The cultural dimensions and the usage of Internet in post-soviet countries

Lejiņa L., Mārtinsone K., Ļevina J.


Currently, the development and the usage of information and communication technology incorporating the Internet is increasing sharply. Yet, the diffusion of the usage of technology is not equal worldwide. As a possible explanation of this inequality the impact of the culture had been considered. In this paper, the differences of cultural dimensions and the indicators of the usage of Internet in post-soviet and old European countries are explored. As the theoretical framework of this research Hofstede`s model of cultural dimensions is used. The results revealed that there were differences between post-soviet and old European countries, firstly, in cultural dimensions, namely, masculinity and long-term orientation, and secondly, in the indicators of the usage of Internet.

The usage of information and communication technology (ICT) expands rapidly yet unequally across countries all over the world. Evidently, the economical wealth of the country is a factor in this inequality, nevertheless, according to Hofstede, culture has a crucial role in the acceptance and usage of technology (Hofstede, 2001). There is little evidence showing a relationship between culture and the usage of ICT worldwide (Musambira, Matusitz, 2015).

Currently, cross-cultural researches are exceedingly evaluated in psychology, as culture had been admitted to be an essential variable for the researches of all aspects of human nature (Matsumoto, Yoo, 2006). Due to the increasing process of globalization, knowledge and use of cross-cultural diversity becomes a necessity. For cross-cultural researches Hofstede`s model of cultural dimensions is widely used, particularly because the measurements of these cultural dimensions are considered to be stable in time (Hofstede, Hofstede, Minkov, 2010). Nonetheless, these considerations had been criticised by several authors (e.g. Ailon, 2008), which had also drawn attention to the impact of globalization on culture and therefore on cultural dimensions. Evident contributor to the globalization is ICT, especially the Internet, therefore, it can be argued about the relationship between culture and the Internet.

There are several conceptions of Europe – political (e.g. European Union) and geographical (as a continent, incorporating in European countries also, e.g. Norway, Russia, Turkey), to name a few. Throughout the paper, the term post-soviet countries will refer to the countries which were a part of the Soviet Union, and the term old European countries will refer to the countries which had joined European Union before 1991.

No previous studies have reported evidence of comparison of post-soviet countries and old European countries, which can be contrasted on the base of different developments in history, transformations and social values. Therefore, the aim of this paper is, first, to investigate the differences in the ranking of cultural dimensions between post-soviet and old European countries, and second, to determine the difference in the usage of Internet between post-soviet and old European countries, thus, the relationship between culture and the usage of Internet can be possibly established.

Cultural dimensions. As Hofstede states, culture is “the collective programming of the mind that distinguishes the members of one group or category of people from others” (Hofstede, Hofstede, Minkov, 2010, 6). A follows, culture of the society has an effect on the values and succeeding behaviour of individuals of the society. Hofstede`s latest model for comparing national societies contains six independent dimensions which are based on the differences between national cultural values: individualism, power distance, uncertainty avoidance, masculinity, long-term orientation, and indulgence.

Individualism/ collectivism is identified by the extent of the integration of the individuals in the groups (Hofstede, Hofstede, Minkov, 2010). In individualistic cultures (e.g. the Netherlands, United Kingdom), the connections between individuals are loose, the focus is on individual needs and goals, challenge, autonomy, and independence. Conversely, in collectivistic cultures (e.g. Portugal, Greece), individuals are involved into strong in-groups, the needs and goals of which prevails the interests of the individuals. Since individuals of individualistic cultures are encouraged to express their own views, innovate and adopt new ideas and products, previous studies have found that highly ranked countries in individualism also rank high in the ICT adoption and penetration (Erumban, De Jong, 2006; Hofstede, 2001) and in the Internet use (Lejiņa, Mārtinsone, Ļevina, 2016; Musambira, Matusitz, 2015).

