Could We Upload Our Brains To A Computer?

A short work discussing the technological developments and implications of theoretical human brain-to-computer uploads.


Adam Leon

12/1/20222 min read

Scientific innovation is always on the brink of incredible breakthroughs that could revolutionize not only our world, but the future of humanity in general. Research scientists and inventors work around the clock to come up with solutions to problems that have plagued our species for millennia. From the invention of refrigerators that prevent food from spoiling, to the design of vaccines and medicine to prevent diseases in major populations, these brilliant minds and creations have led to a massive increase to the longevity of the human lifespan that our ancestors never believed possible.

However, this is merely the initial steppingstone to the unbelievable technologies soon to come that could work not only to change the world as we know it, but to increase our lifespan so dramatically that we could cure death itself. In this section, we will then be going over the technological and scientific advancements surrounding the theoretical possibility that human beings could one day upload their consciousness to computers.

Theoretical Applications

An idea made popular by the recent horror video game SOMA, uploading our brain to a computer could very well become the next step in the race to immortality. In fact, tech billionaire Elon Musk believes uploading our consciousness will occur within our lifetime and has personally funded and promoted ideas of uploading the human brain onto computers. Dubbed “Whole Brain Emulation”, This technology allows an individual to theoretically scan an entire human brain and work to simulate its entire actions and reactions inside of a computer engine thus granting it life and autonomy inside of a computational device.

This would allow an individual to upload their memories, their likeness, their entire being onto computational devices and live well past the average life expectancy of a flesh and blood human being, even scanning family members and keeping them around after they have long since passed.

However, the main downside of this technology is its lack of ability to make the original individual live forever. Uploading your brain to a computer would only work to be a copy of your consciousness and the functionality of your brain, you would still live and die as a flesh and blood human being and only your copy would continue on. The copy wouldn’t feel as if it were a copy though, and would feel as if it was once human and then entered inside of a computer at the moment of creation.

Whole Brain Emulation

As impossible as this might sound, Whole Brain Emulation is technology currently being worked on and funded. Open source projects such as OpenWorm is currently making strides in the field of Whole Brain Emulation by accurately mapping out every individual cell inside the worm species C. Elegans. By mapping the entire entity and using its natural functions of cellular simulation, they have worked to create a copy of life inside these simulation engines and have even built robotic bodies for these simulated minds that have moved and re-enacted behavior similar to living C. Elegans completely autonomously.

Though it might be a small step, it is still a step in the right direction, and someday soon with the computational power of computers on the rise, we might be able to copy over human consciousness and live forever as an Artificial Intelligence integrated with these computerized networks.