Swedish developer MindArk, creators of the long-running MMO Entropia Universe, has begun working with AI researchers from several universities on a process for uploading human consciousness to their game.
MindArk are working with researchers from Princeton University, Oxford University, and The Centre for Intelligent Games and Game Intelligence on the mind-uploading concept.
The whole project is essentially the plot from The Lawnmower Man, in which a gardener uses a combination of virtual reality and nootropic drugs to move his mind out of his body and into a computer. It doesn’t go particularly well, but that was way back in 1992, and we’ve come a long way since then, right?
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Regardless of cautionary cyberpunk tales, MindArk says the idea of consciousness uploading has “life after death implications,” allowing digital avatars to carry users’ consciousness on indefinitely.
"Everyone dreams of life after death, and our team at MindArk is using the research being done by leading scientists from around the globe to take the first steps towards allowing loved ones to remain around in some form even after they are gone," MindArk CEO Henrik Nel said in a press release.
MindArk concede that full consciousness uploading is still pretty far off in the future, but they say their work on artificial intelligence to date can serve as a solid basis for researchers to build on. And certain futurists have suggested that melding human and computer intelligences is a matter of inevitability. In “The Singularity Is Near” (2005), Ray Kurzweil wrote “there will be no distinction, post-Singuliarity, between human and machine.”