Men With Money May Just Pull Off The Impossible
Ponce De Leon spent most of his life looking for the fountain of youth but never found it. Maybe it’s because he was looking for a place or something that already existed, and never thought of looking into what it would take to create the conditions himself. Probably because he didn’t have the technology or money to pull it off. Imagine now being able to do something human intelligence has always thought impossible yet always searched for… Mankind has always fantasized about the ultimate god-complex of immortality. The very idea of living forever without any sort of time limit offers up endless possibilities.
Well two separate groups with fuck-loads of financial backing are tackling this very thing right now as you read this. One is Ray Kurzweil, the Director of Engineering for Google with their backing, the other is a Russian entrepreneur rich-ass named Dmitry Itskov. They are putting their money where their mouth is, and actually have plans and roadmaps laid out to accomplish this incredible feat. Whether or not they will actually succeed is a whole other ballgame.
The theories behind how they look to do this are quite fascinating and actually make a little bit of sense. However, that is all they are at this point. Each group is looking at tackling the relatively same idea in different ways. This theory likens the biology of the human body and mind to that of computer software which at this time is currently “out of date”. By reverse-engineering the human brain and effectively “downloading” human consciousness onto a computer chip, it could then be uploaded to new host “bodies” made up at first by robotics, and the hope is later on as technology and science continues to advance, into laboratory grown genetically engineered bodies. So not only would your consciousness live forever, you could always get the latest and greatest body to drive it in.
Ray Kurzweil & The Google Approach
As Mr. Kurzweil puts it, this is a path with multiple steps. Their main focus right now is getting the most out of our current life and vessel to make sure we’re around as technology changes. Step one is to stay alive long enough to reach step two. He himself is working on achieving this step by ingesting a whopping 150 dietary supplements every single day. Why does he do this? Because the technology for step two is not quite ready to go. Step two, or as he refers to it as a bridge, involves getting industry to hit the biotechnology revolution. This is when we would be able to reprogram biology away from disease. Bridge three relies on industry hitting the nanotech revolution. Quite a bit of research has already been done into nanotechnology and science is making huge leaps and bounds everyday but we’ve only scratched the surface. Eventually he envisions that at that point we could have little robots, called nanobots, that augment the immune system.
He thinks eventually we could create an immune system that recognizes all disease, and when a new disease emerged, it could be reprogrammed to deal with the new pathogens. Such robots, according to Kurzweil, will help fight diseases, improve health and allow people to remain active for much longer. Google is hoping to help expand the human lifespan with its new company Calico, which aims to make improvements in human health and well-being. Kurzweil has previously predicted that by the late 2020s humans will be able to eat as much junk food as they want because everyone will have a nanobot injected into their bodies that will provide all the necessary nutrients while simultaneously eliminating fat. The endgame is to extend human life as much as possible so when the technology is around to actually move the consciousness into a new vessel, we’ll still be here to see it happen.
Dmitry Itskov And His Project Avatar
Mr. Itskov has an ambitious plan that he thinks will achieve immortality in humans within the next three decades. The first of his steps, to be completed before the end of this decade, would be to create an android “avatar” controlled entirely by a brain-computer interface. As far out as this sounds, Itskov is not the only person to think this way. Government funded DARPA actually allotted $7 million dollars of next year’s budget to the development of interfaces that would allow soldiers to guide semi-autonomous bipedal machines while enabling the robot to act as the soldier’s surrogate. Other researchers have reported being able to exert basic control over the movement of humanoid robots using brainwaves alone, and many are working on refining this technology.
By 2025 he is looking at being to the second step. This entails the creation of an autonomous life support system for the human brain, which could then be integrated into the previously created avatar. If this proved successful, handicapped people with a functioning brain would be able to regain the ability to move through a new synthetic body, and an array of bio-electronic devices might then become possible. By 2035, he hopes to be able to reverse-engineer the human brain and find a means of “downloading” its consciousness to a synthetic version. Coupled with the previous advancements, this would in theory allow humans to achieve “cybernetic immortality”. It would also lead to the creation of a human-like artificial intelligence while giving people the ability to restore or enhance their own brains, for instance by manipulating memories.
By the year 2045, he would like to see what he calls “substance-independent minds” uploaded now into bodies of vastly different compositions. For example, a holographic body could walk through walls or move at the speed of light, while a body made of nanobots would be able to take on a number of different forms simply at will. “Humanity, for the first time in its history, will make a fully managed evolutionary transition and eventually become a new species,” he writes.
Sounds Pretty Far Out To Me…
You need to understand, these are not crackpots following some weird sort of crazy obsession. These are monster sized companies and individuals with Heisenberg sorts of piles of cash. With the immense brainpower of these groups the sky’s the limit. Everything we have now started with an idea and a blueprint. However, as ambitious as they both are, I don’t believe we’ll see this happen in our lifetimes. I think the timeline for Project Avatar is a bit of a joke personally. So many advances need to happen for some of that stuff to become reality, i just don’t see it by 2045. I would love to be wrong on that one.
But just because I’m a negative nancy doesn’t mean this is something that will not eventually one day happen. I firmly believe it will. We’ll even see minute traces of it start to happen in the next 10 years. As new technological revolutions happen we’ll get closer and closer. Health plays a big part of this, and the quest to remain healthy will contribute to that overall goal of immortality. These are smart groups of people with massive funding working on these things. They will get it done eventually, I’m pretty sure of that. To me, a lot of questions come out of these sorts of ideas. Would you even want to live forever? Does it become a human right? What about someone serving life in prison? Could the planet support a species that never perishes? How would you control populations? But the real question should be will you and I even be around, and be able to afford, these sorts of technological advancements when they happen? Only time will tell. Shit, do you hear that? tick… tick… tick…
What do you think? We’d love to hear you sound off with your thoughts in the comments below!