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The Age of EmWork, Love, and Life when Robots Rule the Earth$
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Robin Hanson

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198754626

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198754626.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 October 2021



5 (p.64) Implementation
The Age of Em

Robin Hanson

Oxford University Press

Compared with ordinary humans, it is much easier to directly read the internal state of an em mind. This should allow some types of “mindreading.” Consider taking two ems and trying to match parts in one of them to parts in the other, to say which parts are the “same.” during the early opaque em era it will usually not be possible to make a complete match. Even so, some parts could be matched, such as the parts that receive initial inputs from eyes and ears. For matched parts, it should be possible to put the parts of one emulation into the same brain activation state as that of the matching parts in another emulation. So, for example, one might force an emulation to see and hear exactly what another emulation sees and hears. More parts can be matched for emulations of the same original human, especially if they have diverged for a shorter subjective time. Such more closely matched emulations could thus be arranged to more fully “read” each other’s minds. Mild mindreading might be used to allow ems to better intuit and share their reaction to a particular topic or person. For example, a group of ems might all try to think at the same time about a particular person, say “George.” Then their brain states in the region of their minds associated with this thought might be weakly driven toward the average state of this group. In this way this group might come to intuitively feel how the group feels on average about George. Of course this should work better for closer copies, and after this exercise participating individuals might still return to something close to their previous opinions of George. Even when minds cannot be matched part for part, statistical analysis of how activation in different parts and situations correlates with actions and stated feelings should allow cheap partial mindreading, at least for some shallow “surface” aspects of emulation minds. Both of these types of mindreading require access to the internal state of an emulation process. Those not granted such access have an even weaker ability to read minds than do humans today. Today, humans routinely leak many features of their brain states via tone of voice, gaze, facial expressions, muscle vibrations, etc.

Keywords:   artificial intelligence, complexity, functional units, hardware, identity, labor, mindreading, progress, research, software

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