I've been firmly convinced for over 10 years that revival will be purely digital rather than biological. In either case, you must first scan and fix everything digitally. The engineering must involve being able to run an emulation, ensuring that the mind can wake up. If you want to revive someone biologically, there is then a much harder second step of assembling a staggering number of molecules to build a new brain. This biological technology would be far more complex and would take many more decades. Nobody will bother with the second step. Everyone will stop after the first step, and all revivals will be into a VR as an emulation.
But my new ideas about revival have moved beyond that. My first premise is that the scanning process should work equally well on terminally ill patients as on cryopreserved patients. No matter how the scan is done, it's going to essentially be slicing into millions of layers. That's very high tech, and I simply don't see any advantage to a new scan over a scan of an old brain. It's not a first in last out process at all, as others have assumed due to viewing it as a lower-tech biological process. The only fundamental difference in scan quality will be that the old brains will have had initial unrecoverable memory loss. It's not plausible that waiting longer could significantly improve the eventual outcome. My second premise is that the first scans will be very expensive. The scanners should be among the most costly and complex machines in the world, just as our current electron microscopes are. Large numbers of highly educated experts will be needed to run them. I'm assuming that the software and hardware needed to run the VR environment will probably also be very expensive, although this is not guaranteed. General computing technology might be able to advance faster than the scanning machines. The cost of scanning should come down as technology improves. The scenario below follows from these two premises and it's different than what I've seen described elsewhere.
Cryonics will become very popular in the last few years before scanning is perfected. Terminally ill patients will see that scanning is close, and they will regularly choose cryonics over death. And then, one day, scanning will be good enough for a few people to take the risk. It will be a mix of people who undergo the first scans, with some being living and some recently cryopreserved. Because it will be expensive, it will be a gradual process at first, and cryonics will still be a desirable short-term solution. As the cost comes down, large numbers of people will begin to be uploaded, including those who were cryopreserved in our time. The implication is profound. It means we won't be dealing with superhumans, with borg collectives, with sentient AI, or with any other nonsense like that. It means we will be in the same boat as everyone else. We won't feel behind or out of place because nobody will have had time to exponentially grow their intelligence. We won't need to relearn new skills more than anyone else. It also answers the question of who would want to upload us. Since millions and millions will be uploading at about the same time, we will just be caught up in the rush. What skills will be in demand? Engineers, designers, artists, entertainers, teachers, computer builders, lawyers, politicians, bankers, and roboticists all strike me as careers that will be in high demand after upload. Losers will be doctors, farmers, and the food industries. As is usual with technological growth, this movement to the cloud will not seem sudden to the people who live through it. It will feel frustratingly slow in many ways, just like our current technological growth feels frustratingly slow. We can see fantastic possible improvements, but they are very difficult to realize because of mundane engineering and financial restraints. When will the uploads happen? I estimate 2140, 120 years from now, because of the huge number of complex intermediate steps required. This time frame is consistent with my future technology page that I've had posted for years: http://oregoncryo.com/futureTechnology.html
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