Thanks to one of my new favorite YouTube channels SourceFed, I found out about a new project to make “Immortality” a real thing. Now, as any human would, I began to look into the 2045 Initiative closer and see what it was all about. From what I can tell, the entire thing is real and is something truly being worked hard at and is not some scam looking for money. For those of you who do not know let me tell you a little about the 2045 Initiative.
What is the 2045 Initiative?
The 2045 Initiative is a collaboration between Dmitry Itskov and leading Russian Scientists that has the main goals of “the creation of a new vision of human development that meets global challenges humanity faces today”,”realization of the possibility of a radical extension of human life by means of cybernetic technology”, “as well as the formation of a new culture associated with these technologies.”
What those objectives mean is that they are looking to create a way for humans to live as long as they please and for the same technology to be used to make humanoid robots that will do many of the jobs we are doing today. All of these things are to be done by 2045 with goals at each different increments from now until the completion date of 2045.
These are the goals that have been set forth by Dmitry and the Initiative, each goal is a new step of so-called “Avatars.”
Avatar B (2020-2025) – An Avatar that will continue living with a human brain after ones life ends.
Avatar C (2030-2035) – This is basically an upgraded form of Avatar B. The human personality will be transferred to a new artificial brain when the person dies.
Avatar D (2040-2045) – A hologram-like Avatar.
It is very likely (and understandable) that you think this is an insane idea that is being used to trick people into false hope. That was my first thought, but after seeing people like the Dalai Lama supporting the movement and multiple scientists agreeing that this is possible with the right money, I started to become interested as to what they have to say.
In order to make any of this work, they are expecting that within three years (2013-2015) the scientific community to fully figure out how the brain operates. This research will lead to a reverse-engineered brain that can be used to create artificial brains as well as ones that can hold previous personality traits from humans.
Living forever in this way brings a lot of debate as to faith and the question of if this is even ethical shall it become possible. Having a normal life->death cycle is how things were “planned” out and many think that should not be tampered with. But, at the same time, the ability to continue being with family and building a society to its peak without transferring the job to anyone else after someone dies sounds magnificent.
Directly pointing at Religion as the basis for the ethical nature of singularity or immortality, it is interesting to find religious figures supporting this Initiative. Dmitry Itskov has gotten “approval” of sorts from the Dalai Lama, Hindu leaders, and representatives of other religions as well. Many of them believing that the Transhumanism is the future of mankind and is something we should embrace and not get rid of.
Looking directly at the Dalai Lama and his opinions on 2045 shows that he supports transferring a human consciousness to an artificial brain. He thinks this will be both beneficial to the scientific community as well as humanity as a whole. Of course some religions will not appreciate the idealism in the Initiative but some religions seems to welcome it with open arms.
2045 has already had a Global Future 2045 Congress in Moscow after they were founded last year. Now, 2045 is going to hold another Congress in June 2013 in New York City as they try to expand the reach of the program past the boundaries of Russia.
So, is it possible that all of this will simply come down to a matter of money? It seems like money is what Dmitry thinks will be the catalyst in the Initiative. Rebuilding the way society functions and breaking the boundaries of life is certainly an expensive task so he is taking to the Forbes billionaire list to find people to help fund their research and movement. The first level of the Avatar’s is already being worked on and is coming close to being completed. DARPA (Research division for the Pentagon) is working on a military avatar project that allows soldiers to command un-maned “bodies” only using their minds and removing all actual humans from battle situations.
All the talk of Avatar’s and the science behind Avatar A makes the Initiative sound like they are working to make the devices seen in Avatar the movie. In many ways it is the same as the movie, people would be able to hook into a machine and control another body by using their thoughts and intelligence. But all of that would be seen with just Avatar A and going on they would look to create bodies that we will live in after our “original” one dies.
What do I think of 2045?
Personally, I feel very conflicted as to whether or not using a new body after I die and essentially living forever is what I want or not. Life is one of the most interesting things in our world, but Death is equally as interesting and if we never die then we do not truly know what is “on the other side.” Always being able to work towards the same goals I have now and never losing my family is surely great, but isn’t there a time to “move on” from everything?
Living forever is an intriguing idea and if funding is given to the program, I think I will be more inclined to start making my decision as to what I want to do after death. Right now, it is more of an idea than a physical in-progress thing and we are going off of the belief that with enough money, this is all possible.
With the information available now, I am interested and do think that the movement SHOULD happen. With enough people banding together to chip in a few billion dollars, this should be something that is created and made possible. If it ends up being possible for “Avatar C “ to be created, I think everyone should have the ability to choose whether or not to continue on or explore the post-death world, whether it is complete blackness, reincarnation or traveling to a fluffy white cloud in the sky.
Even though this is not necessarily Consumer Technology news or Gaming news, the thought of this being a real thing is something everyone should know about. I could easily continue on for hours writing this post but if you have made it this far then you should just check out the 2045 website for more information and updates.
I will continue bringing updates to the movement as they occur, and until then, what do all of you think of 2045?
The SourceFed video that informed me of 2045 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07Cys8m6jpI&feature=g-u-u
2045 Initiative - http://2045.com/
Global Future 2045 Congress - http://gf2045.com/