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Human immortality could be possible by 2045, say Russian scientists
CBC ^ | 7/31/12 | Lauren O'Neil

Posted on 08/01/2012 4:49:08 PM PDT by LibWhacker

If Dmitry Itskov's 2045 initiative plays out as planned, humans will have the option of living forever with the help of machines in only 33 years.

It may sound ridiculous, but the 31-year-old Russian mogul is dead serious about neuroscience, android robotics, and cybernetic immortality.

He has already pulled together a team of leading Russian scientists intent on creating fully functional holographic human avatars that house artificial brains which contain a person's complete consciousness - in other words, a humanoid robot.

Together, they've laid out an ambitious course of action that would see the team transplant a human brain into an artificial body (or 'avatar') in as little as seven years time.

Now, Itskov is asking the world's richest people for help in financing the project.

In exchange, he's offered to coordinate their own personal immortality projects for free.

"I urge you to take note of the vital importance of funding scientific development in the field of cybernetic immortality and the artificial body," he writes in an open letter to members of the Forbes World's Billionaires List.

"Such research has the potential to free you, as well as the majority of all people on our planet, from disease, old age and even death."

Itskov goes on to offer skeptics a meeting with "a team of the world's leading scientists working in this field " to prove the viability of the concept of cybernetic immortality.

And while many are skeptical that such a plan could ever come to fruition, Popular Science Magazine points that phase one -- creating a robot controlled by a human brain -- is already well within reach.

"DARPA is already working on it via a program called "Avatar" (which, incidentally, is also the name of Itskov's project) through which the Pentagon hopes to create a brain-machine interface that will allow soldiers to control bipedal human surrogate machines remotely with their minds," writes PopSci's Clay Dillow.

"And of course there are all the ongoing medical prosthesis projects that have shown that the human nervous system can interface with prosthetic enhancements, manipulating them via thought. Itskov draws a clear arc from what we have now to the consciousness-containing holograms that he envisions. All we have to do is attack the technological obstacles in between, one at a time, until we get there."

Discovery's Alyssa Danigelis takes an opposing stance to the very idea.

"There's a world of difference between pursuing a brain-controlled exoskeleton to help paraplegics regain control and wanting to essentially upload a human brain into an artificial body," she writes.

"I read a sci-fi novel involving disembodied live brains once. It didn't turn out well"

What's your reaction to this pursuit? If you had the opportunity to live forever - albeit cybernetically - would you do it?

TOPICS: Computers/Internet; Health/Medicine; Science
KEYWORDS: 2045; cybernetics; dmitryitskov; immortality; russia; russian; singularity; skynet
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Okay, probably not for me. I'm used to having a continuous stream of high-quality, high-definition sensations from my five senses coming in all the time.

I'm used to breathing; in fact, I need to breathe, and feel all the satisfying sensations that go along with it. Like knowing I am, in fact, alive, and I'm not some zombie. So you see, if I don't constantly feel my lungs taking big satisfying gulps of fresh air all the time, it's going to be very uncomfortable. I might even panic.

Then, as a cybernetic avatar, you're trapped inside a metal box and can't get out of it. Like being in a coffin, six feet under.

And you can't breathe.

Holy claustrophobia!

Then, too, you've got this 110 volt current of electricity surging every which way through your cybernetic body. That's gotta be something new that you may never get used to. Like some people can never get over sea sickness while out at sea... So no thank you!

1 posted on 08/01/2012 4:49:23 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: LibWhacker

that will be hell on earth.

2 posted on 08/01/2012 4:54:45 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (Woe to them...)
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To: LibWhacker

How much Immortality is it, if someone can just pull the plug?

3 posted on 08/01/2012 4:55:29 PM PDT by JCBreckenridge (Texas, Texas, Whisky)
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To: the invisib1e hand
My thinking went immediately to that process.

If you want eternal aches and pains ... just refuse Jesus and go to Hell ...

But be forewarned ... you can't see no partyin' and friends in eternal darkness.

4 posted on 08/01/2012 4:58:21 PM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof ... but they're true)
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To: LibWhacker
What a horrifying thought.
5 posted on 08/01/2012 4:58:21 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Government is the religion of the collectivists.)
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To: LibWhacker
Is the software opensource? Because if it's not opensource, I'm not interested.