Power distance refers to the extent less powerful individuals of society accept and expect the uneven distribution of power (Hofstede, Hofstede, Minkov, 2010). In cultures with large power distance (e.g. Russia, France), inequality is accepted by the less powerful people, meeting their needs of a dependence. In cultures with low power distance (e.g. Estonia, Luxembourg), there is a presumption that inequality among people should be decreased. As a result of unequal distribution of resources along with access to the Internet, previous studies have reported that countries with high power distance score show low score in the Internet use (Matusitz, Musambira, 2013) and low rate of ICT adoption and penetration (Erumban, De Jong, 2006; Hofstede, 2001).

Uncertainty avoidance is characterized by the extent of tolerance of society towards ambiguity, uncertainty and by the efforts of trying to avoid them (Hofstede, Hofstede, Minkov, 2010). In cultures with strong uncertainty avoidance (e.g. Belgium, Spain), uncertainty is perceived as a threat which raises anxiety therefore should be escaped. Still, familiar hazards can be accepted. In cultures with weak uncertainty avoidance (e.g. Denmark, United Kingdom), uncertainty is acceptable and it does not cause stress and anxiety, contrary, what is different raises curiosity. Since individuals of cultures with high uncertainty avoidance tends not to tolerate life-changing novelties, a number of researchers have reported that countries ranking high in uncertainty avoidance rank low in ICT adoption (Erumban, De Jong, 2006) and in the Internet use (Matusitz, Musambira, 2013). Nevertheless, this effect is missing when the usage of product becomes traditional (Hofstede, 2001).

Masculinity/ femininity refers to the distribution of the emotional roles between genders (Hofstede, Hofstede, Minkov, 2010). In masculine cultures (e.g. Latvia, Lithuania), emotional gender roles are diverse. In feminine cultures (e.g. Germany, United Kingdom), it is accepted for men and women to have the same qualities. Individuals of masculine and feminine cultures can likely use the Internet for different purposes (Erumban, De Jong, 2006), hence, no significant differences were found in previous researches between masculine and feminine cultures in the quantitative use of the Internet (Musambira, Matusitz, 2015) or in the ICT adoption (Erumban, De Jong, 2006).

Long-term orientation is defined by the focus on the values rewarding in the future (Hofstede, Hofstede, Minkov, 2010). In long-term orientation cultures (e.g. Belarus, Kyrgyz Republic), as they have future perspective, thrift, perseverance, adaptiveness, pragmatism, and self-discipline are valued. In opposite, in short-term orientation cultures (e.g. Ireland, Georgia), with their focus on the values related to the past and present, traditions, national pride, thinking of oneself, spending, and quick results are appraised. However, few studies have investigated the relationship between long-term orientation and the Internet use. A recent study by Lejiņa, Mārtinsone and Ļevina found that highly ranked countries in long-term orientation also rank high in the Internet use (Lejiņa, Mārtinsone, Ļevina, 2016).

Indulgence/ restraint is the most recent cultural dimension characterized by the attitude towards the fulfilment of desires related to enjoying life (Hofstede, Hofstede, Minkov, 2010). Happiness, importance of leisure and having friends, and freedom of speech is highly appreciated in cultures with high indulgence scores (e.g. the Netherlands, Denmark). On the contrary, restraint cultures (e.g. Moldova, Azerbaijan), value moral discipline, maintenance of order, and strict social norms. There has been little quantitative analysis of the relationship between indulgence and the Internet use.

Taken together, several studies (Musambira, Matusitz, 2015; Matusitz, Musambira, 2013; Erumban, De Jong, 2006; Hofstede, 2001) have documented the relationship between cultural dimensions and the usage of ICT, including the Internet. In the light of the observations mentioned above, the following questions of research are formulated:

Question 1. Is there a difference in the ranking of cultural dimensions between post-soviet and old European countries?

Question 2. Is there a difference in the usage of Internet between post-soviet and old European countries?

