117 Essays on Infinite Lifespans   William Sims Bainbridge approaches to recording human personalities. I would argue that it is time to begin seriously recording people who want it done yet are unlikely to live until the technology is completely mature. IDENTITY DIFFUSION In principle, and perhaps in actuality three or four decades from now, it should be possible to transfer a human personal- ity into a robot, thereby extending the person’s lifetime by the durability of the machine. This is an old idea that is probably also old-fashioned. A better and more modern idea might be semi-autonomous  robots  that  periodically  or  continuously update and are updated by a networked database. There is no need to design a vastly expensive, technologically challeng- ing robot into which a human’s personality could be placed. Rather, a person archived in a dynamic, distributed informa- tion system may temporarily use a variety of relatively simple robots over a period of time, via wireless links. These robots may be modular, reconfigurable, and specialized. There could be aquatic robots for swimming, aerial robots for flying, and mole-like robots for traveling underground - all of which could be shared by many individuals in turn for sake of economy. One may well ask about a distributed intelligence: Where is it located? We often use traditional language and metaphori- cally locate ourselves in our hearts, even though that cognition actually takes place in our brains. Subjectively, we are located wherever our senses collect input. Thus, if the hardware that hosts your mind is in a laboratory, but the input and feedback come from an ocean-going robot, then your consciousness is in the sea, not the lab. However, if the robot sinks, your con- sciousness will revert to the safety of the lab.