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Dmitry Itskov Wants To Help You Live Forever Via an Android Avatar

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the brand-new-body dept.

Science 383

trendspotter writes in with the latest news about the 2045 Project. "If Russian billionaire Dmitry Itskov has his way, the human lifespan will soon no longer depend on the limitations of the human body. Itskov, a Russian tycoon and former media mogul, is the founder of the 2045 Project — a venture that seeks to replace flesh-and-blood bodies with robotic avatars, each one uploaded with the contents of a human brain. The goal: to extend human lives by hundreds or thousands of years, if not indefinitely."

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I agree with Lewis Black (5, Insightful)

AbsoluteXyro (1048620) | about a year ago | (#43992343)

Death is not a bug, it's a feature. It's the only way we get rid of old assholes.

Re:I agree with Lewis Black (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43992395)

And also the young ones. Being an asshole has nothing to do with age!

Re:I agree with Lewis Black (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43992989)

You're next granddad.

Re:I agree with Lewis Black (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43992409)

feel free to make use of that feature asap

Re:I agree with Lewis Black (2, Insightful)

sahonen (680948) | about a year ago | (#43992419)

Yeah, I think the effort of space colonization and life extension would be more appropriately put toward making the human race *worthy* of exploring the universe and living forever.

Re:I agree with Lewis Black (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43992503)

What would that mean and is there any reason why both goals are mutually exclusive? Certainly not every great rocket scientist would be great at psychology or ethics. The good thing about living forever is that you have a lot more time to fix the problems.

I just hate this "we aren't worthy" atitude. We sure haven't done everything right. Far from. But life has only become more peaceful and in general a lot has improved. Many deaths in the stone age were actually from tribal wars. We no longer solve our problems through violence as often as we used to do. It has however become much more public. We will hopefully continue to improve.

Re:I agree with Lewis Black (0)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year ago | (#43993151)

But life has only become more peaceful and in general a lot has improved

what fairytale are you living in? humanity is just as bad as it always has been. we have used technological development to come up with new ways to take advantage of each other. human nature hasn't changed at all though.

i think the op was implying that rather than spending trillions of dollars trying to get into space and live forever against all the problems of humanity, developing genetic technology to eliminate negative human psychological traits (such as the seven sins) will create a much more cooperative and productive society to achieve goals like space exploration much more efficiently. i personally think it's also a fairytale, but no less a fairytale than thinking humans living forever would create a better world. it would actually make the world much much worse; medicines, food and clean water would very quickly become a scarcity, and in cities population density would skyrocket to the point where poilce would be overwhelmed by an explosion in crime rates. public transport would grind to a halt, queues for everything would extend ad infinitum to the point where even basic grocery shopping would eventually become impractical. roads would be in gridlock, pollution would grow to toxic levels, etc etc etc. you might say expanding our horizons to space will solve all these problems, but it would merely create the same problems in space. unless you implemented population control similar to that in china or you implemented forced sterilization after x children, then growth would be unsustainable very quickly. the problem with control measures is that they conflict with western ideals and would adversely affect freedoms and liberties that are taken for granted, which would then likely have an adverse impact on the desire to live longer.

nature is a very good engineer. survival of the fittest is an excellent growth control measure. humans like to think we are very high up in the evolutionary tree because we may be able to bypass evolutionary controls by artificially increasing the fitness of the human race, but that also introduces the possibility that we aren't really fit at all if we are stupid enough to engineer ourselves with unintended consequences that ultimately lead to our premature extinction.

"If I may... Um, I'll tell you the problem with the scientific power that you're using here, it didn't require any discipline to attain it. You read what others had done and you took the next step. You didn't earn the knowledge for yourselves, so you don't take any responsibility for it. You stood on the shoulders of geniuses to accomplish something as fast as you could, and before you even knew what you had, you patented it, and packaged it, and slapped it on a plastic lunchbox, and now... you're selling it, you wanna sell it." - Ian Malcolm, Jurassic Park

"Don't you see the danger, John, inherent in what you're doing here? Genetic power is the most awesome force the planet's ever seen, but you wield it like a kid that's found his dad's gun." - Ian Malcolm, Jurassic Park

Re:I agree with Lewis Black (5, Insightful)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about a year ago | (#43993079)

According to who? Will you be the judge of this worthiness? Have you figured out objective good and bad then? Marvellous.

