A short story: Learning to be me, by Greg Egan

A short story about Transhumanism and a possible future where people have a device called “The Jewel” implanted into their brain.  Over time the device monitors the person’s neural activity and learns how to  imitate the patterns in the brain, eventually mimicking the brain’s activity perfectly.

The person is eventually faced with a choice:

  • Retain their biological brain and lose cognitive abilities with age and eventually die
  • Remove the brain and allow  The Jewel to take over all functions of the body and effectively become immortal

If you let The Jewel take over, will you still be “you” or will you simply be a clever imitation of someone who died after their brain was scooped out on an operating table?


This short story is part of a collection of stories in a book called Axiomatic.

Axiomatic (ISBN 0-7528-1650-0) is a 1995 collection of short science fiction stories by Greg Egan.