I always knew I was going to live forever once computers got smart enough, now all I have to do is make sure that nothing happens to me before 2050, and that I am rich by this time. Not too much hassle, I should think, if I get working hard now and saving. Seemingly, by 2050 very rich people will be able to save their consciousness into computers, like all the sort of stuff that happens in Star Trek all the time. Once I have achieved that, I don't have much further to go before I can start on my real plan to achieve Galactic domination. True, I will no longer have a body, and will rely on my dark minions to carry out my work, just like Darth Sidious, but that's the price you have to pay for immortality and being all powerful, I guess.

The wealthy will be able to download their consciousness into computers by 2050 - the not so well off by "2075 or 2080", claims futurologist Dr. Ian Pearson, head of the Futurology unit at BT.

"If you draw the timelines, realistically by 2050 we would expect to be able to download your mind into a machine, so when you die it's not a major career problem. If you're rich enough then by 2050 it's feasible. If you're poor you'll probably have to wait until 2075 or 2080 when it's routine. We are very serious about it. That's how fast this technology is moving: 45 years is a hell of a long time in IT."