Big Think brings to attention the work of Economist Robin Hanson, who believes that in a not-too-distant future not only will robots will be commonplace in our life but ems — brain emulations — will pretty much engage in every available job, from the factory floor all the way to government. Some say even in marriage. In the video above, Assistant Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology and Computer Science David Cox explains how Harvard is "building artificial brains and uploading them in the cloud right now." That can't be good.
Emulations will perform most of their tasks in virtual reality, and for physical jobs like factory work they will have some specialized “bodies”. Ems will be functioning creatures that will develop and live in the same world as humans but will eventually develop their own civilization.
Once ems will be doing most of our jobs, humans will have to create a new civilization for themselves. Hanson imagines ems will be congregating in a few megacities full of technology, while the humans will live essentially retired in suburbs. The ems will be running all the businesses and government.
And mind reading is not too far off either.
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