Image from Steve Bowers

The Exoself is a term used to describe a wide range of systems linked to the self in a cooperative way, extending the mind and the body.

A biological individual which uses augmentation technology often develops an extensive external consciousness which is contained in various forms of artificial processing substrate, such as an artificial memory, an intelligence augmentation system, local computers, or the infoweb. This external consciousness is known as the exoself, and can be extended almost indefinitely.

The term exoself can also refer to that part of an individual's brain which has been replaced by an electronic neural facimile during gradual uploading. Usually connected to the individual's biological brain by direct neural or direct cortical linkage.

Uploaded individuals and virtual entities sometimes refer to those parts of their mentality which are additional to the basic human template as an 'exoself'; a virtual human may have a basic core mentality based on a human original, but any additional processing routines ve may use will be additional to that core mentality. However, many biological humans find it difficult to distinguish between a virtual's human-based core mentality and ver exoself components.

The hardware equivalent of an exoself is an exocortex.

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Development Notes
Text by Anders Sandberg; modified by Steve Bowers
Initially published on 24 October 2001.