I'm really growing weary of smug misanthropic assholes who quite comfortably apply negative attributes to billions of unique individuals to either excuse their own shortcomings or justify a vague sense of superiority. You know who's "worthy" to explore the universe and live forever? People who explore the universe and live forever.

Re:I agree with Lewis Black (5, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43992431)

Death is not a bug, it's a feature. It's the only way we get rid of old assholes.

Hypothetically, if we were implementing immortality-by-simulation, couldn't we resort to Instance dungeons [wikipedia.org] ? No reason why all the avatars have to coexist in one self-consistent reality, when we could instead fork the annoying ones off into an eternal 'The Good Old Days' where they can live out their crabbed fantasies in fuzzy black and white forever...

(Of course, if somebody's reality is dependent on simulation, and the requirement of self-consistency across all the simulants is dropped, you could could also theoretically cut the priority of everyone within a given instance, and run the in-sim passage of time at less than real time. As long as they don't have access to external timebases, they shouldn't even be able to tell.

Re:I agree with Lewis Black (2)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about a year ago | (#43992491)

until someone out side needs to interact with them then they would be a bit peved to find out the a 500 years behind the curve.

Re:I agree with Lewis Black (3, Insightful)

Cryacin (657549) | about a year ago | (#43992589)

The matrix is just part of a bigger matrix.

Re:I agree with Lewis Black (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43992579)

Good news! With android avatars, the asshole port is optional.

Re:I agree with Lewis Black (0)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year ago | (#43992897)

Good news! With android avatars, the asshole port is optional.

You reckon? I think it just got replaced with a mini-USB one.

Even when some other choose to stylish [wikipedia.org] it, it's still the same shit

Re:I agree with Lewis Black (3, Insightful)

Hognoxious (631665) | about a year ago | (#43992939)

You verbed stylish!?!?

Re:I agree with Lewis Black (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43993081)

You didn't even hover the link?

Re:I agree with Lewis Black (1)

Molochi (555357) | about a year ago | (#43993093)

Hey! Don't hognoxoius his post!

Re:I agree with Lewis Black (1)

Molochi (555357) | about a year ago | (#43993095)

and I derped that...

Re:I agree with Lewis Black (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43992581)

Unfortunately, genetics allows the pass on of the asshole gene.

Re:I agree with Lewis Black (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year ago | (#43992711)

I think if you asked Itskov about that, he'd probably say something along the lines of "given enough time to live, people get other priorities besides being assholes." He's a reformed Russian oligarch, for fnord's sake; it's hard to get more proof-of-concepty than that.

...that being said, it certainly would slow down social change.

But, hey, his timeline includes Surrogates [imdb.com] in two years. Probably not something that'll really happen.

Re:I agree with Lewis Black (2)

Hognoxious (631665) | about a year ago | (#43992943)

He's a reformed Russian oligarch

You think there's such a thing?

Re:I agree with Lewis Black (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43993167)

But, hey, his timeline includes Surrogates [imdb.com] in two years. Probably not something that'll really happen.

Sorry Sam, already happened [phys.org] .

Re:I agree with Lewis Black (5, Interesting)

TemperedAlchemist (2045966) | about a year ago | (#43992741)

In a somewhat inspirational essay This is Water, David Foster Wallace deconstructs this kind of thinking into what it really is: a limited and narrow worldview where only you are the focus and others are "in your way".

Humorously, xkcd [xkcd.com] points out that everyone else tends to think the exact same thing. That they're the brilliant, smart one and everyone else is a stupid and mindless automaton. It can only stem from a complete lack of empathy. Perhaps that driver who is going ten mph below the speed limit has general anxiety disorder and is only trying to get to work to the best of his ability.

Everyone else is stupid and you're the brilliant one... Except you're not.

Sir Ken Robinson [ted.com] lays out a pretty convincing reason why. Or I can simply fall back on an old Einstein quote about judging fish climbing trees.

Re:I agree with Lewis Black (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43992881)

All good points and ones I choose to agree with but you have to admit the old comic-book adage: It's far easier to be evil.

