Cast IT

Robin Hanson: The Age of Mind Uploading

Robin Hanson is an associate professor of economics at George Mason University and a research associate at the Future of Humanity Institute of Oxford University and one the world’s most influential futurists. 

We talk to Robin about how rigorous social science can help us describe a society in which “mind uploading” – the idea of simulating whole brains on digital hardware – might actually look. How does a society look where most minds live their lives in virtual reality, immortals in a world where labour is plentiful? Will the emulated humans be rich or poor, happy or miserable, care-free or stressed, honest or false, lazy or industrious, diverse or all the same? Will they fall in love, have friends, swear, distrust others, commit suicide, and find meaning in their lives?

Robin’s book about this topic is “The Age of Em: Work, Love and Life when Robots Rule the Earth” (Oxford University Press, 2016). Robin blogs about rationality at