Uploading by the Nanoreplacement Procedure

In this proposal, billions of microscopic machines are injected into the brain, where they take up residence in or near the neurons. Each machine monitors the input/output activity of its neuron, until it is able to predict perfectly how the neuron will respond. At that point, it kills the neuron and takes its place.

This proposal sounds good -- in some ways, simpler than the microtome procedure. But the machines would probably have trouble with the sheer size of neurons and their connections. A neuron may have inputs many millimeters away, and may have outputs connections as long as a meter. How could a tiny machine (smaller than a cell) monitor all those inputs, or reach all those output sites? It would have to be capable of growing as large as the neuron itself, and in the same shape. Proponents of nanotechnology sometimes claim that almost anything is possible. Let's suffice to say that it's not clear how this would be accomplished, for now at least.

nanoreplacement.html . . . . . . . . 5/03/95 . . . . . . . Joe Strout