There is a reason management roles (and technical roles but that's a side point) attract more psycopaths than other career paths. Lack of empathy and a willingness and capability to use other human beings merely as tools is a survival trait eminently suitable for our modern world. Social media has become a popularity contest with people self-censoring potentially bad aspects of their own personalities (or attempting to).

Look at any SEO focused blog, for example. The tips generally include such things as leveraging a group of people, your visitors into an "army" and engaging with them frequently to produce a community of people who will steadily feed you clicks. It's not about the content, it's about using other human beings as tools to achieve an effect and these people are good at it. Leadership seminars are exactly the same. You have some has-been athlete telling you to leverage the team and hype up fake enthusiasm to promote your own career in a lot of those. I should know, I've attended several of them.

If I had my way, we'd breed this type of behavior out of the population through eugenics or we'd identify it as early as possible and provide those afflicted with medical treatment. Lack of empathy is a disease that pushes the effects on to everyone who associate with those afflicted rather than those afflicted themselves: a social disease if you will.

tl;dr - You are discounting the fact that there really are amoral psycopaths out there and they are better adapted to our modern world than those of us with a capability for empathy.

Old assholes grow out of young ones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43992749)

As you yourself will, you idiot. :)

Re:I agree with Lewis Black (2)

TheLink (130905) | about a year ago | (#43992859)

It's a feature even if you aren't an asshole.

Living forever is only going to be good under certain conditions. Otherwise it could be never-ending torture.

I daresay most (if not all) of us aren't mentally stable enough to enjoy even a billion years alive. The first thousand years maybe, but a billion years?

And even if you can manage a billion, imagine after a few billion when the last stars have gone dark and you're still alive. What would you do for the rest of your never-ending life? You've not even reached a trillion years.

So it should actually scare you if it's true that we have immortal souls and it's not complete nonexistence when we die. Because it's only Heaven if you are made perfect. Otherwise it's going to be Hell.

p.s. one workaround is periodically erasing your memories - but then that's not really living forever is it? I suppose you could selectively edit out certain memories, but after a few trillion years you might eventually decide to wipe yourself out (and thus die).

Not living forever (2)

TuringCheck (1989202) | about a year ago | (#43992929)

echo "Goodbye cruel world!"; rm -rf /

Re:I agree with Lewis Black (2)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about a year ago | (#43993013)

Unless the universe runs out of new things to learn and create I don't see how anyone could ever get bored.

Re:I agree with Lewis Black (2)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | about a year ago | (#43992933)

But crazy billionaires are the best chance for all of us to reach the Singularity! I feel a little ill after typing that.

Ok, but... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43992357)

Unless you can transfer your consciousness you're still going to be dead.

Re:Ok, but... (5, Insightful)

bondiblueos9 (1599575) | about a year ago | (#43992397)

Perhaps your consciousness could be transferred into an electronic brain the same way it was transferred from your brain several years ago to your current brain: cell by cell. If you could design an electronic brain that was identical to a biological brain and could replace it piece by piece and continue to function in the same way, then presumably you would never notice the transition.

Re:Ok, but... (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | about a year ago | (#43992421)

Not saying it's not possible but I'm pretty sure that won't work.

You are the connections of your cells.

So you would need to create a duplicate of the cells and then duplicate the connections-- and I think the connections are analog with multiple values.

Re:Ok, but... (1)

bondiblueos9 (1599575) | about a year ago | (#43992453)

You would have some sort of nano-machine select a cell, observe how it is connected to other cells, destroy that cell, and take its place, restoring the connections identically. It would also have to be able to form new connections and change existing ones, just like real brain cells. You introduce new nano-machines gradually over some amount of time. The machines could even create more of themselves, repair themselves, expand the brain, etc. Of course, all this would be complicated and beyond our current technology.

Re:Ok, but... (2, Interesting)

mwvdlee (775178) | about a year ago | (#43992535)

It would also have to be able to form new connections and change existing ones, just like real brain cells.

I wonder to what amount the rest of your body influences the constant changes in a brain.
Not talking about the obvious stuff like hormones but something more basic; the type of food you eat influences the cell growth in the rest of your body, how does it impact the brain?

Re:Ok, but... (4, Interesting)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#43992435)

Perhaps your consciousness could be transferred into an electronic brain the same way it was transferred from your brain several years ago to your current brain: cell by cell.

