Would You “Upload” Your Brain?

When Prime Video started promoting the half-hour show Upload, I was intrigued but had low expectations. Having now watched the first season, I’m really impressed by what they achieved–it’s essentially The Good Place meets Black Mirror.

Upload takes place in a not-so-distant future when, before you die, you can upload your brain into a virtual heaven (kind of) and continue to “live” as long as you’d like. It’s completely digital, so you can continue to interact with the living world–in fact, you can literally call living people on the phone.

A lot of the fun of the premise emerges from the inevitable commercialization of the digital afterlife. Heaven isn’t free in Upload, and participants are constantly being upsold.

Even in the 30-minute format, there are some great moral and religious questions, interesting views into the future, an ongoing mystery, and genuine relationships that evolve over the season. We really enjoyed it, and I look forward to the second season.

It also left me wondering if I would choose this option if it’s available when I’m near death (in the show, you must choose the option before you die). The way I see it, while it would be wonderful if we have souls that continue exist in some form of heavenly ecstasy after we die, there’s a lot more certainty involved in something like Upload. So I’d be inclined to try it first, at least.

What about you? And have you seen the show?

2 thoughts on “Would You “Upload” Your Brain?”

  1. I have pondered this concept before, and my main problem is that my upload wouldn’t actually be ‘me’, it would be a perfect COPY of my experiences and current personality, but it would absolutely exist as a second instance. I see it as an evolution of Theseus Paradox, wherein the question is posed; if Theseus’ ship is repaired over years until the shipwright is able to produce another identical ship from all the removed parts, then which is actually Theseus’ ship?

    Except uploading has a simple solution- if my brain is dead, then I am dead. I would still upload myself so that my grandkids would be able to hang out and talk to me (would love for my son to be able to meet MY grandfather) and the copy of me would be happy to exist -since I would be happy to learn that I was simply in a simulation and get to live forever. But it wouldn’t be ME.

    Now, you come at me with putting my brain in a jar, hooked up to an amazing digital reality…

    Well now you’re talking…


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