Hi Dilla – my responses are in bold font below.
Interview with Loraine J. Rhodes - Cybernetic Revival,
Director of Legal Research / General Manager Terasem Movement, Inc.
1. In his book “GOD AND GOLEM, Inc” (published in 1964), Norbert Wiener - founder of Cybernetics stated: ”It is conceptually possible for a human being to be sent over a telegraph line”. In short, he assumed that a human being is an informational structure, a message - which can be deconstructed, transmitted etc. Nowadays we’re talking about Uploading and even Downloading.. Seems like these ideas were popping in the heads of a lot of thinkers, but they lacked the technologies we have now. Do you think we can create a Mindware, upload or transmit human consciousness in the near future? & Do you consider revival of mind clones only in digital forms, or also in robotic or even in organic bodies?
A. Work like this is already being realized to varying degrees – a good example is lovingly depicted within this article entitled, Mother Meets Recreation of Her Deceased Child in VR:
And in BINA48, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BINA48
Though there are professionals who openly thwart such concepts, Martine discusses the possibilities within her vlog, Mindfiles, Mindware and Mindclones at http://mindclones.blogspot.com/ and further in her book, Virtually Human, seehttps://www.amazon.com/Virtually-Human-Promise_and-Peril_of-Immortality/dp/1250046912 and also within a March 2015 TED Talk entitled, My daughter my wife, our robot, and the quest for immortality, see https://www.ted.com/talks/martine_rothblatt_my_daughter_my_wife_our_robot_and_the_quest_for_immortality
These are but a few areas, where you may access Martine’s thoughts and visions on uploading, downloading, mindware and capturing/recreating one’s consciousness in a mechanical or biomechanical format.
2. What would be the benefits of it not only for a person’s digitized, interactive memories, bemes or immortal minds, but for a society(humanity) in general? For example, can we imagine a future where conscious bemes uploaded in robotic bodies could lead the space exploration?
A. I like to answer questions like this by looking to the past and the limited information can provide. We’re lucky to have quite a bit of letters, notes and writings from one of our country’s forefathers, Benjamin Franklin. Not only was he a statesman, but also a scientist and inventor from whose research many current technologies are attributed. How much sooner or farther may we have taken these technologies had Franklin the ability to detail all within the tools we use today? Bringing that thought to present day, as most current day scientists chronicle all they do in such redundant fashion, it’s overwhelming to think how future generations will utilize and improve upon this current research. One scientist’s failure today may become another’s humanity altering achievement in the future. Martine turned an orphan drug cast aside by a prominent pharma company into a multi-billion dollar producing medication allowing thousands of people to live healthier, longer and more productive lives.
3. What is CyBeRev for you personally and for your community? What fascinates you most in this idea?
A. I’ve been involved with the CyBeRev (Cybernetic Beingness revival) project since its beginning in 2006, being often used as a test subject as the techs were building and testing it. It is what it says it is, it’s a testing of the two hypotheses (https://cyberev.org/Hypothesis.aspx) on being able to digitize one’s consciousness. I don’t think this is something to be achieved in just a few years by a few professionals, but to be improved upon as technology evolves. A more detailed look into the project can be found at (https://cyberev.org/martine.pdf).
4. I’m amazed by BINA48.. What’s the CyBeRev project vision of BINA48: is it an experiment to test Terasem hypotheses or anything else? (and if Yes, could you explain which ones?) (for me even the existence of BINA48 brings to the surface a need for a lot of new philosophical, existential, everyday life ideas, thoughts and changes)
A. The vision behind BINA48 is summed up on the Terasem Movement Wikipedia page (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terasem_Movement) in that she is intended as a social robot and “is an early demonstration of the potential for using "mindfiles" for transferring human consciousness information to new forms”, thereby is always testing the Terasem Hypotheses.
According to her Wikipedia page (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BINA48), aside from drawing her information from the mindfile of Bina Rothblatt and being able to tap into the internet (as most humans do), BINA48 “employs a mix off-the-shelf software and customized artificial intelligence algorithms,” and also uses “Transformational Quality Theory (TQ Theory in robotics) as a process augmentation to her primary mindfile based algorithm.”
5. How does it feel to have a robotic and digital double in real life? What would be your feelings and thoughts about it?