FYI, brains don't progressively replace themselves like some organs do. You have almost all the neurons you'll ever have when you're born. There was a story here a few days ago about the discovery of a small region of the hippocampus that does generate new cells, unlike most of the rest of the brain.

Your post also brings up another interesting thought, a question raised by ancient philosophers. Suppose Jason comes home on the Argo and props it up on blocks to keep for a souvenir. As the years go by, whenever a plank rots he replaces it with a new one. Does it stop being the Argo at some point?

Re:Ok, but... (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about a year ago | (#43992513)

Perhaps your consciousness could be transferred into an electronic brain the same way it was transferred from your brain several years ago to your current brain: cell by cell.

FYI, brains don't progressively replace themselves like some organs do. You have almost all the neurons you'll ever have when you're born. There was a story here a few days ago about the discovery of a small region of the hippocampus that does generate new cells, unlike most of the rest of the brain.

Your post also brings up another interesting thought, a question raised by ancient philosophers. Suppose Jason comes home on the Argo and props it up on blocks to keep for a souvenir. As the years go by, whenever a plank rots he replaces it with a new one. Does it stop being the Argo at some point?

and if not and he then later reassembles all of the old rotten beams which is the real argo?

Re:Ok, but... (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#43992603)

and if not and he then later reassembles all of the old rotten beams which is the real argo?

I think the witch test would actually work here: drop them in water, and if sinks it's the real thing.

Re:Ok, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43992773)

You have almost all the neurons you'll ever have when you're born

Actually that's increasingly being found to be untrue (notably in memory centres), and even with the same neurons it has a remarkable ability to reorganise itself.

Re:Ok, but... (1)

Molochi (555357) | about a year ago | (#43993145)

A copy of you is a duplicate of you. It still isn't you. You still die and cease to exist.

Re:Ok, but... (5, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43992407)

Unless you can transfer your consciousness you're still going to be dead.

Spending your waning years of weakness, decay, and degradation, plagued by the constant cruel mockery of your ageless immortal doppelganger is just a fun extra feature!

thats the idea.. (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#43992629)

Unless you can transfer your consciousness you're still going to be dead.

the idea is a pretty usual one though.

it's the execution that's the hard part - with fundamental problems we can't touch yet.

Someone just found a billionaire willing to part with millions for nothing in return.

Re:thats the idea.. (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#43992737)

There are no fundamental laws that say it cannot be done. It's just an engineering problem. Engineering problems can be solved with a combination of time and gigantic piles of money.

Re:thats the idea.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43992957)

to be fair /. isn't telling you the full story. He wants to start with putting a human brain in a robot body (within the next 10 years), then find a way of uploading a brain to a robot body, then he wants to put everyone in holograms. So as crazy as it sounds he does have a sort of roadmap, and brain isolation doesn't seem to far out of reach for current tech.

Re:Ok, but... (1)

Molochi (555357) | about a year ago | (#43993125)

That's always been my argument when this idea comes up. Though if you want to have a legacy of You, it might be better than children.

Don't do it! (1)

monkitman (2368624) | about a year ago | (#43992369)

Cybermen. Thats all I am saying...

Re:Don't do it! (1)

meerling (1487879) | about a year ago | (#43992379)

More like Ghost in the Shell

Re:Don't do it! (1)

luckymutt (996573) | about a year ago | (#43992833)

I WILL BE UPGRADED!!!!!!!!!

Copies are not you! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43992377)

Another idiot that doesn't realize the difference between a copy and themself.

Re:Copies are not you! (5, Funny)

Bremic (2703997) | about a year ago | (#43992561)

More than this, if you copy yourself to a different vessel, your memories get copied. This will include the movies and television you have seen and the music you have listened to.

Copying of movies, television and music in any format is big bad evil according to the wonderful US legislators who take lots of money from record companies and movie studios - so backing yourself up is a copyright violation.

This will be important to remember when the uber wealthy (probably the executives of the same record companies and movie studios) back themselves up. Because then we charge them with illegal copyright violations and get them to vacate their new bodies. Of course by then they will give each other free distribution rights and use it as a hammer to stop the "irrelevant plebs" from ever being able to save themselves.