Methods. The subjects of further analysis are nations that were considered as post-soviet and old European countries and were incorporated individually in both data sources, described further. That produced data on 23 countries – eleven post-soviet and twelve old European countries. Two tertiary sources were used to gather data: World Values Survey (Hofstede, Hofstede, Minkov, 2010) and ICT Indicators Database (International Telecommunication Union, 2015). Dimensions of culture, based on World Values Survey, are (a) individualism, (b) power distance, (c) uncertainty avoidance, (d) masculinity, (e) long-term orientation, and (f) indulgence. It should be considered that data about individualism, power distance, uncertainty avoidance, and masculinity was available and included in the analysis only from four (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Russia) of eleven post-soviet countries. Data about indulgence was from ten out of eleven post-soviet countries, excluding Armenia, and about long-term orientation – from all eleven post-soviet countries, included in this analysis. For the analysis of the Internet use, the indicators drawn from the ICT Indicators Database are (a) Internet users (percentage of individuals using the Internet), and (b) households with Internet access (percentage of households with Internet access), all for year 2014.

Results. To answer the first question of research, a Mann-Whitney test was used, investigating the differences between post-soviet and old European countries in the ranking in cultural dimensions (Table 1).

Table 1

Differences between post-soviet and old European countries in the ranking of cultural dimensions

  z p
Individualism −1.16 .248
Power distance −.67 .504
Uncertainty avoidance −.18 .855
Masculinity −2.06 .039
Long-term orientation −1.94 .052
Indulgence −3.76 .000

Results indicate that old European countries were ranked higher in masculinity than post-soviet countries (p < .05), and in indulgence (p = .000). No significant differences were found between post-soviet and old European countries in the ranking of individualism, power distance, uncertainty avoidance, and long-term orientation.

To answer the second question of research, a Mann-Whitney test was used, in order to investigate the differences between post-soviet and old European countries in the usage of Internet (Table 2).

Table 2

Differences between post-soviet and old European countries in the usage of Internet

  z p
Internet users −3.14 .002
Households with Internet access −3.26 .001

Results show that there are statistically significant differences in the indicators of the usage of Internet between post-soviet and old European countries. The indicators of the number of Internet users and households with Internet access are higher in old European countries (p = .002; p = .001).

Discussion. The purpose of the current study was to investigate the differences between post-soviet and old European countries in the cultural dimensions and in the usage of Internet. Results show the tendency of post-soviet countries to rank lower in masculinity and indulgence than old European countries. No significant differences were found in the ranking of individualism, power distance, uncertainty avoidance, and long-term orientation. If mentioning the usage of Internet, there was observed tendency of post-soviet countries to rank lower than old European countries in both selected indicators of the usage of Internet. Taken together, these results suggest that, using the particular sample of subjects for analysis, there are differences between post-soviet and old European countries in two out of six cultural dimensions as well as in the usage of Internet.

As previous researches suggest (Musambira, Matusitz, 2015; Matusitz, Musambira, 2013; Erumban, De Jong, 2006; Hofstede, 2001), high ranking in individualism, long-term orientation, and indulgence and low ranking in power distance and uncertainty avoidance are linked with the high ranking in the Internet use. Therefore, contrary to expectations, this study did not discover affirmation to the previous findings. The results of this study indicate that post-soviet countries which are ranked lower in the Internet use than old European countries, do not differ in individualism and long-term orientation, rank lower in indulgence, not differ in power distance and uncertainty avoidance, if compared with old European countries. Consequently, on the basis of these results, it can be thus suggested that culture tends not to play a relevant role in the usage of Internet, and this can be considered as an important issue for future research.

These findings may be somewhat limited by the use of tertiary data as well as the small size of the sample of measurements of the cultural dimensions. Notwithstanding these limitations, these findings raise intriguing questions worth of discussion in the future regarding the nature and extent of relationship between cultural dimensions and the Internet use. The current findings add to a growing body of literature on relationship between culture and the usage of ICT.

 

Literature

Ailon G. Mirror, mirror on the wall: Culture’s consequences in a value test of its own design // Academy of Management Review. 2008. №33(4). P.885-904.

Erumban A. A., De Jong S. B. Cross-country differences in ICT adoption: A consequence of Culture? // Journal of World Business. 2006. №41(4). P.302-314.

Hofstede G. J. Adoption of communication technologies and national culture // Systèmes d’information et management. 2001. №6(3). P.55-74.

