The Age of Em

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The Age of Em: Work, Love and Life when Robots Rule the Earth is a 2016 nonfiction book released by Robin Hanson.[1] It explores the implications of world when researchers haven’t created artificial general intelligence but have learned to copy humans onto computers, creating “ems,” or emulated people, who quickly come to outnumber the real ones.[2][3][4]

There have been three human eras so far: foragers, farmers, and industry. The next era is likely to arise from artificial intelligence in the form of brain emulations, sometime in the next century or so. This book paints a detailed picture of this new era

— The Age of Em

The book's main scenario proposes that in about a hundred years from now, human brains will be scanned at "fine enough spatial and chemical resolution," and combined with rough models of signal-processing functions of brain cells, "to create a cell-by-cell dynamically executable model of the full brain in artificial hardware, a model whose signal input-output behavior is usefully close to that of the original brain."[5]

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