Re:Copies are not you! (1)

meerling (1487879) | about a year ago | (#43992641)

If it's a perfect mental copy, you wouldn't even be able to tell the difference, nor could anyone else. At that point, if the copy is indistinguishable from the original, is it really a copy?
Other than philosophy, the answer is no, it's no longer a copy, rather they are both undifferentiated duplicates of each other. Sure the body is no longer biological, but society has been moving to the concept that the self is the mind not the body for a very long time. Otherwise all the fiction about body swaps would be rather different.

Now will they start out with perfect copies? Of course not, but they have to start somewhere. Will people go for this even if it's not perfect? Oh hell yes they will, especially the desperate. The idea that even a part of themselves would remain is very alluring to a lot of people. Less people would be willing if the 'scanning process' destroyed the original, but there would still be plenty queuing up.

Legal ramifications can get tricky, especially if the original biological remained viable. Suddenly there's two of you. Now that looks like a legal nightmare for most people and a lawyers wet dream.

Now there is one more point people always get around to bringing up when it comes to this kind of thing. The soul. Ok, fine. There is no proof that the soul exists, so science can't do a damn thing about that. There will be those that claim the android will be without a soul. But as this is all faith and belief with no way to detect test or verify anything, there's no reason not to assume that the soul will remain with the mind no matter what form the body takes, and for that matter, if you have both the android and the bio still viable, maybe a soul would be both adaptable and existential enough to encompass all of itself, despite now having multiple bodies. You don't believe in souls, no problem. If you do, maybe you should just assume that your god is smarter than you are and designed a system that would handle this situation without issue.

And yes, I have thought about this subject before, as I'm sure most people that have contemplated the man machine singularity have.

Re:Copies are not you! (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#43992753)

The first uploads would be test subjects. The second batch would be the mega-rich, because only they would be able to afford it at first. The mega-rich have lobbyists and friends in high places - they'll sort the legal issues out. It may involve workaround like a trust fund required to act upon the orders of the upload, until such time as they can get a law passed to recognise them as effectively living humans.

Re:Copies are not you! (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#43992645)

Another idiot that doesn't realize the difference between a copy and themself.

if the old one is destroyed and the new copy can't tell the difference, then it's as good as being you.

but it's largely theoretical. technical hurdles before doing this can be done are fairly large. so large that in fact funding this directly makes no sense at all, no sense.

Re:Copies are not you! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43992667)

Another idiot that doesn't realize the difference between a copy and themself.

if the old one is destroyed and the new copy can't tell the difference, then it's as good as being you.

For everyone else, not for you!

Re:Copies are not you! (1)

luckymutt (996573) | about a year ago | (#43992837)

Kinda like how, for example, after 30 days you have completely replaced all of your skin cells with copies? Yet your skin is still part of yourself every 30 days?

Re:Copies are not you! (3, Insightful)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | about a year ago | (#43992951)

Another idiot that doesn't realize the difference between a copy and themself.

Define "self".

Re:Copies are not you! (1)

As_I_Please (471684) | about a year ago | (#43993165)

"I don't want to achieve immortality by copying my brain to the cloud. I want to achieve immortality by not dying!"
-- adapted from Woody Allen

Re:Copies are not you! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43993173)

It's called preparation and backup.
You make a snapshot of your brain as it is now.
When you finally die you freeze your brain and wait for technology to fix your busted brain.
It can fix your brain pretty good since there is this awesome copy of it available.
This copy, if sufficiently detailed, could in the same span of time, be actually run in a simulation.
It will be able to work faster and faster as the hardware running the simulation is getting better and better.
So either they fix you biological brain, or they advance computers to make simulated brains run a day's worth of thinking in a day.

Why is this cool?
Because the people who are trying to figure out a way to fix your brain could also have a copy of their brain working overtime on the problem.
A virtual thinktank of scientists.

Finally after many years (virtual and real) they come up with a way to fix your bio-brain.
You are alive again!
Now you wait for science to figure out a way to merge your neurological network with a artificial one.

Why would you want this?
Because this is the start of a gradual process of replacing neurons made from flesh with artificial ones.
As other unsolvable age related problems kill neurons, you want artificial ones to take its place.
Just like you can still survive a brain haemorrhage, so can you when your bio brain stops functioning but only represents 10% of your total brainmass due to aforementioned conversion process.

The copy is one of many steps you need to make while still alive, because no amount of science will help a mass of compost in the ground recover from death.

