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Futurist: Humans will be ‘Digitally Immortal’ by 2050

Monday, February 1, 2016 20:51
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if you’ve seen the Johnny Depp movie “Transcendence,” then this story sounds all too familiar, and in the movie it didn’t work out so good… Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp), the world’s foremost authority on artificial intelligence, is conducting highly controversial experiments to create a sentient machine. When extremists try to kill the doctor, they inadvertently become the catalyst for him to succeed. Will’s wife, Evelyn (Rebecca Hall), and best friend, Max (Paul Bettany), can only watch as his thirst for knowledge evolves to an omnipresent quest for power, and his loved ones soon realize that it may be impossible to stop him.

Transcendence

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In the following video, the idea of being able to upload a human mind into a computer with the idea of surviving death and becoming immortal is examined. Many Famous minds of today including the likes of Stephen Hawking and Ray Kurzweil believe that technology will be available to us much sooner than most people think thanks to rapidly advancing computers.  

To be able to accomplish “digital immortality,” first there would have to first be a way to download all the information from a person’s brain. That will require the means to accurately read all the information stored in a person’s brain. At first, that sounds impossible when you consider a single brain neuron can establish connections to thousands of other neurons, and unlike computers, the human mind has more than just two states: On and Off. One study done to help determine how human minds store information was done at Cal Berkley, and as you’ll see in the video below, a set of brain scans was done while a test group sat and watched videos. 

Using FMRI Brain Scans of the test group, researchers were able to follow the blood flow through the brain, and create three dimensional representations of the brain called Voxels. From using only the scans, properly programmed computers were able to determine exactly what part of the videos the test subjects were watching. Similar technology could be used in the future for more advanced brain mapping. 

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Once mankind has determined how to “download” an entire human brain, next we must figure out how to “upload it.” In tests done on genetically modified mice, researchers were able to show how memories are written, erased, and re-activated, and using a new technique known as Optogenetics. In a test, researchers were able to implant false memories from one genetically modified mouse into another genetically modified mouse through the use of a special light. Wikipedia defines Optogenetics as:

Optogenetics (from Greek optikós, meaning “seen, visible”) is a biological technique which involves the use of light to control cells in living tissue, typically neurons, that have been genetically modified to express light-sensitive ion channels. It is a neuromodulation method employed in neuroscience that uses a combination of techniques from optics and genetics to control and monitor the activities of individual neurons in living tissue—even within freely-moving animals—and to precisely measure the effects of those manipulations in real-time. The key reagents used in optogenetics are light-sensitive proteins. Spatially-precise neuronal control is achieved using optogenetic actuators like channelrhodopsin,halorhodopsin, and archaerhodopsin, while temporally-precise recordings can be made with the help of optogenetic sensors for calcium (Aequorin, Cameleon, GCaMP), chloride (Clomeleon) or membrane voltage (Mermaid).

The single biggest obstacle in being able to copy and digitally upload a human brain will be our ability to to download the information correctly. Since thoughts don’t live on a single neuron, nor are they processed in a single place but rather are spread throughout patterns of brain cells with activities that work together to acquire information and process it, correctly mapping how the mind stores information will be crucial.

Mankind has already spent billions on the technology to map and translate the human mind, and we already have a fundamental level of brain mapping, but we’ve still got a way to go before we’ve mapped all the available connections, and all the available states of all our neurons in real time. Considering how far we’ve already come, top minds say it’s only a matter of time until we are able to emulate a brain inside a computer, and then map a consciousness on top it. 

VERY SCARY STUFF!

Could We Upload Our Consciousness To A Computer

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The Daily Mail writes:

If you’re under the age of 40, there is a good chance you will achieve ‘electronic immortality’ during your lifetime.

This is the idea that all of your thoughts and experiences will be uploaded and stored online for future generations.

That’s according to a futurologist who not only believes technology will let humans merge with computers, that this will create an entirely new species called Homo optimus.

And, he claims this could occur as soon as 2050.

The predictions were made by Dr Ian Pearson as part of the lead up to The Big Bang Fair 2016.

He believes that within the next 35 years, humans will ‘live’ online, and our pets could even ‘talk’ to us, like real-life Furbies.

He also claims transhumanism – the idea we can make people technologically better – will be the norm by 2050.

‘With optimised genomes and bodies enhanced by links to external technology, eople could be more beautiful…more intelligent, more emotionally sophisticated, more physically able, more socially connected, generally healthier and happier all round.’

As humans embrace technological advances and gradually become androids, we could gradually see Homo sapiens being replaced by Homo optimus.

 ‘We can expect our evolutionary process to change in response to technology.

‘What’s exciting is that it is no longer nature which is forcing changes on us but our own breakthroughs enabling changes we want, ‘ Dr Pearson explained.

