The search for immortality continues to become a race (or even a game) for those in power with loads of money. The biggest question is: If it were possible and available would you seek it?
Russian billionaire, Dmitry Itskov, has no doubts. After making more than $1B from his media company New Media Stars, in 2011 he decided to start the “2045 Initiative,” an organization that has assembled the best scientists of artificial systems in organs, robotics, and neural interfaces.
Itskov is motivated by the fear of death and a fascination of a new ideology where breakthrough technology can improve humanity and their environment. His team is ready to take the science of life to a new level by eliminating aging and even death and to overcome the inherent limits of physical and mental capabilities of the human body.
Their goal is to create and realize a new strategy for spiritual enlightenment of humanity. This is based on five principles of ‘high’ spirituality, culture, ethics, science, and technologies. Dmitry Itskov states he is 100% confident his project will allow all of us to live forever or he would never have developed the project.
The Avatar Project
Itskov is in the process of creating a program that maps the brain and then transfers it onto a computer which will be put on a robot body or as a hologram. The plan from the beginning was to have a mind-controlled robot which can send feedback to the user’s brain, through a brain-computer interface by 2020. While there has been progress in brain-machine communication, they seem to be behind schedule as far as the public is aware. But the following is a breakdown of the initial plan:
Avatar A- 2015/2020
A robotic copy of a human body that will be run by a “brain-computer” interface. This kind of Avatar could be used to work in dangerous locations or even to rescue individuals.
Avatar B- 2020/2025
A human brain from a clinically deceased individual could be transplanted into an Avatar allowing it to save that person.
Avatar C- 2030/2035
The human personality of a deceased person could be transferred into the Avatar’s artificial brain.
Avatar D- 2045
A hologram-like Avatar with capacities exceeding humans will be available.
Most scientists believe it is absolutely impossible, at least in this century, to have human brains uploaded into computers. When computational neuroscientist Dr Grace Lindsay was asked what the main obstacle for this “futuristic” project was, she explained that there is so much we do not know about the brain because it’s a chaotic ball of neurons, glial cells, blood vessels, immune cells, and so much more. But anything is possible because science and technology have already achieved incredible milestones such as bionic body parts that paraplegics are able to control with their mind.
Doable or not, the project ignited a debate on both the real possibility of living forever and on the choice of being forever replaced by holograms. It’s undeniable that robots are part of our daily lives and are the future, but should we draw a line on how to use artificial intelligence in the case of immortality? Or should we just embrace it?