Download your brain and live forever


There is a story on the Russian media site, RT, today that probably has been around in one form or another for quite awhile; it concerns Google’s  director of engineering, Ray Kurzweil’s views on the future.  In 2005, he wrote a book, “The Singularity Is Near,”  in which he discusses the world to come, the RT article is based on several recent interviews dealing with his vision.  According to the article, Kurzweil’s future is not very far away; much of what he predicts will happen within 10 years and the rest of it will happen within 20 years.  Some of his predictions he simply bases on the rate of increase in computing power and recent advances in medicine.   Kurzweil sees the developments in technology that affect human lifespans and intellectual achievements on the model of computer chips – every 24 months they are reduced in size by half and the computing power doubles.  He thinks that will very soon lead to almost unlimited lifespans and intellectual achievement.

Human brain power in 20 years could be 1 million times what it was 20 years or so ago; how so?  Well, first you have to begin downloading a human’s brain – you know, like yours – onto a computer.  That immediately that leads to immortality for the brain as it existed at that moment.  Then one begins to reverse the process and uploads the computer functions to the brain.  As simple as that and you are off and running into an entirely new world.  The now computer-enhanced brain will allow human intellectual capacity to increase at exponential rates, just like computer chips.  In fact, Kurzweil envisions a world where the biological body and mind becomes secondary and almost redundant in the presence of the non-biological body and mind.

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Google’s chief engineer: People will soon upload their entire brains to computers; Simply put, Google’s Ray Kurzweil says immortality is only a few years away. Digital immortality, at least.  Kurzweil, 64, was only brought on to Google late last year, but that hasn’t stopped him from making headlines already. During a conference in New York City last week, the company’s director of engineering said that the growth of biotechnology is so quickly paced that he predicts our lives will be drastically different in just a few decades. According to Kurzweil, humans will soon be able to upload their entire brains onto computers. After then, other advancements won’t be too far behind.  “The life expectancy was 20, 1,000 years ago,” Kurzweil said. “We doubled it in 200 years. This will go into high gear within 10 and 20 years from now, probably less than 15, we will be reaching that tipping point where we add more time than has gone by because of scientific progress.”  “Somewhere between 10 and 20 years, there is going to be tremendous transformation of health and medicine,” he said…”There’s already fantastic therapies to overcome heart disease, cancer and every other neurological disease based on this idea of reprogramming the software,” Kurzweil at the conference. “These are all examples of treating biology as software. …These technologies will be a 1,000 times more powerful than they were a decade ago. …These will be 1,000 times more powerful by the end of the decade. And a million times more powerful in 20 years.” In “The Singularity Is Near,” Kurzweil acknowledged that Moore’s Law of Computer suggests that the power of computer doubles, on average, every two years. At that rate, he wrote, “We’re going to become increasingly non-biological to the point where the non-biological part dominates and the biological part is not important anymore.”  “Based on conservative estimates of the amount of computation you need to functionally simulate a human brain, we’ll be able to expand the scope of our intelligence a billion-fold,” The Daily Mail quoted Kurzweil. RT, 6-20-13

Well imagine that!  I cannot.  My poor and un-enhanced imagination cannot imagine itself as a machine.   The world where computers are doing our thinking and science has replaced our body parts with non-human body parts is beyond me.  My imagination and I will have been left sitting in the dust by the side of the road, drooping and babbling incoherently.   That is the world that science fiction writers in the 20th century were imagining – a world where the human beings become the tools of the machines, instead of the machines being the tools for the human beings.

As strange as it is to contemplate, we could actually think ourselves out of a job and out of existence.  I am too old to benefit from any of the advancements in Kurzweil’s world.   Hell, even if he is correct in 20 years I will be 90 years old – don’t tell me then that I could live forever, I will just try and kill you.  If I was going to be 25 or 30 in 20 years I might be very pleased to learn I was immortal.  This is just another case where my age does not allow me to see the greatness in the unrelenting advancements in world of technology.   And now it is time to move along and think about something else while I still can, before a computer chooses my line of thought.  I wonder will the computers have sex for us – will they share their experiences with us?

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