And to those who feel that you can never return back to life, see the copy as another form of creating a son/daughter.

Posting from the future (0, Offtopic)

Laxori666 (748529) | about a year ago | (#43992385)

We figured out the time travel, guys. All is well here. Give Dmitry Itskov all your money or I'll stop existing, which would release an energy so tremendous as to destroy everything in the spacetime 1000 years (both light- and time-) around where I am, which is only 900 years into your future.

I think we've see this before (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43992387)

And in other news (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43992389)

We can cure cancer by the year 2000

Hmmm... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43992445)

Consciousness is already immortal. We are the universe itself, believing otherwise is believing in the illusion of separateness.

Re:Hmmm... (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#43992633)

Consciousness is already immortal. We are the universe itself, believing otherwise is believing in the illusion of separateness.

That's pretty deep for Slashdot.

Re:Hmmm... (4, Funny)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#43992885)

That's pretty derp for Slashdot.

FTFY.

Re:Hmmm... (2, Insightful)

black3d (1648913) | about a year ago | (#43992699)

On the contrary, you believe in the illusion of continuity. Has quantum physics taught you nothing? If the universe was stable, your conjecture would hold. As the existence of energy is provably not stable nor absolute, you've been conned into universality. Don't get me wrong, we're definitely stardust. But consciousness is a temporary unstable state. Your consciousness doesn't continue to exist after you die - only the constituent parts of it do. What you're suggesting is akin to "your unspoken dreams exist forever because the energy that comprised them does." Not only does your energy not exist forever, but entropy means your dreams are gone when you are.

On the other hand, if you actually believe in a coherent universal consciousness, then you're just batshit crazy instead.

Re:Hmmm... (1)

narcc (412956) | about a year ago | (#43993117)

Prove it.

Re:Hmmm... (1)

black3d (1648913) | about a year ago | (#43993141)

Prove a negative? The onus is not on me to prove that your dreams don't continue to exist after you die. It's up to you to prove they do.

Re:Hmmm... (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#43992755)

It sounds profound, but it just doesn't quite have actual profundity.

Try saying it in latin.

Re:Hmmm... (3, Funny)

SuperGus (678577) | about a year ago | (#43993069)

Onsciousnesscay isway alreadyway immortalway. Eway areway ethay universeway itselfway, elievingbay otherwiseway isway elievingbay inway ethay illusionway ofway eparatenesssay.

Any guesses? (3, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43992457)

How long before existing ransomware is adapted to these bold robotic avatars, and the infected get the exciting opportunity to not have the sensation of full-body chemical burns replayed on loop in exchange for a modest and reasonable payment by Western Union?

Re:Any guesses? (2)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#43992891)

Greg Egan covered that in a short story. Some nefarious types got hold of a scan of his (still-living) wife, ran a simulation of her and subjected it to torture. I think he paid up in the end.

Transporters (3, Interesting)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#43992479)

ISTM that Star Trek transporters are a type of 3D scanner/printer. But somehow they have to get your hundred-trillion synapses to connect the right cells, and at the right connection strength. Possibly even the current neural firing patterns, since when you get 'printed' you immediately have all your facilities and remember what you were up to when you got into the transporter.

I don't think that's ever going to be possible. But if it was, would the end result still be you, or just an artificial twin?

If transporter technology was feasible, they should be able to keep the original and print the copy using the contents of the refrigerator. I suppose that, like forking a process, it wouldn't be easy for the participants to tell who is the original and who is the copy, but I wouldn't expect them to share a common consciousness.

Re:Transporters (1)

C18H27NO3 (1282172) | about a year ago | (#43992743)

In a sense this already goes on with our bodies throughout our lives. We don't have any of the cells we started off with when we were born, for example. So technically we already are copies of a copy of a copy ...

Re:Transporters (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#43992901)

We don't have any of the cells we started off with when we were born, for example.

Except brain cells, I was given to understand.

Re:Transporters (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43992759)

If the exact quantum states were duplicated in a transporter, if computing power and fractal scanning technology and "printing" is ever powerful enough, then you would become the copy. This is quantum stuff after all. It might seem like fainting and waking up elsewhere as if almost no time passed, because it didn't, unless you get trapped in a pattern buffer. Bummer then.

