So if you made a giant Artificial Intelligence in a computer and it gained sentience at the level of ‘I think therefore I am’. Then what is to stop it having completed the program of sentience and just end up as a lump of intricate metal?
AI would not work quite like that though it would have its base program in a loop that goes around and around and can spread out into the farthest reaches of the mind and create memory circuits and figure out good ways to structure its brain. And when that is done, it returns back to the loop of existence.
So what keeps a human mind going? Or that of a fly? It’s got some continual function inside it that we lose when we die. It has got our base intellect inside it, the same one we always had since birth or before that.
And if we have this loop of willpower to survive, then likely so does a fly and a cow and horse. The key is how does the loop start? In our genes there is much much information. Enough to design a body more complex than any car and to make a basic computer bios type system that regulates the temperature and breathing. Also must be the actual loop type structure where the energy brought from the sperm and the egg interacts with the matter of the braincells and creates a continuous function of who we start out as. Our mind’s eye, our loop.
Now this function must live somewhere in our brains, probably at the middle. My suggestion is to reverse engineer the DNA of a simple alive creature such as a fly. And to figure out how it extracts itself into a fly mind. And convert that data into computer code and to build a virtual environment for it and see if your fly flies around intelligently or stays as dead information.
If Athiests are correct and we are indeed all robots then that should work. If however we find a part of the fly’s code that we are unable to virtualize then that part would be for connection to a soul of some kind.
You should also be able to take a human being’s DNA and do the same and trap them inside a computer to live forever as that DNA’s brand of consciousness. However it may not appreciate you doing it.
Basically, if we can’t virtualize the soul because there is something missing then there’s still hope. If we can however then the future it would seem is entirely in our own hands.