ASIM2010-2 Second Online Workshop on Advancing Substrate-Independent Minds


The Second Online Workshop on Advancing Substrate-Independent Minds, ASIM2010-2, was held in Teleplace on July 10, 2010. See also our report of the first workshop, with a video summary.

ASIM (Advancing Substrate-Independent Minds) is a new series of workshops and activities that will cover the current state of the art in the fields of whole brain emulation, mind transfer, digital personalities, gradual replacement techniques, and brain preservation. The ASIM workshops are organized by the carboncopies foundation, a roadmapping organisation to investigate potential ways in which the Advancement of Substrate Independent Minds (ASIM) might be realised. The foundation has the objective to advance the development of technological means by which to achieve the transfer of cognitive processes from a human brain to an artificial substrate. The convergence of key technologies (nanotech., biotech., brain imaging, etc.) offers tantalizing possibilities that need to be fully considered, understood and pursued in a structured fashion.

The second workshop had 4 main talks and lively questions, answers and discussions. See the carboncopies website for a background. All talks and discussions were recorded on video and may be available upon qualified request (see the contact info on the carboncopies website).


Teleplace is a 3D applications for videoconferencing, telepresence and telework, online meetings, group collaboration, and e-learning in a virtual 3D environment (v-learning), where multiple participants can stream their webcam video to an interactive 3D online meeting area and workspace. The virtual 3D space permits effectively organizing the work areas and creates the impression of “being there”, which is fundamental for effective remote collaboration.

The online ASIM workshops are usually closed, but there will soon be two opportunities to learn more about the current state of the art in the fields of whole brain emulation, mind transfer, digital personalities, gradual replacement techniques, and brain preservation:

Randal A. Koene will give a public talk on ASIM in Teleplace on July 17, 2010, at 10am PST (1pm EST, 6pm UK, 7pm CET). From the abstract of the talk: “Take as a given that the Church-Turing thesis applies to human thinking, that our minds are complex machines, but machines nonetheless. Let us also assume that we already understand many of the scientific, societal and even evolutionary pressures – as described in several of my previous talks – that underscore the need to augment our minds with the capabilities of machine intelligence and the adaptability to operate in computational substrates other than those of the cerebral neurophysiology. What do we know about the possible target substrates and the procedures that may achieve a transition to such substrates? Which are the primary remaining scientific challenges, and which are the engineering hurdles to be overcome? At, we are taking steps to identify and formulate rational approaches to these problems. For example, on one end of the spectrum we investigate feasible and careful ways to accomplish subject-specific data acquisition and whole brain emulation, while on the other we lend support to proposals for commercially viable developments in cognitive augmentation.

There are still a few seats available, please contact Giulio Prisco.

The ASIM 2010 Conference will be a satellite event to the main Singularity Summit in San Francisco, on August 16-17, 2010. It will run after the Singularity Summit workshop on Monday and Tuesday. The following topics will be addressed by speakers in the workshop: Fundamentals of Advancing Substrate-Independent Minds; Introductions to several of the possible technology directions; An examination of needs; Discussion of funding and fund raising possibilities.

If you are interested in attending and would like more information, please feel free to contact the organisers.


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