Re:Transporters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43993103)

Your observation makes a lot of assumptions about the nature of conscious awareness, which is supposedly explained by quantum physics according to New Age woo-woo, but unfortunately there is no scientific evidence to back up such a connection.

Heisenberg (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#43993159)

Of course to replicate the exact quantum states you have to overcome the uncertainty principle, which in Star Trek involved the Heisenberg Compensator. (Which is always being overlooked in favour of the inertial dampener by people compiling "most transparently token solution to a physics problem" lists.)

Re:Transporters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43992997)

As soon as you have two copies alive at the same point they would differentiate, because you can't keep the same stimulus going to each copy (actually maybe with VR you could) which would mean the brains would change in different ways meaning you get different people.

22 posts... (1)

rusty0101 (565565) | about a year ago | (#43992527)

...and not one question about how long it would take the NSA to get a court order allowing them to copy your memories from whatever system you have them coppied to?

Re:22 posts... (3, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#43992585)

...and not one question about how long it would take the NSA to get a court order allowing them to copy your memories from whatever system you have them coppied to?

Apparently they don't need to get a court order anymore. (Some people are saying that *that* is the real scandal.)

Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43992725)

...and not one question about how long it would take the NSA to get a court order allowing them to copy your memories from whatever system you have them coppied to?

Interestingly enough, that might not be as big of issue as it at first appears.

Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem has some interesting implications when applied to brains. It could be impossible to derive the more interesting properties of your brain from simply looking at its data. Gödel showed that such properties hold for mathematics, which likely also apply to brains.

quote from http://www.philosophybro.com/2012/05/godels-incompleteness-theorems-and-you.html :

Looked at this way, Gödel's proof suggests – though by no means does it prove! – that there could be some high-level way of viewing the mind/brain, involving concepts which do not appear on lower levels, and that this level might have explanatory power that does not exist – not even in principle – on lower levels. It would mean that some facts could be explained on the high level quite easily, but not on lower levels at all. No matter how long and cumbersome a low-level statement were made, it would not explain the phenomena in question. It is analogous to the fact that, if you make derivation after derivation in Peano arithmetic, no matter how long and cumbersome you make them, you will never come up with one for G – despite the fact that on a higher level, you can see that the Gödel sentence is true. What might such high-level concepts be? It has been proposed for eons, by various holistically or "soulistically" inclined scientists and humanists that consciousness is a phenomenon that escapes explanation in terms of brain components; so here is a candidate at least. There is also the ever-puzzling notion of free will. So perhaps these qualities could be "emergent" in the sense of requiring explanations which cannot be furnished by the physiology alone.

What about desease ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43992573)

I honnetely doubt it will work. I think this is FUD just to get some attention from public or slashdoters. This topic was already discussed during a presentation not so long ago : How to avoid death and live forever [youtube.com]

Re:What about desease ? (1)

meerling (1487879) | about a year ago | (#43992655)

It's been talked about since before you were born.
I'm glad they are working on it, though you might be surprised why I feel that way.
Even so, if they ever succeed, I'd bet it won't be until long after we and even our great grandchildren are long dead.

Android avatar, really? (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#43992595)

Who'd want to live forever on a someone's smart phone?

Re:Android avatar, really? (3, Funny)

cripkd (709136) | about a year ago | (#43992849)

Especially with today's smartphone battery life.

Transhumanism, plain and simple (1)

FilatovEV (1520307) | about a year ago | (#43992705)

When it comes from the United States, it's fringe. When it comes from Russia, it's news. Because Russia itself is considered fringe in the West. Misplaced perceptions account for the fact that the same thing could be news, or not news, depending on its origin.

Meanwhile, transhumanist magazines like hplusmagazine.com make no distinction between the American and Russian contributors. The transhumanist community is genuinely international, and that's a positive fact if you consider it.

Sounds Like (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43992729)

bullshit..? I'm not saying it's never going to happen but not by 2045, we don't even understand consciousness yet.

Before you go for avatar C (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43992769)

Might want to consider the issue of the philosophical zombie [wikipedia.org] . If there ever was a zombie apocalypse, this might be it. But we'd not really know.

Now someone is talking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43992801)

Now someone is talking my language , I have often sat there and thought would it no be nice to find a nice fit 18 to 20 year old body and move the contents of my brain into it .
Talk about having FUN or WHAT! aye up ..

