Four steps to living forever…. in a cloud
Some believe we are on the brink of immortality, as individuals and as a species. Becoming immortal will involve leaving the bodies we were born in, and moving our consciousnesses into both automated, bio-mechanical bodies (okay, robots), and computers. Eventually, perhaps, we will upload our minds into what we are starting to call the “cloud”; computer memory not confined to any one machine, but generated and maintained by the structure, both hardware and software, of the Internet.
Dmitry Itskow is a thirty-something (okay, 32), billionaire from Russia. He believes the path to immortality will be taken by android bodies, via which we all really telecommute. He has a four-part plan to allow everyone living today, and everyone to be, to live forever.
Itskov’s fortune came from the Russian Internet. Who knew? Now he’s set on using his rubles to allow everyone to live forever, or for as long as they choose, I suppose. The plan is to be able to mass-produce android bodies, controllable by sophisticated virtual reality hookups. It would “feel” like you were the android body, as you moved about the country. Except maybe for the “feel” part. But you get the idea, the illusion would be quite strong, one we’ve all experienced just by watching a video of a roller coaster ride. The movement through space is somehow “felt”.
Itskov is not satisfied with promoting merely the scientific and industrial aspects of such immortality. He also plans to organize a cultural, if not religious, movement throughout the world supporting his version of the immortality endeavor. This organization would be associated with the United Nations. In addition, he has created and legally registered in Russia “Evolution 2045”, a formal political party.
Here’s Dmitry’s timetable:
1. 2020 (just seven years away), fully articulated, human-looking androids (okay, robots) we can control remotely, without any manual interface (like a keyboard or a mouse), with just our thoughts, and maybe some kind of thinking cap…
2. 2025 (only four summer Olympics from now), the physical brain, with all its nerve connections can be hooked up to a robot (okay, android) body. This is accomplished either via the same remote technology as above, or the actual brain could be placed in a mechanical body. This may also be achieved, one piece at a time, by replacing ailing or failing human parts with mechanical replacements (okay, the six million dollar man).
3. 2035 (three one-term presidents and one two-term president from now), the mind, as in the complete consciousness and memories, can be uploaded into the internet and run. Copies could be made and run. Offspring between web-based consciousnesses? Why not? No reason to rely on physical, vulnerable meat brains. Although, copies can be deleted…
4. 2045 (the year Dmitry’s movement is named for) formerly brain-centered human consciousnesses running in the web is commonplace. These entities would control “bodies” composed of holograms that can interact with the “real world”. By now, every day is lived pretty much completely “online”.
Itskov agrees that his timetable may be overly ambitious, and perhaps something of the human “experience” will be sacrificed in gaining everlasting conscious existence, but, where would we be without dreamers?
Here is a video explaining the exponential growth of computer power, and what’s called the singularity, a theoretical achievement of complexity matching that of our brains.