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Futurologist Dr Ian Pearson claims that in the next 35 years, humans will be able to communicate with computers to evolve better senses, memory and even intelligence. Electronic gold skin and tiny implants between cells could enable a direct link with devices, while we could ‘wear’ muscle too (illustrated above)

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As humans embrace technological advances and gradually become androids, we could gradually see Homo sapiens being replaced by Homo optimus. This conceptual image shows four stages of human evolution (left to right) showing Australopithecus, Homo habilis, Homo erectus and Homo sapiens

WE MAY TURN INTO ‘FAIRIES’ TO EXPLORE SPACE

Biotech and nanotech developments will make it possible to develop small brains with far greater capabilities, so the rest of the body could be scaled down accordingly.

There are big advantages in being tiny for space travel, Dr Pearson explained, because it is a lot easier to accommodate and transport tiny people.

‘It is not frivolous to suggest that most space travelers will be rather like fairies, and wings would make it easy to get around in zero gravity too,’ he said.

‘This could give rise to some weird and wonderful future forms and creations – from changing video displays on our faces to controlling our own dreams – our (evolving) imaginations are the only limit.’

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Dr Pearson believes that with a full link between the human brain and a computer, people could move their mind into an improved android body.

‘This would allow people to have multiple existences and identities, or to carry on living long after their biological death,’ he wrote in the ‘Future Human Report.’

While this technology could be available as soon as in 2050, it may become cheap enough to be widespread by 2070.

Plus, by the end of the century, there will likely be several types of humans, including human-machine hybrids, and people living in android bodies, as well as ‘smart creatures’.

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Dr Pearson continued that anyone under the age of 40 today will have a good chance of electronic immortality, meaning they could essentially ‘upload’ their personality so it can continue posting after their death. In the film Transcendence (pictured) the character played by Johnny Depp uploads his consciousness onto a computer

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Research from academics and experts, collated by Dr Pearson for The Big Bang Fair, suggests humans will be able to directly communicate with electronics and we could clone teeth, fix surfaces and edit genes to make them self-replace (illustrated above)

WHAT THE FUTURE COULD LOOK LIKE – FROM SKIN TO MUSCLE TIGHTS

Research from academics and experts collated by Dr Pearson for The Big Bang Fair suggests:

We will be able to connect directly with technology through ‘electronic skin’ or tiny implants between our skin cells.

Electronic ‘support tights’ will boost leg strength with wearable polymer gel muscles 1cm thick.

Smudged make-up will be a thing of the past with smart make-up applied on top of a membrane on the skin surface to give a flawless, changeable look.

Nanotechnology will monitor and repair our bodies from the inside, making self-replacing teeth a possibility.

Technology will be used to enhance pets and wildlife, with the potential to hear our pets talk or to increase their IQ, and to create real versions of kids-craze Furbies.

‘We will certainly technologically advance some of our pets and even wildlife too and we might create entirely new species such as real Furbies,’ Dr Pearson continued.

The predictions mean futuristic characters such as Dug the talking dog in Pixar’s Up and the human-robot hybrids popular in hit TV shows like Humans could be a reality.

The Big Bang Fair – the UK’s largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) for young people – will give access to technologies shaping these developments, from a sensor placed on the skin that allows people to hear music using bone conduction, to robot orchestras.

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‘We will certainly technologically advance some of our pets and even wildlife too and we might create entirely new species such as real Furbies,’ Dr Pearson continued

‘It’s the young people who come to the fair who will help drive through the innovations our experts are predicting,’ said Paul Jackson, chief executive of EngineeringUK, organisers of The Big Bang Fair.

‘Today’s young people will not only get to experience ‘wearing’ muscles or owning smart-pets, they will decide what these look like.’

The Big Bang Fair is free and runs from 16 to 19 March at the Birmingham NEC.

HOW TO CHEAT DEATH: TRANSHUMANISM TO CRYONICS

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Futuristic ideas about how humans could one day cheat death have been proposed since the 1950s

The book ‘Death and the Afterlife’ by Clifford A Pickover charts futuristic ideas about how humans could one day cheat death.

It includes the idea of transhumanism, proposed in 1957, and is considered to involve the use of technology to enhance human mental and physical capabilities.

This could gradually make people ‘posthuman’ and means we could become immortal.

Cryonics, invented in 1962 offers hope that someone could be brought back to life, after being frozen.

The idea is that technology will advance to a point where people could be revived and cured of diseases that may have killed them to have a second chance at life.

The mind-boggling idea of quantum immortality was first devised in 1987 and relies on the ‘many worlds interpretation’ of quantum mechanics.

The theory holds when the universe is confronted with a choice of paths at a quantum level, it follows the possibilities, splitting into multiple universes.

This means if we die, in most parallel universes we will be dead, but in a handful, you will be alive.

Quantum resurrection is the idea that in an infinite amount of time, anything is possible and that we will reappear, according to physicist Katherine Freese.

 It’s possible it could take the form of Boltzmann brains – self-aware brains floating through space

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