Is this even feasible? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43992813)

Let's say I have a billion dollars and want to be able to fly, walk through walls, or shoot lasers out my eyes, or copy my brain into a robot. There's no point whatsoever in discussing how cool it's going to be when I'm a flying, laser shooting robot if there's zero possibility of ever being able to do that, let alone within 45 years, let alone for a billion dollars.

The FAQ (http://2045.com/faq/) has a question "What makes you think technology will develop fast enough to enable the type of advancement you envision by 2045?", and gives only a nebulous, handwavy "technology has been increasing at an exponential rate, singularity, Moore's Law blah blah blah".

They count among their "experts" (http://gf2045.com/speakers/) futurists (science fiction writers by another name), a "Quantum Consciousness Theorist", a "Quantum Consciousness Activist", a "Singularitarian Immortalist", a "Self-realized Siddha Master", philosophers and religious figures mixed in with some actual scientists or doctors, some of which are even qualified in the fields they're featured as "experts" in.

I'm not convinced this is anything other than a pipe dream. Sure, if it's actually viable that's pretty cool, but I'm not seeing any evidence of that.

Still Life (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43992841)

These lyrics reflect my thoughts more eloquently than I ever could: http://sofasound.com/vdgcds/sllyrics.htm#2

Definition (1)

MSG (12810) | about a year ago | (#43992863)

The goal: to extend human lives by hundreds or thousands of years, if not indefinitely

Yes, if you don't know how long lives will be extended, it will be indefinite. That's what indefinite means.

Just a thought (1)

jandersen (462034) | about a year ago | (#43992889)

If you were to really make a 100% perfect copy of a yourself, which one would be you? Each copy would, certainly initially, feel and think exactly the same, and would object to being destroyed. This, I think is a strong argument against the idea that one can truly "transfer" a person in this way.

Re:Just a thought (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43992965)

That's exactly how I always looked at it!

lol (2)

luther349 (645380) | about a year ago | (#43992959)

even if you managed to copy my brain and put it into a new body the original is still dead.

Copy is only a copy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43993139)

even if you managed to copy my brain and put it into a new body the original is still dead.

Exactly. It really scares me how people cannot comprehend that consciousness is not just an abstract pattern, it is the physical state which experiences such patterns. So merely copying the brain and mind will not "transfer" the original consciousness.

He must be a fan of Caprica (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43992999)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caprica_(TV_series)

stepping stone: human-to-human brain transplant (1)

mejustme (900516) | about a year ago | (#43993033)

Seems exciting, but knowing a little bit about hardware, and even more about software, I think the milestones are a bit ambitious.

Don't get me wrong, it is a really neat idea and covered to various degrees in many sci-fi books and movies. Geeks, rejoice!

But transplanting a human brain by 2020-2025? And a full upload of a human brain including personality by 2030-2035?

What I think is more likely to happen first, and which opens up an enormous Pandora's box of medical/moral/ethical issues, is transplanting a live human brain into a younger or more capable human body. Add to that "body harvesting", and what happens when someone is transplanted into the body of the opposite sex! Obviously, there is a lot of potential for future jobs researching how all of this will be accomplished. If it happens within our lifetime, then....nearly everything will happen within our lifetime. (For those who can afford to have it done.)

Religious thinking (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43993127)

The whole concept of transferring "consciousness" into a machine, is based on the idea that the mind is seperate entity and therefore seperable from the body. This idea in turn is the result of the body-soul dualism taught my most if not all religions.
BUT there is no scientific basis for it. At all. Your consciousness is not "in your brain", it actually is "your brain" (and nervous system and body in general). To make this more plain to ITlers: your consciousness is formed in a way that is more like hardrware, not software. You cannot download, copy, update or flash it.
Though you can brick it ;)

Anyway, stop giving attention to this pseudo-science, just because it sounds cool.

Why the crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43993153)

would we want the remnants of old people around?

Read history. People in the olden days sucked. Each and every one was a thug whose only imperative was to survive and get ahead at any cost. Murder, thievery, slavery, warfare, lies, violent dogmas and suffering lines all of history. The exceptions are so rare that we remember them as prophets.

I expect the future human to be better than me, so I should not stick around to spoil it.

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