In the future somebody will inevitably invent a teleport, no doubt about that.
But how will it work?
The most likely way to teleport would be to digitalise yourself. Some yet undiscovered very high resolution MRI/CT scanner will scan every atom in your body and send this over to the receiver. This atom printer will build up your entire body again.
However, during a work lunch discussion, I came up with some scary fundamental problems with teleportation.
What would happen if, during transmission, we get a failure? We don’t want to end up with a failed teleport… which would mean the person getting teleported is dead.
That is why we need to have some kind of two-phase commit. First we digitalise the person, we send this over the line, build the person up on the other side. Once this process has been completed, we ‘delete’ the original copy. Because we don’t want to end up with thousands of clones.
Wait… what? Delete?
What would it feel like stepping into the teleporter? First a copy of you is made, this copy eventually walks out of the receiving end. But what happens to you? You’ll step into a machine, which makes a copy, and disposes you! You’ll be exterminated, killed, pushing up the daisies, your metabolic processes will be history, kicking the bucket, you’ll be an ex-parrot.
Lets not dwell too long on the loss of the old you. Of course YOU are also the one walking out of the teleporter, where nothing has happened but a successful teleport.
But is that really… you?
What defines you?
Are you just a selection of atoms clumped together?
If we make an exact copy, is that still you?
Did you know that (according to some research) every year almost 98% of the atoms currently in your body will be replaced? That would mean that a year from now, you will just be 2%… you!
Conclusion: I hope they won’t invent a teleporter while I’m alive.