The Millennium ExperienceChronicle of the Future

Cyber ghost must die...

12.02.49: THE SUPREME COURT yesterday ordered computer scientist Nat Baker to switch off the quantum supercomputer in which he claims to have cloned his consciousness in a bid for electronic immortality.

The machine, programmed with the information content of the scientist's brain, appears to be conscious and identical in personality to Baker.

The court order was issued after the Council for the Protection of All Sentient Entities (Cepase) argued that prolonging the computer-based consciousness was potentially cruel.

Many machines are assumed to be self-aware, but the subjective quality of machine consciousness is distinct from that of humans because they function in a different physical context. Earlier hearings determined that this ruled out any possibility of suffering. Baker's case is unique because he claims the computer's consciousness is identical to his own.

"To have human consciousness you need a human body," explains Baker. "I have got around that by putting my consciousness in a virtual reality which gives him the illusion that he is still physically inside