The idea of the possibility of immortality has been embedded in human mind since the beginning of humanity. For centuries people have been searching for ways on how to extend their life or become immortal.
Some researchers have been working on medical immortality which sounds pleasant but it would actually be kind of a nightmare as being medically immortal doesn’t actually mean being immortal, it just means that you won’t grow old or die or get ill. Instead, you will meet some violent end. Your brain will also get slower with piles of memories and it will be harder and slower to recall efficiently.
On other hand, some scientists are working on ways to get immortal digitally by transferring their brain and personality to a robot humanoid.
The ‘2045 initiative’ is a non-profit organization founded by a multi-millionaire Russian Entrepreneur Dmitry Itskov in 2011. It’s his brainchild idea to build a life like cyborg to which eventually one can upload the contents of a real human brain. He is perfectly serious about his idea and says that it could be accomplished by 2045.
As their website states, “Our goal is to create technologies enabling the transfer of an individual’s personality to a more advanced non-biological carrier, and extending life, including to the point of immortality. We devote particular attention to enabling the fullest possible dialogue between the world’s major spiritual traditions, science and society”.
There are four main stages on which the organization is working on in an attempt to achieve their goal. Each progression reflects an ordered step in the project, with each stage representing a further level of immateriality.
• Avatar A:
Avatar A approaches to developing a life like copy of a human body without an actual brain but is capable of interpretation by using a Brain Computer Interface (BCI). This might seem fictional but this technology has been around for nearly a decade and had recent advancement in the field of prosthetics.
It is very similar to a 2009 movie “Surrogates” casting Bruce Willis in which he remotely controls himself through an optimized robotic version of himself while he is in dark room.
Dmitry Itskov says that they will be able to achieve the first avatar within the next seven years. He talks about a humanoid robot with the sensation that you can transfer in the bot.
• Avatar B:
The next step of the project is to transplant the brain into the bot itself rather than controlling it remotely. At the end of a person’s life, his brain and some of the spinal chord will be provided an autonomous system which will allow it to interact with the surroundings. This bot can be modified and upgraded if needed.
• Avatar C:
The Avatar C sounds the craziest out of all others as this avatar aims to make the brain completely non biological. The brain will become computerized on which the personality and contents of the brain will be uploaded. This would require hardware and software solutions that would allow all the consciousness to be transferred. As the brain will be completely computerized, it will be possible to potentially create many bodies.
The company says that this stage will be completed by 2035. One of their researchers, Theodore Berger has already replaced the hippocampus (a part of a human brain most heavily associated with memory) of a rat with a computer chip. He showed that rats can still have memories without brain through computer chips.
• Avatar D:
The final step Avatar D is to develop Holographic body and there will be no physical system. You will basically be living inside a computer but you will be able to physically interact yourself as a hologram, similar to Princess Leia in Star Wars. There is not much information concerning Avatar D, it is said to be achieved by 2045.
The organization has already started working on Avatar A, B and C. Many investors and big scientists are taking interest in this initiative. Uploading a human brain may be a couple of decades away but it will revolutionize the robotics, anti-aging, genetics, computer, defense and prosthetics.
A key point that must be noted here that whenever people write about the future of immortality, they use the word ‘we’. But it must be very clear that there will be no ‘we’ as it will be the most valuable commercial product in all of human history and there is absolutely no way that this technology becomes available to everyone.