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Mind Uploading (Terra Futura)

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Mind uploading was a concept in which a conscious mind was transferred into a new body. It was controversial, at first, but, eventually, it changed humanity forever.

(Note: The background section of this page uses most of the same words as the cyborgs page of Terra Futura to save time.)

Background

Until the 1500s, anyone who lost a limb would just get a peg leg or a hook. French surgeon, Ambroise Pare, changed that. He designed mechanical limbs. In 1993, bionic arms and legs finally became possible. In many cases, the sense of touch was restored. Not only that, but hearing and heart function had been restored. In 1906, the first hearing aid was invented. It became portable portable in 1923. In 1960, the first cardiac pacemaker was invented. In 1969, the first artificial heart was invented. During the 21st century, cyborgs were becoming possible. What brought cyborgs into the mainstream overtime were new prosthetics. Among them were bionic eyes, bionic ears, implantable brain-computer interfaces, artificial organs, synthetic blood, synthetic bodily fluids, and advanced bionic limbs.

Early versions of bionic eyes from 2013 were crude with less 100 dots. By 2019, they used more than 1,000 dots making it easy to recognize someone and read. By 2036, bionic eyes exceeded normal human vision. They were also physically indistinguishable from normal human eyes. Externally mounted cameras were no longer needed. These cameras had been incorporated into the eye. Bionic eyes started providing senses beyond normal vision. At night, humans with bionic eyes could switch to infrared vision for safety reasons. Bionic eyes were also providing augmented reality with help from implantable brain-computer interfaces. This helped provide data on demand. Vision was not the only sense enhanced. Hearing was enhanced, too.

At the same time that bionic eyes were becoming common, bionic ears were to. Early versions were crude, but as time went on, they became more sophisticated. During the mid-21st century, bionic ears were becoming better than normal ears at hearing. They could even hear sounds above and below the range of normal human hearing. Bionic ears were also more resistant to sound damage. This meant that they could attend a rock concert and still be okay in the ears. However, not only were cybernetics replacing normal senses. They were going directly to the brain.

During the mid-21st century, brain-computer interfaces were becoming implantable. The majority of people were starting to implant these brain-computer interfaces permanently. This greatly augmented human intelligence. Augmented reality became much more common. If necessary, a person could switch to full immersion virtual reality. For many people, this was becoming essential as advances in computers, nanotechnology, biotechnology, and neuroscience were coming too fast to understand. Humans were merging with machines in other ways, too. This included artificial organs.

Replacing real organs with artificial organs was controversial when it started. The artificial heart never worked as well as a real heart or better until the mid-21st century. Then, in 2021, the first artificial kidney was developed that worked as well as a real kidney. Dialysis lasted only a short time. Transplants, even with cloned organs, did not last forever. Therefore, artificial kidneys were the best bet. Artificial kidneys could perform as well as real kidneys thanks to the person's blood pressure. An artificial kidney had an lifespan. By the mid-21st century, many different artificial organs had been created that almost never failed and could filter out deadly poisons. The death toll dropped. It would drop even more with synthetic blood.

During the mid-21st century, cybernetic enhancements became more extreme. Many rich people began opting for decentralised circulatory systems. With artificial hearts not working as well as real hearts, this would be a good alternative, but it was controversial. By eliminating the heart, the internal anatomy of a person was radically altered. Needless to say, the artificial heart which was much cheaper did catch up during the mid-21st century. However, synthetic blood did not become obsolete. With synthetic blood, physical vulnerability was reduced. People could now survive multiple gunshot wounds or other damage easily. This was still expensive, and, at first, only the rich could afford it. Politicians and criminals took advantage of this. By the late 21st century, however, synthetic blood was cheap enough to be used by everyone. So were other synthetic bodily fluids.

By 2080, synthetic bodily fluids were being used in place of normal bodily fluids. They helped filter out deadly toxins. Not only that, but synthetic bodily fluids were providing hours worth of oxygen. This made synthetic bodily fluids very popular. Some people around that time were even more adventurous.

Bionic limbs were nothing new in the late 21st century. They first appeared in 1993 as the replacement for the peg leg and the hook. By the late 21st century, bionic limbs were incorporating artificial muscles enhancing people's strength and agility beyond the limits of genetic engineering. These bionic limbs also incorporated artificial skin that used nanotechnology to resemble a person's usual skin color. Despite that, the limbs can still be told apart from those of an android.

By 2080, all of these cybernetic enhancements were taken for granted. Of course, further enhancements down the line, and a new technology would be born: Mind Uploading.

Description

Tech Level: 12-13

Mind uploading was an idea that came out of science fiction. By the mid-21st century, it had become possible to simulate neural processes. The underlying software foundation for mind uploading was a vastly greater challenge with technical difficulties. In addition, there were ethical and philosophical concerns. In the late 21st century, partial memory transfer was achieved. This showed the people of Earth that mind uploading was not impossible. It could be done. With the advent of picotechnology and strong AI, sufficiently detailed scanning methods became available. The gap between organic and artificial brains was closed. The mind uploading process was first tested on monkeys. Then, it was tested on people that were about to die. Finally, mind uploading was tested on healthy subjects. The brain was gradually replaced piece by piece to keep the personality intact. The process was shown to be reversible. Red tape and the strictest regulations ever followed. Many religious groups saw this as a fundamental violation of God's will. Eventually, however, the governments of the world approved mind uploading for commercial use. By the 23rd century, mind uploading had been perfected. A person could choose from more than one body based on what they wanted to at the moment. A woman could transfer her consciousness in to the body of a man or vice versa. In the asteroid mining industry, as the Internet was by now, essentially, a global and interplanetary mind embedded in almost everything, mind uploading was used to transfer the minds of workers into robotic bodies. The most extreme cases involved taking the forms of animals and even mythological creatures. An individual who decided to fly could use the body of an eagle or any other bird, bat, or insect. Someone going to an underwater locale could use a mermaid-like body complete with gills and a tail. Some environmentalists involved in the re-wilding effort chose to abandon their human bodies altogether remaining animals forever. Others decided to abandon the physical world altogether and live in virtual worlds. Mind uploading had revolutionized almost everything, and humanity had been changed.

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