A. I know the real Bina, Bina Rothblatt, worked tirelessly during the creation of BINA48 and on her own mindfile from which BINA48 draws all of her personal information, but I’ve not personally nor directly asked how she ‘feels’ about having this Humanoid personification of herself. There is a video of Bina speaking with BINA48, upon which you may draw how Bina feels about or interacts with BINA48, see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYshJRYCArE
I very much like having a digital copy of all I placed into my mindfile. If I develop a type of Dementia or Alzheimer’s when I’m older then there is a copy of information that may assist me in remembering things or people I forgot. Perhaps medicine and technology may work with these recorded memories to assist in me regaining what was once thought to be lost forever.
6. There’s still a small, but very fast growing field of DAI (Digital Afterlife Industry) where a lot of groups are trying to use AI for storing and uploading people’s memories into the clouds. How do you think, can AI-based chatbot techniques help us on the first stages of Cybernetic revival and how?
A. This question sort of takes me back to the article I cite in answering question 1. As I am the daughter of a funeral director a ‘digital afterlife’ it’s always a consideration in that it allows us to feel that our departed loved ones are never really ‘gone’, perhaps just elsewhere - somewhere we do not have a ready access to. As in that article, it’s helping the mother of the deceased girl deal with her daughter’s passing. It’s hard with children as there’s much less to be placed in a mindfile or similar digital repository that there is for an adult. It will be less noticeable that the adult’s digital presence isn’t aging than children.
7. Reviving one’s consciousness in digital realms or in robotic body requires scientific research, programmers, psychologists, lawyers, new laws, etc. What’s your vision on these topics? Do CyBeRev works on possible solutions on these not yet, but close to be actual “problems”?
A. Terasem’s mission is to continue testing the hypotheses on digitizing one’s consciousness to be ready when science and technology advance in the fields of the software/wetware and the biological, mechanical or biomechanical hosts for the mindfiles. Terasem holds its annual Colloquium on the Law of Futuristic Law to set the legal footprint for laws needed to be in place when these technologies come to fruition. The law all-to-often runs to keep up with technological advances and changes.
8. As a brilliant sociologist William S. Bainbridge contemplated on the idea of possible rising of Galactic, Space religions – do you think we could witness the rise of cybernetic, virtual reality etc. Religions? because they offer almost everything old religions were offering: immortality, godlike experiences, cyber-reincarnation, cure from a lot of deseases etc.
A. Virtual reality is not a new or recent concept – it dates back millennia with, I believe, a root in Trompe-l'oeil (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trompe-l%27%C5%93il), creating optical illusions in religious artwork or in making a room or space appear larger by painting scenery on a wall.
I’m not the scholar Dr. Bainbridge is, but I think we’ll be employing virtual reality more and more in our day-to-day lives as we see it so much already in the medical, military and commercial applications.
9. We live in a chaotic world: before some people work on another application, in the other part of the world there are wars, starvation..There are thousands of nuclear stations and weapons on a planet, greedy politicians, ecological catastrophes, dangers from space etc. Do you see dangers for a civilization, in a way that we can fall into a stagnation phase or some catastrophe could flip us back to some kind of medieval times?
A. We constantly live under the random threat of asteroid strikes or other natural disasters and catastrophes that could wipe out the vast majority, if not all, of the earth’s inhabitants – just as it did the dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous period sixty-five million years ago. If just a mere percentage were wiped out, that would knock us back several paces in Human evolution (a temporary stagnation), but only until we can assess who and what remains sufficient to formulate and begin a rebuild.
Martine is a fan of Gerard K. O’Neill’s High Frontier (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_High_Frontier:_Human_Colonies_in_Space), andbig proponent of making contingency plans for human habitation off the planet in a self-sustaining colony orbiting Earth.
10. You’re doing and already did an amazing job, mind blowing explorations and experiments.. That’s
why I have to ask you for a little favor: There are lot of TechnoShamans, Dreamhackers, Transhumanists living far from the centers of the world (Georgia for example), Dreamers in Second and Third worlds who look up to you, to these ideas, who dream of psychedelic, Cybernetic future we’re talking about, but struggling with lack of resources and relevant communities, but still they’re working on these topics -- what would be your message/motivation for them?
A. The motivation for Humanity is instinctually, self-preservation. There is always something one may do to prepare for tomorrow, a career, marriage, children, retirement, death, etc. There is an African Proverb that’s befitting here, “Tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”
The rapidly increasing use of computer technologies in education within Second and Third World countries are helping to reduce, and hopefully alleviate, the poverty and inequality across these developing countries. Education will boost a nation’s economy by becoming more industrialized, create more opportunities to work, and is the key element in planning for the future.