6 posted on 08/01/2012 5:02:11 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: LibWhacker

Hmm. He wants rich donors...

7 posted on 08/01/2012 5:03:39 PM PDT by Beowulf9
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To: LibWhacker

This may be the only way humanity will be able to explore space, to become more metal than flesh.

8 posted on 08/01/2012 5:03:50 PM PDT by Molon Labbie (Prep. Now. Live Healthy, take your Shooting Iron daily.)
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To: LibWhacker

Map my brain to a 2045 era computer and hook it up to a holographic image of me when I was young and slim.

Then shoot the real me.

Do I live on as that avatar?

I don’t think so.

I think I’m dead. You may be able to transfer all the knowledge and history in my brain to a future computer, but transfer my consciousnesses to a machine. Methinks not.

9 posted on 08/01/2012 5:03:57 PM PDT by InterceptPoint (.)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

I agree

10 posted on 08/01/2012 5:04:09 PM PDT by freekitty (Give me back my conservative vote; then find me a real conservative to vote for)
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To: LibWhacker

I’ll bet 50 kwatloos that it won’t work.

11 posted on 08/01/2012 5:04:37 PM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: blueunicorn6

That blonde drill thrall could have trained me all day.

12 posted on 08/01/2012 5:05:55 PM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: LibWhacker

So you have all your memories transferred into a robot. Big deal. You will still die.

I’m not sure I’m so egotistical that I want every one of my memories preserved forever.

13 posted on 08/01/2012 5:09:42 PM PDT by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: LibWhacker

Somehow, I doubt they’ll ever be able to accurately transfer a person’s consciousness, memory, and soul into a machine. They’ll leave plenty out. At best, it will be like a very flawed simulation of the original.

I’d also be concerned about the developers taking creative (or ideological) license and reprogramming things like memories, values, and morals.

14 posted on 08/01/2012 5:11:48 PM PDT by rbg81
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To: LibWhacker

“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”

—Hebrews 9:27

15 posted on 08/01/2012 5:13:34 PM PDT by .45 Long Colt
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To: rbg81

What is missing from the discussion is, what happens to our kind when we stop dying.

We won’t stop breeding, so at that point unlimited life, becomes a human crisis very quickly.

Or else, massive dying off by the poorest begins, also, in 2045.

16 posted on 08/01/2012 5:17:36 PM PDT by Cringing Negativism Network (America doesn't need any new laws. America needs freedom!)
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To: LibWhacker

...says the grandson of the great scientist Trofim Lysenko.

17 posted on 08/01/2012 5:17:43 PM PDT by EEGator
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To: LibWhacker

At last, we learn the origin of Obama.

18 posted on 08/01/2012 5:17:50 PM PDT by FrankR (They will become our ultimate masters the day we surrender the 2nd Amendment.)
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To: Molon Labbie

The thought of downloading a human consciousness into a robot. Obviously its sci fi thinking but there are certainly some major advantages for space flight. For instance, no need to think about hibernation for space flight when a robot could be powered down for decades or centuries.

It also leads me to some ethical issues. While the human grows old and dies on earth, the robot with all the human’s thoughts, memories, emotions, etc continues on. Does it have a soul?

And then there are other interesting things worth ponderin. For instance, as the robot carrying the human consciousness does its thing, it has new experiences and learns new things. Eventually it would begin to diverge from its human counterpart and start to become a different personality. If you really want to get extreme with that thinking, imagine if the robot could produce new robots and download its consciousness and those would further diverge from the original human ancestor.

Just mind wandering that I do sometimes. Kinda wish I had writing skills to put that sort of thing into book form.

19 posted on 08/01/2012 5:22:01 PM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: Cringing Negativism Network

We won’t stop breeding,

Er...don’t be too sure about that. I can imagine a world where an immortal elite will do anything to keep living on the kind of planet they want. Including ensuring that no one new is born once they feel the population is “ideal”.

There was a movie “Zardoz” back in the 70s with Sean Connery. It was mostly awful, but it dealt with some of these issues.

20 posted on 08/01/2012 5:23:41 PM PDT by rbg81
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