Immortality is no longer a fable of Greek mythology.
Dmitry Itskov and a team of Russia’s top scientists have discovered the secret to immortality. If you’re on the Forbes Billionaires list, this means you’ve recently been given the opportunity to live forever.
How is this possible? By uploading one’s brain, memories, consciousness, personality, and all into an artificial storage device, which can then be placed into an artificial human-like body.
Of course, this is easier said than done. But the technology has already been established.
According to Itskov, “We already know that it is possible to create an autonomous system of brain nutrition and preserve nerve connections so that the brain doesn’t degrade or die. Hence, it is possible to transplant a human head onto an artificial body.”
Itskov hopes to be able to transfer human consciousness into holographic avatars by 2045.
His project, the 2045 Initiative, consists of four stages falling between the years of 2015 and 2045.
For those of you who feel too distanced from Russia to feel the vibrations from this project’s implications, consider that the United States Military of Defense has announced a similar project, which allows them to control human-like robots through a brain-computer interface.
It’s really quite terrifying. Think about it: an entire army of capable, disposable robots—flying planes, wielding guns, terrorizing citizens—all operable from the safety of a military base.
Could this be another hegemonic race to the moon?
Luckily for us, Itskov grounds his research in spirituality. Rather than for warfare, he intends to use these holographic avatars to improve human spirituality—and he’s got a picture with the Dalai Lama to prove it.
“It’s very important for these technologies not to stay closed and militarized. It’s very important to make it available for all human beings and make it really cheap and affordable for everybody,” Itskov says.
For middle-aged investors, the concern is that 2045 might be too late. Itskov addresses this issue in an interview with CNBC: “To help people who are not young, we have built an avatar B. It is a technology that you can start investing in right now… we could probably have the avatar B in 5 to 7 years, 10 years maximum.”
One of the most interesting aspects of a holographic existence is that human essentials—food, water, air, shelter—become unnecessary. Without the need to fulfill these human necessities, would you ever even need a job? Itskov believes this technology will open the door to mass spiritual enlightenment—a new age for humanity. The result would be a paradigm shift towards five sectors of human achievement: spirituality, culture, ethics, science, and technology. Imagine navigating space without the boundaries of our biological limits. The possibilities can make your head spin.
But will these holographic replicas really be able to achieve spiritual existence? Of course, if you were to ask an avatar, they would tell you for certain that they are the exact same person they were in their human body. They’ll have all the same memories, thoughts and personality traits, but is it really possible to upload the soul?
Like Itskov, however, many of us believe that being human is something that runs much deeper than our biological system. With this in mind, I don’t know which concept is more disturbing: extracting our consciousness and replacing our biological race with robots and holographic avatars, or the realization that our appointed bodies hold relevance to maintaining our humanity.
Is this neo-humanity the next level of evolution? Or will merging with machines estrange us further from the roots of our existence?