The goal of the Russian multi-millionaire Dmitry Itskov in the next 30 years is very clear: he wants his existence immortalized by having a “personality transfer” to an artificial carrier. To simplify the concept, it’s to have his memories digitized and uploaded to a physical form – a robot of the future. He plans to make this possible with his modern version of the Philosopher’s Stone: the 2045 Initiative website.
In the clip from the BBC Horizon documentary about Dmitry Itskov called “The Immortalist”, they noted that the field of neural science has been making a lead way the past couple of years in the mapping of human brain. Currently, quadriplegic Eric Sorto has joined an experiment where they are attempting to fully control his robotic limbs just using his mind and has so far succeeded in holding a drink to his mouth.
Itskov is “hundred percent confident it could happen” and told the documentary, “In the next 30 years, I’m going to make sure we’re going to live forever.”
Experts like Professor Rafael Yuste notes though that that mind uploading cannot be ruled out at the moment, but “In order to upload the mind, you have to download it first.”
Itskov, who has reportedly made a billion off his web-based news publishing company, founded the 2045 Initiative in 2011 with the participation of specialists in robotics, neural interfaces and artificial systems. The organization has outlined their roadmap for the next 30 years that could usher a new neuroscience era. This includes the gradual but steady development of technologies that involve “brain-computer” interfaces and autonomous avatars or support systems in the medical field that can aid in rehabilitation through mind-controlled bio-electronic limbs–a world where people with mind and the will to live will not be deterred by physical or biological limitations. A world where robots could have self-awareness develop.
Their envisioned future is to achieve “transferring one’s individual consciousness to an artificial carrier and achieving cybernetic immortality” to realize “a fully managed evolutionary transition and eventually become a new species.”
The 2045 Initiative have garnered support from different fields like the directors of Google’s engineering and Intelligent Robotics Laboratory Dr. Hiroshi Ishiguru, and some spiritual leaders. Others are still skeptical, but no matter which side of the fence your on, the possibilities will open a pandora’s box of philosophical issues regarding identity, cloning, mind replication, and transhumanism.