Hofstede G., Hofstede G. J., Minkov M. Cultures and organizations: software of the mind: intercultural cooperation and its importance for survival. McGraw-Hill, 2010.

International Telecommunication Union (ITU), ITU World Telecommunication/ ICT Indicators Database. Individuals using the Internet (%), world. In: ICT-EYE. Key Data and Statistics. Retrieved from http://www.itu.int/net4/itu-d/icteye/AdvancedDataSearch.aspx

International Telecommunication Union (ITU), ITU World Telecommunication/ ICT Indicators Database. Households with Internet access at home (%), world. In: ICT-EYE. Key Data and Statistics. Retrieved from http://www.itu.int/net4/itu-d/icteye/AdvancedDataSearch.aspx

Lejiņa L., Mārtinsone K., Ļevina J. 74th University of Latvia Conference, Riga, Latvia,

Matsumoto D., Yoo S. H. Toward a new generation of cross-cultural research // Perspectives on Psychological Science. 2006. №1(3). P.234-250.

Matusitz J., Musambira G. Power distance, uncertainty avoidance, and technology: Analyzing Hofstede’s dimensions and human development indicators // Journal of Technology in Human Services. 2013. №31(1). P.42-60.

Musambira G., Matusitz J. Communication technology and culture: Analysing selected cultural dimensions and human development indicators // International Journal of Technology Management & Sustainable Development. 2015. №14(1). P.17-28.

New Scientists` Contest 2016

In 2016 I had a possibility to participate in the New Scientist Contest, organized by Association of Latvia`s Psychologists. With this video (in Latvian), based on my bachelor thesis “Relationship between cultural dimensions and the individual usage of information and communication technology in different countries”, it was the honor to receive the II place.

Relationship between cultural dimensions and individual usage of information and communication technology in different countries

The global usage of information and communication technology (ICT) is increasing rapidly. Nevertheless, the diffusion of technology is not equal across countries. According to Hofstede, culture has an impact on the acceptance and usage of technology; culture could be analysed in terms of the following six cultural dimensions – power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism, masculinity, long-term orientation, indulgence (Hofstede et al., 2010). There is little or no evidence showing a relationship between cultural dimensions and individual usage of ICT worldwide.

Bachelor thesis / abstract

The topic of bachelor thesis is “Relationship between cultural dimensions and the individual usage of information and communication technology in different countries”.

The purpose of this research was to investigate the relationship between cultural dimensions and the individual usage of information and communication technology in different countries.

Three databases of tertiary data were used in this research – the database of the measurements of cultural dimensions, the database of information and communication indicators, and world development indicator database, allowing to include data of 99 countries and six cultural dimensions in the analysis.

The main results of the study show that there was a relationship between three out of six cultural dimensions and the usage of information and communication technology, whilst controlling for the Gross Domestic Product. It was found that there was a positive correlation between (1) individualism and the individuals using the Internet, households with computer, households with the Internet access at home, and fixed-broadband subscriptions; (2) long-term orientation and mobile-cellular telephone subscriptions, individuals using the Internet, households with computer, households with the Internet access at home, and fixed-broadband subscriptions; it was also found that there was a negative correlation between (3) indulgence and households with the Internet access at home and fixed-broadband subscriptions.

It was found that the combination of Gross Domestic Product and individualism, and long-term orientation significantly and best predicted the individual usage of information and communication technology. It was also found that the contribution of individualism in the prognosis of the individual usage of information and communication technology increases and the contribution of long-term orientation in the prognosis of the individual usage of information and communication technology decreases. Also the contribution of cultural dimensions in the prognosis of the individual usage of information and communication technology was possibly influenced by the globalisation and the global economic situation.

The presumption advanced in conclusions that there are changes proceeding in the culture caused by the globalization, is calling forth for the future discussion.

Digital immortality

Summary

Immortality has always been dream of humanity. From the dawn of mankind there has been a longing for eternity. With decreasing development of technologies a solution has come in sight – an upcoming abolition of the mortality due to digital immortality via mind uploading.

