Artificial Intelligence Mind Philosophy Science fiction

Conundrum: What if you could make an exact duplicate of yourself?

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(In another venue, I (News) review sci-fi shorts on Saturdays. This film seems worth pointing to because it explores the conundrums of the human self. Is a “self” the same thing as an “individual”?)

“The Unboxing Video” offers philosophy as well as dark comedy around the question of what being “oneself” means. A lonely guy, filming himself unboxing his new android replicant, discovers how hard he is to live with when there are two of him. But can he return “himself” to the manufacturer?

For one thing, the replicant doesn’t know that he is not the original. He has no reason to think so:

Immortal line from the replicant: “When I set this whole thing up, I thought it would be someone like me, not actually me.” So James tries to explain to James 1.0 that he is not really “me” and not really “you” either. Soon, he tries out “we.” But, as it turns out, it’s not really “we” either, as the product begins reviewing the purchaser …

News, “Sci-fi Saturday: Why you do NOT want to duplicate yourself” at Mind Matters News

And that does not go well.


You may also wish to read: Are human brain transplants even possible? What would be the outcome if one person received transplants from the brains of others? If it’s not possible, there may be a good reason why not. If tiny bits of the brains from all the people in my neighborhood were transplanted into my brain, would there be a neighborhood in my skull? (Michael Egnor)

3 Replies to “Conundrum: What if you could make an exact duplicate of yourself?

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    twins are the closest to clones we have, they have different personalities and perspectives but share much in common.

  2. 2
    paige says:

    KF, I assume you are referring to identical twins. Fraternal twins are nothing like clones.

  3. 3
    Seversky says:

    An “exact duplicate” is still a duplicate, not the original. It’s similar to the transporter conundrum from Star Trek. If the person on the transmitting pad is disassembled – effectively destroyed – is the person who appears on the receiving pad the same as the one who was sent?

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