mercoledì 11 luglio 2018

IFC2018 – Initiative 2045: Avatar/Immortality Project

Case Study
1)    A Man: Dmitry Itskov
2)    A Project: 2045
3)    A Dream: Live Forever Young

The original myth of Faust may seem remote from the preoccupations of nowadays information technologists because it is mostly about the search for immortality, communication with the dead, spiritual experiences, reincarnation, visions, access to universal knowledge, etc.
However there are researchers who are seriously considering these topics, either by developing applications or by inventing new technologies. Consider, for example, Raymond Kurzweil’s book The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology (2006); or Mark O’Connell’s To Be a Machine. Adventures among Cyborgs, Utopians, Hackers, and the Futurists Solving the Modest Problem of Death (2017).

Various institutes have sprung up recently to push these developments or reflect on them from a philosophical and futurist point of view, such as the “Future of Humanity” Institute in Cambridge UK, the Machine Intelligence Research Institute (formerly the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence) in Berkeley, or the 2045 initiative (Brochure) by Russian entrepreneur Dmitry Itskov which promises “to create technologies enabling the transfer of an individual’s personality to a more advanced non-biological carrier, and extending life, including to the point of immortality”. All this is remarkable, given that the main tools used in the past for reaching spiritual experiences, access to deep knowledge, immortality, and gnostic visions were of a chemical nature in the form of psychedelic drugs.

What are the information technologies that form the background against which Fausto’s drama unfolds and how realistic are they?
Or is it all science-fiction that will never materialize?

1)     A Man: Dmitry Itskov

Dmitry Itskov (Russian: Дмитрий Ицков) is a Russian entrepreneur, billionaire and the founder of New Media Stars, a web-based media company. He has made a reported £1bn from his Moscow-based news publishing company. Itskov is best known for being the founder of the 2045 Initiative, which aims to achieve cybernetic immortality by the year 2045. Itskov started his foundation in 2011. Itzov said, in a 2016 BBC Horizon TV documentary, that the “ultimate goal of [his] plan is to transfer someone’s personality into the new artificial carrier.” “Different scientists call it uploading or they call it mind transfer. I prefer to call it personality transfer.” They believe that robots can store a person’s thoughts and feelings because brains function in the same way as a computer. The World according to Itskov: first part and second part

2)     A Project: 2045

An interesting web site presents a dream:  The “2045” Initiative was founded by Dmitry Itskov in February 2011 in partnership with leading Russian scientists.
The main objectives of the Initiative are:
§  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.
The “2045” team is working towards creating an international research center where leading scientists will be engaged in research and development in the fields of:
§  anthropomorphic robotics,
§  living systems modeling and
§  brain and consciousness modeling 
with the goal of transferring one’s individual consciousness to an artificial carrier and achieving cybernetic immortality.

Are we really ready? …

STEPS. Future prospects of “2045” Initiative for society

The emergence and widespread use of affordable android “avatars” controlled by a “brain-computer” interface. Coupled with related technologies “avatars’ will give people a number of new features: ability to work in dangerous environments, perform rescue operations, travel in extreme situations etc.
Avatar components will be used in medicine for the rehabilitation of fully or partially disabled patients giving them prosthetic limbs or recover lost senses.

Creation of an autonomous life-support system for the human brain linked to a robot, ‘avatar’, will save people whose body is completely worn out or irreversibly damaged. Any patient with an intact brain will be able to return to a fully functioning bodily life. Such technologies will  greatly enlarge  the possibility of hybrid bio-electronic devices, thus creating a new IT revolution and will make  all  kinds of superimpositions of electronic and biological systems possible.

Creation of a computer model of the brain and human consciousness with the subsequent development of means to transfer individual consciousness onto an artificial carrier. This development will profoundly change the world, it will not only give everyone the possibility of  cybernetic immortality but will also create a friendly artificial intelligence,  expand human capabilities  and provide opportunities for ordinary people to restore or modify their own brain multiple times.  The final result  at this stage can be a real revolution in the understanding of human nature that will completely change the human and technical prospects for humanity.

The fourth and final step is also the most science-fictiony. By the year 2045, Itskov would like to see "substance-independent minds" uploaded not onto a computer chip, but into bodies of different compositions. A holographic body could walk through walls or move at the speed of light, while a body made of nanorobots would be able to take on a number of different forms at will. "Humanity, for the first time in its history, will make a fully managed evolutionary transition and eventually become a new species," he writes.
This is the time when substance-independent minds will receive new bodies with capacities far exceeding those of ordinary humans. A new era for humanity will arrive!  Changes will occur in all spheres of human activity – energy generation, transportation, politics, medicine, psychology, sciences, and so on.
Today it is hard to imagine a future when bodies consisting of nanorobots will become affordable  and capable of taking any form. It is also hard to imagine body holograms featuring controlled matter. One thing is clear however:  humanity, for the first time in its history, will make a fully managed evolutionary transition and eventually become a new species. Moreover, prerequisites for a large-scale expansion into outer space will be created as well.

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