Notwithstanding, with all still dormant advantages and temptations, is there a peril of iterating the Icarus flight with flying too close to the sun? With not referring to technological feasibility, are all the consequences considered? Or is it a probability that there should be more considerations about necessity, limitations, ethical issues and psychological readiness, not only enjoying the idea that long longed dream is coming to be technically feasible.

By all means achieving uninterrupted circle of life will have at present moment unconceivable impact on daily life. In the literature digital immortality mostly is considered from the aspect of technological development and solution. With propagated statement achieving immortality via mind uploading will be feasible within thirty years and prospective impact of the obtaining the immortality on humanity the issue raises about readiness of potential consumers of mind uploading to use offered option.

To discuss consequences and impact of digital immortality the forms of immortality should be examined and methods of digital immortality via mind uploading, as well feasibility, application and impact of mind uploading should be inspected.

 

“I have never been certain whether the moral of the Icarus story

should only be, as is generally accepted, `don`t try to fly too high`,

or whether it might also be thought of as `forget the wax and feathers,

and do a better job on the wings`.” 

Stanley Kubrick

Preamble

This report, written for the course “Brain and Technology: introduction” is covering the subject of digital immortality and consists of summary, theory with discussed concept of digital immortality and mind uploading as a method of achieving digital immortality; outline of application and impact as well as feasibility. Also science fiction prototype vignette considering future scenario framing digital immortality is covered.

The subject of digital immortality is chosen on the ground of academic interest about psychology and the impact of technology on psychology, also of intensified interest about philosophical and psychological questions of the humanity’s meaning of life and death and the impact of these questions on the psychological health of individuals.

Theory

Digital immortality

There are different ways of achieving immortality (Laouris, 2015), as it is mentioned further.

Decrease or Stop Biological Aging – various forms of slowing down or bringing to the end the biological aging – becoming as healthy as possible with diet, supplements, exercise and currently available medicine, reprogramming by biotechnologies to resist disease.

Replace Biological with Manufactured Tissues – method already embraced with transplants of parts of the body – heart pacemakers, bionic limbs, eye and ear transplants, etc.

Regenerative Medicine – applies to efforts of regenerating a defective tissues and organs of the body, of stimulating the body’s own healing mechanisms, of replacing defective tissue or organs by manufacturing.

Repairing the Body from Inside – relates to nanorobots which are placed inside a body of the individual repair possible damages of the body.

Manufacturing Organs – organs are made using both three–D organ printers and decellularizing a living organ, keeping the skeleton then stem cells grow and recreate the organ.

Transfer the Mind to a Machine – mind uploading, refers to the process of transferring or copying functions of a brain and a conscious mind from a brain to a non–biological, synthetic substrate.

Mind uploading

Following hypothetical approaches (Bamford, 2012), further described in details could be put in use in order to achieve digital immortality via mind uploading – (1) gradual replacement of system parts, (2) reconstructing from a scan, (3) reconstructing from behaviour, (4) generic human–like substrate.

Gradual replacement of system parts. This method involves a use of neural prosthetic technologies by replacing the parts of the brain by artificial substitutes. It has already been done by such replacing or supporting technologies as cochlear implants, deep–brain stimulators, artificial cardiac pacemakers, etc. Up to now these prosthetic technologies acted as an input, inputting signals to replace lost or support weak sensory functions, or as an output, taking outputs from the nervous system and using them to control the prosthetic technologies. Currently some prosthetic technologies have been able to act according to closed loop interaction – as both input and output.

Reconstructing from a scan. In order to obtain the data on the structure of the brain it should be scanned, capturing the size and composition of each synaptic density, therefore the functions of the brain can be simulated making use of knowledge about neural and synaptic functioning. There can be two approached to reconstructing from a scan – destructive, containing plastination or cryonic suspension, where controlled euthanasia should be considered as well, and non–destructive, assuming that technologies of future will allow high resolution scanning of a live brain.

Reconstructing from behaviour. Information about the behaviour of the individual is supposed to be collected and used to reconstruct the individual using as a base a general substrate.

