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Russian billionaire says his initiative will transfer a human mind into a robot within 30 years

By midian182 · 25 replies
Mar 17, 2016
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  1. It was reported last year that an Australian startup company wanted to help people transfer their consciousness into artificial bodies so they might live forever. Most of Humai’s ambitions relied on scientific breakthroughs being made in the near future, but now a Russian billionaire is using his fortune to help make this dream a reality.

    35-year-old Dmitry Itskov, the man behind Moscow-based media company New Media Stars, founded the ‘2045 Initiative’ in 2011. Its ultimate goal is to create technology that can transfer an individual's personality to a “more advanced, non-biological carrier.”

    "Within the next 30 years, I am going to make sure that we can all live forever," Itskov said in recent BBC documentary ‘The Immortalist.’ "I'm 100% confident it will happen. Otherwise, I wouldn't have started it.”

    The first part of the project is to create a robotic version of a human body that can be controlled by the brain, and is scheduled to be completed by 2020. This machine could be used to perform dangerous tasks without placing the remote operators in danger.

    The final stage of the plan, the transfer of human consciousness into a holographic or robotic avatar, will hopefully take place in 2045 - as indicated by the initiative’s name. Itskov has reportedly already poured $1.43 billion into the project, which shows how much faith he has in the initiative.

    Itskov’s team is made up of Russian specialists from the fields of neural interfaces, robotics, neuroscience, and artificial organs. They believe that as the brain functions in a similar way to a computer - sensory data inputs turned into behavioral outputs through computations - the process could be mapped and copied to an actual computer.

    The scientists are said to be keeping a close eye on an ongoing project at the California Institute of Technology, which involves using computers so Erik G. Sorto, a quadriplegic, can move a robotic limb using only his thoughts.

    Should Itskov eventually realize his ambition, he wants the technology to be available to everyone, not just those who can afford it.

    “If there is no immortality technology, I’ll be dead in the next 35 years,” he said. “I want all of this to be available to every person, including myself. And to a lesser degree, I am motivated by the fear of death and the wish to postpone [that] moment,”

    If we really do get to the stage where technology allows us to live forever in robot form, it will be interesting to see just how many people choose immortality.

    Permalink to story.

  2. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 3,050   +1,384

    We dont have the slightest bit of understanding of why the mind works or what consciousness is all we know is WHAT it does, like what neurons fire when, etc. Without in-depth knowledge of those I fail to see how this will happen. All I can say is good luck and roll my eyes.
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2016
  3. Billybobjoey

    Billybobjoey TS Member Posts: 20   +13

    Cave Johnson could have used this a few decades ago.
    ikesmasher and 9Nails like this.
  4. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 3,050   +1,384

    Right around the time he found out ground up moon rocks were pure poison. When life gives you lemons...don't make lemonade, make life take them back.
  5. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 2,169   +1,588

    I have no fear of death. But a robot body might be fun.
  6. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,267   +3,682

    WOW ..... that is really going to kick the snot out of Social Security!!!! Bring it!!!
  7. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,914   +699

    Good luck with that, and even if he does succeed, it will be reserved for the super rich, so average Joe will not be able to benefit from this. And that's based on the big IF this works at all if ever.

    Good luck have fun, all I can say.
    Lionvibez likes this.
  8. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,662   +2,418

    I'll hand the Russians this - when they scam, they scam big. That having been said, I have no doubt that man-machine interfaces will be far more advanced 30 years from now. I fully expect computers to be able to have reached nearly Star Trek levels of ability to comprehend symbols, shapes and language..they'll probably be almost as good as ourselves when it comes to interpreting complex sets of mixed data (even in real time). A hundred years down the road, if we're not all busy fighting over the last can of beans, we'll probably have true AIs - perhaps even self-aware ones. What this will mean for humans is hard to say but I half expect to see major push-back against automation by then.
    CorvusCorax likes this.
  9. amstech

    amstech IT Overlord Posts: 2,182   +1,359

    The brain's natural cycle of growing and dying cannot be altered, enhanced, post-poned or changed in anyway.
    Mandark likes this.
  10. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 3,156   +1,411

    Reminds me of the predictions of the 1980's where they thought they'd have AI in about 10 years. Here we are 35 years later and are still working on speech and getting a computer to understand sarcasm sounds like a long shot.

    Now they're gonna do EVERYTHING? And he's 100% confident?! Anytime someone is 100% confident about the future, the only thing we know for sure is they're 100% crazy.
    Mandark likes this.
  11. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,456   +621

    Don't think its a good idea humans are a cancer on this planet. Agent smith said it best!

