Russian entrepreneur Dmitry Itskov is courting the world’s richest individuals to help him in conquering death. Itskov, a 33 year-old, can afford to wait but the billionaires he approaches have an average age of 66, meaning they may be looking for shorter-term solutions to living longer—much longer. “Itskov expects the first fruits in about a dozen years, when a human brain is to be transplanted into a robot body. The resulting ‘avatar,’ as he calls it, will ‘save people whose body is completely worn out or irreversibly damaged.'” Called the 2045 Initiative, it recently held a meeting in Moscow and opened office space in San Francisco.
What’s the Big Idea?
Preserving the brain and placing it in a host container, so that the spark of consciousness could outlive the body’s organ failure, may be “just a way station to Nirvana, which would ultimately involve downloading the brain’s contents into a computer.” The concept of melding man and machine, and thereby preserving consciousness past physical death is known as the Singularity. “A brand new body can get crushed by a 500-pound anvil that may fall on it, as anvils are wont to do. Once it’s downloaded into a computer, your mind is safe from anvils, pandemics, and even planet-destroying asteroids (as soon as its mirrored onto interplanetary networks).”