Generic human–like substrate. As this approach is entirely hypothetical, it has been suggested (Bamford, 2012) that human–like substrate could be robotic, would have human form, the same movement and sensory capabilities as human has and, for all that, instead of human`s nervous system human–like substrate would have synthetic control system without any information at the start, gaining information about the specific individual being near and obtaining the behaviour and knowledge from this individual.

These four approaches can be categorized along two axes: (1) “On–line” vs “Off–line” and (2) “Bottom–up” vs “Top–down”.

“On–line” vs “Off–line”. “On–line” approach refers to the gradual replacement and human–like substrate as in these approaches both biological and synthetic substrate may function at the same time. Contrary to that, “Off–line” approach can be applicable to the both of the methods of reconstructing, as information and data about the individual are collected and then used to reconstruct the individual – before or after the death of the individual.

“Bottom–up” vs “Top–down”. “Bottom–up” approach relates to the gradual replacement and to the reconstructing from a scan, as the information used to reconstruct the individual is focused on biological base – neurons, synapses and nervous system. “Top–down” approach concerns the reconstructing from behaviour and human–like substrate, as in these approaches the focus is on the behaviours, containing an interaction of the brain, body and environment.

Feasibility of the mind uploading

Currently it may seem that digital immortality is just a hypothetical fantasy of scientists highly because none from aforementioned approaches is directly used for mind uploading due to present insufficient development of technologies. Yet, in correspondence with the theory of technological singularity it is just a matter of years. Singularity is referred to the future period during which the speed of technological changes will be so fast and comprehensive that human civilisation will be irreversibly altered by merging the man and the machine and by rapid development of artificial intelligence, innovations in nanotechnology and gene research (Kurzweil, 2006). It will be feasible due to the prognosis that Moore’s Law, first of all, will continue indefinitely, and second of all, will apply to other areas of technology, even on these which are not invented yet (Nordmann, 2008). It is anticipated technological singularity and consequent practical possibilities of achieving digital immortality via mind uploading will occur before the middle of the twenty first century, Kurzweil has set down the time  limit around year 2045 (Kurzweil, 2005).

At the present moment there are researches occurring in the universities of Central Florida at Orlando, U.S.A. and Illinois at Chicago, U.S.A., financially supported by the National Science Foundation, investigating use of artificial intelligence, archiving and computer imaging to create digital version of the mind. “2045 Initiative”, founded in Russia, focuses on creating technologies enabling the transfer of a mind to non–biological carrier.

The application and impact of digital immortality

Digital immortality has a predictably upcoming great impact on the daily life in the near future. The most visible application of digital immortality is uninterrupted circle of life. With a termination of death a lot of aspects of life are going to be changed and eternal life of a person via mind uploading anticipates complete paradigm shift of the view of life.  Alongside with the noticeable advantage of staying immortal there are upcoming challenges to be considered. As one of most discussed of them is psychological health of the individual who’s mind is uploaded and prospective issues (Tonn, 2011) – plural self and a challenge of uniting multiple selves in one identity; predictably affected sense of united identity through substantial differences in cognitive abilities of the real and uploaded mind; the potential of obtaining psychological disorders due to consequences of uploaded mind, etc.

Science fiction prototype

~ Circa 2078~

“My coffee is cold”, Janine thought. “Even my coffee is cold and really everything is going wrong in my life.”

It was early morning of May, warm and sunny. Janine was sitting on the terrace at her home, staring at the cup of cold coffee. A paper with a phone number written was placed next to the untouched plate of breakfast sandwiches.

Two months ago Janine had gone to the hospital for routine screening. After three days she received a call from her doctor. “Could you come over?” he asked. “We should talk about the results.” She was diagnosed by cancer.

She knew what that is about. Her mom had died from cancer twenty years ago when Janine was only eleven years old. Somehow all Janine was able to remember about her mom was pain, ugliness and quarrelling. Janine had decided she was not going through all that. “I had so much effort put in my body, all these hours in the gym, all declined food, all money paid to cosmetologist and plastic surgeons. Either cancer or a treatment – both options are going to make me ugly. I am not going to waste that.” Janine was beautiful and she knew it. The only anxiety she always had was that there could be a woman more beautiful than she was. And now there was one.

