Immortality in the Computer? One Russian Thinks So

Humans want to conquer death. We always have.

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Dmitry Itskov

From something that science-fiction authors would have only dreamed of five years ago: one Russian millionaire, Dmitry Itskov, wants to put his brain in a computer, making him immortal and free from death in the human body; then, supposedly, he could upload his consciousness into as many bodies as he wants. And, surprisingly, he isn’t being laughed off, being endorsed by a scientist at Boston University. The project is expected to take around thirty years.

This story comes from the BBC. It’s worth reading the entire article, but here is a snippet:

So Itskov is putting a slice of his fortune in to a bold plan he has devised to bypass ageing. He wants to use cutting-edge science to unlock the secrets of the human brain and then upload an individual’s mind to a computer, freeing them from the biological constraints of the body.

“The ultimate goal of my plan is to transfer someone’s personality into a completely new body,” he says.

Itskov’s interest in making the impossible possible began as a child in the Soviet Union in the 1980s. “My biggest dream was to be a cosmonaut, to fly in to outer space,” he says. One science fiction novel made a lasting impression: “The hero took some immortality pill and he ended up flying the orbit of Earth. I remember myself questioning what I was going to do if I’m immortal.”

[…]

Itskov is already planning his endless life. “For the next few centuries I envision having multiple bodies, one somewhere in space, another hologram-like, my consciousness just moving from one to another.”

It is estimated that 107 billion people have died before us. As our understanding of the brain advances in the decades ahead it will become clear whether Itskov is really the momentous visionary he claims to be, or merely the latest dreamer of impossible dreams.

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