Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 22nd Apr 2009 17:14 UTC, submitted by orfanum
Geek stuff, sci-fi... A detailed simulation of a small region of a brain built molecule by molecule has been constructed and has recreated experimental results from real brains. The "Blue Brain" has been put in a virtual body, and observing it gives the first indications of the molecular and neural basis of thought and memory. Scaling the simulation to the human brain is only a matter of money, says the project's head. The work was presented at the European Future Technologies meeting in Prague.
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RE[2]: I hope they can resist ...
by r_a_trip on Thu 23rd Apr 2009 10:13 UTC in reply to "RE: I hope they can resist ..."
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Would be rather cruel, to tell a simulated human being which has emotions and a personality that it is only simulated.

But those emotions and personality would be real. The only thing that would be simulated are the molecules.

And that would be the crux of the matter. Humans have a sense of self and of independence. That sense of Independence comes from our physical form. As long as we can get food and water in moderate temperature surroundings, our basic needs for existence are met and aren't dependent on a further outside influence.

A simulated entity doesn't have an independent body. What that being has for a physical representation is an electro-mechanical vessel controlled by whomever created the simulation. The simulation (most likely) has no control over the power supply to, or the location of the device that houses its consciousness.

All our laws are based on the assumption that they govern the interactions of born, biological beings. Since the simulation was created and not born, isn't biological, there are no laws against terminating it at will. If the simulation is self aware and knows there is no legal framework present preventing its random termination, I reckon that simulation would get pretty miserable knowing its existence is dependent on the interest its creators have in keeping it around.

I think it would be pretty cruel to just traumatize a sentient being like that.

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