This is Part 1 of 4 in a series of posts sparked by the Kurzweil's You 2 thought experiment.

In the future, there may be cases where instant copies can be made of humans, whether for the sake of teleportation or as a necessary by-product of mind-uploading. For example, if you're teleported and every one of your molecules gets re-created in a remote location, there may be a one-minute waiting period for consistency checks to make sure that the copy created is an exact replica. After that one minute, the original version may get destroyed.

This leads to all sorts of philosophical problems, but it is much easier to wade through these scenarios by looking at practical considerations. Even if you are copied, your property wouldn't be copied. You would still have one set of bank accounts, one main email account, and from the government's perspective, only one vote.

Wills would have to be created at the site of every copying to ensure the transfer of property. For example, if teleportation required an extra 30-minute grace period, after the 1-minute consistency-check period mentioned above, your copy (c-version) could die in that 30 minutes, and their property would have to be passed onto you, the discarded version (d-version).

It might seem that such a will would be standard, but you might not trust yourself, and decide to forgo a will to discourage the d-version killing the c-version for their property.

Or there could be exotic wills that give d's and c's joint custody over their property.


posted by phil on Sunday Nov 18, 2012 3:30 AM

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