Skip to comments.The Enquiring Hitchhiker Interviews Dr. Gregory Benford
Posted on 10/10/2012 11:04:44 AM PDT by EveningStar
This week the Enquiring Hitchhiker has several new interviews. The first of these is with Dr. Gregory Benford. Dr. Benford is one of the leading authors of hard science fiction working today. His novel In the Ocean of Night was one of my first introductions to the idea of artificial intelligence.
(Excerpt) Read more at thefreehold.us ...
BFL. He’s good.
It concerned replicator-based teleportation. You know, the kind that scans every molecule in your body (destructively, mind you), and commmunicates the composition and structure to some distant molecular assembler, and out pops....you? Or some monster resembling you? What happens to your consciousness, your soul, your sense of self, in the process?
I said I wouldn't do it. It wouldn't be I that popped out the other end; The real I'd be consigned to oblivion. For one thing, quantum considerations alone would make simply impossible an exact copy, and I suspected that the mind itself is based, partly but critically, on quantum effects.
If I recall, he basically agreed, and suggested I read his latest novel at the time, Cosm.
A few years later, I was discussing the concept with a friend at work and he suggested that I watch the movie The Prestige. It brought up similar questions in a slightly disturbing way.
Absolutely. I've long suspected that free will arises from these quantum effects. When Einstein said that God did not play dice, I think it was one thing he was exactly wrong about. His early objection to some of the implied results of special relativity were apparently philosophical, in that he just simply didn't want to believe the universe really worked that way.
I might have to look up Cosm. I can't recall if I've read it before.
Btw, off topic a bit, but have you read Greg Bear's Forge of God? It has an interesting answer to why we see no sign of intellegent life out there.
Thanks for the tip. Ummm, does Bear's novel explain why we see no sign of intelligent life down here?
I wouldn't say there is no intelligent life here, but stupidity does seem to outweigh intelligence by a large amount.
It ties in very nicely to the latest experiments at CERN. It predates the big CERN accelerator, although it was probably in the planning stage when the book was written.