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I had an idea for a world where brain uploading is a thing, but I have a problem. Besides slowly replacing the brain itself with nanobots and the like, what's the best way to make absolutely sure continuity of consciousness occurs? I'm stumped.

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  • $\begingroup$ Please give more details. What is it specifically you are concerned about? What are your thought processes and considerations until now? How should that process work in general? $\endgroup$ – Battle Aug 16 '18 at 6:31
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    $\begingroup$ You can't. We still don't even know if consciousness is a purely electrical process in the brain or is at least in part tied to the specific neurophysiology of the cerebral cortex. Short answer is don't try this at home. $\endgroup$ – Tim B II Aug 16 '18 at 6:51
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    $\begingroup$ Why is this even a problem? You are the author... you can simply postulate that "It works". Do not make a problem where there is none. $\endgroup$ – MichaelK Aug 16 '18 at 7:13
  • $\begingroup$ So a device that reads a brain, creates a program describing everything in the brain, and then a powerful enough computer to run said program? $\endgroup$ – James Aug 16 '18 at 7:24
  • $\begingroup$ What's wrong with the bit by bit method? It works for the Theseus ship. $\endgroup$ – Starpilot Aug 16 '18 at 7:53
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We do not know where consciousness comes from exactly

There is no way of proving something has consciousness. Technically, I (or you, from your perspective) could believe that I am the only conscious being in the universe and the rest are just automatons working on natural principles resulting in the behaviour they exhibit. None of them have to be conscious for that.

It is believed that consciousness is an emergent property from brains. This means that you don't alter the presence of a consciousness if you slightly alter the brain (e.g. remove some neurons or synapses), but it requires the brain as a whole and its structure to exist.

Therefore you can come up with anything to say consciousness is preserved as we have no way of disproving you anyway.

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    $\begingroup$ As close to a reasonable answer to an undefinable and therefore unsolvable problem as is possible, I think. $\endgroup$ – StephenG Aug 16 '18 at 9:34

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