After the diagnosis and decision not to expose herself to the treatment Janine had come to a resolution. Some of her friends already had uploaded their minds in order to make their duplicates in case of sudden death to live forever. Janine never had paid attention to their stories and never had considered to do it by herself. But suddenly she enjoyed this idea – she will upload herself. “It is perfect. All problems will be solved. There will not be a cancer anymore. And even more – I will not age. I will stay always young and beautiful. No wrinkles. No flabby skin. I cannot believe I have not thought about that before.”

 So she did that. Three weeks ago she had been to the “Centre of Immortality” last time and the procedure was finished. Unlike she had worried he process was not deterrent or painful, she actually even felt very pleased of all compliments about the look she got from doctors of the centre. She had been explained about the procedure and the result, about recommendable training and advisable visits to psychologist during process and after that. Though Janine did not listen to that carefully, her mind was occupied by retaining the beauty and the handsome doctor she had seen in the hallway. So she signed what they asked to sign, paid the bill, went four times to the centre for the procedure and then it was over. Everything seemed to be fine.

Yesterday Janine had been to the “Centre of Immortality”. They arranged her the first meeting with her duplicate. “It is safer if the first time occurs here. Lot of people are just not ready to actually meet themselves in a form of duplicate.”

Janine hated her. Hated from the first moment she saw her. In two minutes she run out of the room all in tears. Suddenly she had realised her duplicate has everything she is going to lose – life and beauty. “And she will never get old! She will never get old! She has everything!” Janine regretted what she had accomplished. What she regretted the most was that she had created the most beautiful woman she had ever seen. And that was something she was not able to bear. There was only one solution possible. “I will delete her.”

After the unsuccessful meeting Janine was given a card with telephone number of psychologist. “She is professional of immortality. And specialized in solving cases like yours”. Now Janine was sitting on the terrace staring at the cold coffee being not able to decide – does she even want to solve her case.

Discussion

As outlined in the story, psychological readiness to obtain the immortality via mind uploading is a prospective upcoming issue. As tempting as immortality could seem getting the result without preparation and awareness of consequences there may be a huge risk consumers of mind uploading will be subjected to.

As digital immortality via mind uploading is mainly known to scientists and futurists it is rather an abstract concept for the dominance of the population, extremely wide explanation and preparation, notably psychological, is needed, especially if the near predictable term of the occur of mind uploading is taken into consideration. Thereby the topic should be considered as transferred and spread from the circles of scientists to other professionals as well, especially psychologists.

Conclusion

In this report the subject digital immortality and mind uploading as a method of achieving the digital immortality is examined.

With a rapid development of technologies methods of achieving digital immortality are constantly technically developing and the digital immortality turns into concept presently becoming a feasible reality and potentially having a great impact on every individual.

In accordance to the analysis of the theoretical scientific literature in frame of this report digital immortality and mind uploading are considered mostly from the point of view of technological methods of achieving and feasibility. Thereby it can be inferred possible consequences of applying are less discussed and tried to predict.

Though at the present moment forthcoming consumers of digital immortality and mind uploading as a product mostly are not aware of expected changes. Therefore as tempting and even technologically feasible digital immortality could be there are predictable challenges, e.g., unexplored impact on psychological health upcoming. By all means further discussions are needed. 

References

Bamford, S. (2012). A Framework for Approaches to Transfer of a Mind`s Substrate. International Journal of Machine Consciousness, 04(01), 23–34.

Kurzweil, R. (2005). The Next Frontier. Science and Spirit, November–December, 66–70.

Kurzweil, R. (2006). Reinventing the Humanity: The Future of Machine – Human Intelligence. The Futurist, March–April, 39–46.

Laouris, Y. (2015). Reengineering and Reinventing both Democracy and the Concept of Life in the Digital Era. The Onlife Manifesto. Being Human in a Hyperconnected Era, 125–142.

Nordmann, A. (2008). Singular Simplicity. IEEE Spectrum, June, 60–63.

Tonn, B. (2011). Will Psychological Disorders Afflict Uploaded Personalities? World Future Review, Winter, 25–34.