    All this will do is give ******* rich people first dibs on this, and some of the really good people that actually make change is this world that should live a longer live will never get on this list.

    There are a lot more problems worth fixing before this but I don't think those are profitable.
  12. "They believe that as the brain functions in a similar way to a computer - sensory data inputs turned into behavioral outputs through computations - the process could be mapped and copied to an actual computer."
    this is nothing more than the Computational Theory of Mind IMHO debunked by Searle in his argument "The Chinese room" in the late 1980's, but still very much discussed.
  13. ShadowDeath

    ShadowDeath TS Booster Posts: 114   +44

    I agree. I also can't help but wonder how they would pull it off. When you think about it you can transfer files via network from one computer to another but only through copying. This means that you would have 2 computers with identical copies of the same files. The way a "transfer" works via computers is you copy the files to the new host and delete the files on the old host. Now, with this in mind wouldn't that mean that if they copied a person's consciousness to a robot/machine then wouldn't it just be a copy and not a transfer? I mean at this point you would be sitting there waiting for the swap and when it happens the robot would start moving but you would still be you. This is why I don't understand the need to preserve ourselves by "moving" to machines.

    Maybe I'm missing something.
    ikesmasher likes this.
  14. Xaber

    Xaber TS Rookie

    First of all a human is more than the atoms he’s made of! When you say you transfer the consciousness it’s not only about the brain functions but you should be able to transfer his mind. For all we know the way mind works is still pretty much a mystery to the science.

    I don’t want to sound like a religious frenzy in a technical forum but there are few Oriental religions (such as Buddhism) that may hold the key to understanding how human mind works because they already accumulated a vast knowledge base over thousands of years on this matter.

    However I really don’t think this is something we can achieve in near future, let alone in 30 years because we’re talking about something way more complicated than cyborgs.
  15. Mandark

    Mandark TS Booster Posts: 76   +23

    This reminds me of the beginning of SEALAB 2012, Season 1, Episode 1: I, Robot, where they state that human to robot transfers withing 10 years. Laughing my arse off here guys. This article is JUST LIKE THAT WHOLE episode!

    See it on Hulu
  16. Mandark

    Mandark TS Booster Posts: 76   +23

  17. Mandark

    Mandark TS Booster Posts: 76   +23

    We can't even make computers that don't need rebooting all the time let alone bug-free software. 30 years is nothing and this won't happen in that time frame. maybe 200-300 or more years if mankind doesn't destroy itself.
    wiyosaya likes this.
  18. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder TS Evangelist Posts: 2,151   +588

  19. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,835   +2,185

    Scientists keep saying similar things about fusion. Twenty years ago, according to scientists, fusion was twenty years away.

    IMHO, when people like this make statements of things being even five years away, what they are really saying is that they have no clue, but will be happy to take your investment money.
  20. Lwells

    Lwells TS Rookie

    Yep, if you don't know how to do it, it must be impossible because you know everything right? Even 30 years from now.Thanks for letting us know, we'll just give up now. Geez, if it was up to you we'd still be fish!
    texrat likes this.
  21. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 3,050   +1,384

    yea, neurology isnt exactly computer hardware. We literally have no clue how it works. They didnt invent the car 30 years after inventing the wheel.
    Maybe he should put his billions into renewable energy or something that will save the future of the planet not his own future.
  22. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,779   +3,906

    I just have one question. (Well maybe two) Will everyone be able to live forever, or just Russian billionaires?
    Will the future be like it was in "Barbarella", where you took a pill and touched hands to have sexual pleasure without actual sexual contact? (See below).

    Will poor people without access to this technology or the "sex pills", still be breeding like rabbits on the filthy streets of our crumbling cities?


    (You're absolutely correct, that was 3 questions). :D
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2016
  23. texrat

    texrat TS Rookie

    I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that's one the things they intend to tackle.
  24. nestorius

    nestorius TS Enthusiast Posts: 39   +6

    This has already been done to most of the politicians of the world......If we could only get them to do dishes and light housecleaning now....
  25. Michael Zeldich

    Michael Zeldich TS Rookie

    I am sorry, but that will never happen for the following reasons:
    1. We are did not have consciousness in our body;
    2. Functions of a brain in our body still unknown;
    3. Content of our experience did not connected directly to events in surrounding.
    4. It is impossible to transfer our experience into another body because experience is subjective.

    These are incontestable arguments.

    Mr. Dmitry Itskov have to rethink his approach to the problem.

    If it is possible to have an artificial super intelligent autonomous system?
    Yes, it is possible and less power prototype could be observed in any mirror.
    Without a joke, it will be possible if one will find out how to design of an artificial subjective system.
    I know how, but no one else.
    Best wishes,

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