medium called the spirit of a deceased sage to advise what to do in a difficult situation for the entire tribe or for a specific member of it. Or summon Mufasa’s ghost companion to adult Simba in The Lion King. Aren’t these metaphors good for digitally “resurrecting” or “summoning” the dead? Shouldn’t the profession of such a “spirit summoner” be strictly regulated, like that of a doctor or a lawyer, in order to avoid the social problems created by the existence of such technology? the professional who will ascertain whether the deceased’s consent was obtained for such a thing, and if not, whether the situation justifies his being “brought back” to “life” even though no permission was obtained; a professional who knows how far the conversation can be allowed to “client”; A professional who supervises and insures the whole process from the technical side; A well-educated professional in the field of psychology, philosophy, sociology and theology at the same time.

A special institution should be set up to train and confer qualifications for such a profession, so that people who wish to use this service – or rather to have a radical “metaphysical” experiment – cannot get away from capitalist vocabulary, which is not appropriate here – do it themselves. Just as they cannot freely buy and take antibiotics, remove healthy organs, or sign someone without his consent.

Technology will become magic

Many ideas about magic, superpowers, unreal abilities, and mysterious events will be made possible by technology. We should read carefully about the various ancient myths or medieval beliefs in which characters faced problems, challenges and dilemmas, until now were deeply metaphorically connected only to real people. This will change, in the sense that myths and beliefs will become reality.

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Echo Richards
Echo Richards
Echo Richards embodies a personality that is a delightful contradiction: a humble musicaholic who never brags about her expansive knowledge of both classic and contemporary tunes. Infuriatingly modest, one would never know from a mere conversation how deeply entrenched she is in the world of music. This passion seamlessly translates into her problem-solving skills, with Echo often drawing inspiration from melodies and rhythms. A voracious reader, she dives deep into literature, using stories to influence her own hardcore writing. Her spirited advocacy for alcohol isn't about mere indulgence, but about celebrating life's poignant moments.


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