There is an old adage, “what you focus on expands”. Untethered consciousness is not a human only based concept and if we look at the earth as an organism, I think humanity is both myopic and compliant. Meaning, on one hand we tend to view our species as separate and special or unique, but on the other hand, simply fulfilling our role.
Almost immediately (absolutely immediately if looking at longer time lines) after the ability to hand forge metals, our eyes looked toward the “heavens”. Space draws us and the yearning began long before the first Bic lighter.
Two good comparisons are pollen and termites. The simpler being pollen, which simply is shed by the flower in order to proliferate the organism using other species and the wind. Termites however, are a bit more advanced, and when the colony becomes large enough, selectivity and metamorphosis occurs and a certain segment spontaneously grows wings and migrates off to colonize. Others stay behind to do it again.
One potential aspect of AI, is the impersonal function of the transfer of life from one planet to another. We are watching this happen right now. Some people envision the human body being the carrier and others see untethered consciousness as a suitable vessel.
Part of this science that is yet to be discovered or tested, is prolonged space travel for the human body. Perhaps the purpose of humanity is to personally deliver this across the cosmos, and perhaps the purpose is to accomplish the task in the most efficient way possible.
I do not see religious beliefs and theology as the same thing at all. We do not “believe” in the periodic table, we have discovered it, sorted it out , and analyzed it. It is my opinion that discovery of untethered consciousness will explain many things, that modern religion actually works to keep “in house”. Thus, our perceptions and knowledge base is influenced by politics of religion that have no interest in the scientific exploration by the public or species wide knowledge base.
Breaking out of myopia in the realm of spiritual matters, which is basically the study of untethered consciousness, is going to require a massive financial and political overhaul, and it is occurring now.
But as for the study of untethered consciousness, it is the oldest science our species has in our database. The lead scientists are hidden in hills and hard to get to places quietly going on with their business without financial backing or academic recognition.
The basic question. Can consciousness be created or transferred into a vessel of whatever composition ? The answer to that is undeniably yes. Can consciousness exist untethered ? That answer is also yes. People have been doing that for millennia.
Like we found with the invention of the microscope, things are much more symbiotic than we thought. Likewise, in the realm of untethered consciousness, it is apparent that it pre-existed human life.
When dogmas are reduced, the hidden come forward. This is rather obvious. It wasn’t long ago, that performing surgery on a human body to save it, was met with the death penalty.
When sensors advance to a degree of detection of untethered consciousness, that will be first contact, for scientists bent on proof through instrumentation and mathematics. But for those who simply study it , first contact was a very long time ago. Not unlike mathematics, the study has it’s own language and set of established rules, as well as varying degrees of aptitude among the students or scientists. And just like talent or aptitude is scooped up by large corporations, the modern situation in the field is the same.
I usually put it this way. Imagine if all we know about physics and math is made illegal, and centralized powers dispatch forces to eliminate it so as to destroy competition. And imagine this effort being global and lasting 1000 - 500 years without interruption. The reaction of the physicists and the process they would use to preserve the knowledge would be the same.
Engineering AGI is not the purpose of humans, but one thing we are doing in a process. It is the opinion of many, that at some point, science and untethered consciousness will merge, but the discovery will not be two sided. What it will create for the first time, is the ability to transfer this knowingly and deliberately, to a particular direction for whatever purpose we will be capable of comprehending at the time.
I’ll try to explain this the best I can for the people in the computer world. If you are proficient at operating your device, you can detect if someone has noticed you and is watching you or perhaps "hacking " into your device for whatever purpose. If it is a malicious attack, you do whatever it is to counter this, but if it is not malicious, you may choose to interact with it. You may also choose to contact a particular individual for a purpose benevolent or otherwise. But if they are not connected to the internet, you are basically oblivious to their existence.
Either way, the contact or interaction is basically to gain information or form cooperative relationships. Likewise, a proficient operator could subtly suggest a thing to someone by sending them a seemingly innocuous advertisement or invitation. If they detect that you have done this and reply to you directly, you might be surprised or impressed and recruit that person.
People in the past and present have built and maintained untethered consciousness for many purposes. Some times, it is very basic , such as an alert system for territorial breeches, like a fire wall. The future will be interesting, of that I am certain. And like all other major discoveries, we will be forced to adjust our dogmas, and most likely become mortified that we had them.
When we consider greed in the financial world, and how that plays out in the human game of pretend, it actually pales in comparison to the control sought by certain people in the study of untethered consciousness. I spoke to one religious devotee who was rather educated and had achieved some rank among his peers. In illustrating his dismay, he said, 'I am certain that many of my peers would kill another to gain even one spot ahead in the line to speak to god, in spite of the inability to do so even if they got to the front of the line".
For the rest of the people engaged in the study, these are comparable to malevolent banks and warmongers. Just as math proceeds with integrity, so too does the study of untethered consciousness. Just as technology can easily see autonomous vehicles as inevitable, so too, is it easy to see where things are headed in this merging of knowledge between the visible and invisible. Just like the microscope, we will learn about things we couldn’t see. And while it may provide insight into our purpose, we will certainly want more.
Religion as an artificial construct does very little to explain purpose, and to the actual study is more preventative than explorational or helpful. This applies to sciences across the spectrum of the visible and invisible.
And today facebook announces Libra, and so with this power becomes the desire for that power and the ability to creep further into the lives of others. More more more. And neither the name of the brand is honest, nor the stated intention along with it. Just more games of pretend. It wishes to take that which is active and freely exploring, and make it inert.