How Can Artificial Intelligence Immortalize Human Beings?
Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox
You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
Would you want to live forever? Futurists say with AI, it's possible to make humans immortal.
Computers will Continue Where You Left Off
Ray Kurzweil, a futurist who is currently working on the Google's machine learning project predicts that by 2029, humans will be extending their lives considerably or even indefinitely.
He said we could enhance the human brain and give ourselves a "God-like" ability by implanting tiny robotics that connects to cloud-based computer networks.
Another futurist, Ian Pearson with 85% prediction accuracy record, predicts that in 2050, humans will achieve a kind of virtual immortality by saving themselves into computers. That means a person's personality could be transferred to a computer and allowed to communicate with people in the future.
So after the death of the person, the computer which will be in the form of an avatar, could either continue to learn or remain static. It all depends on the programming.
More organizations are getting interested in this already.
Artificial Intelligence to Lead the Way
The National Science Foundation gave about half a million dollars to the Universities of Central Orlando and Illinois at Chicago to support researchers who are working to discover how they can use Artificial Intelligence, Computer Imaging, and Archiving to generate a duplicate version of real people.
SpaceX and Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, who has been constantly in the news explaining how AI is going to destroy the world is even backing a brain-computer interface called Neuralink. This company is still in its earliest stage though and has very little public presence.
Neuralink is focused on creating devices that can be implanted into the human brain to allow humans improve their memory and to have a more direct interfacing with computing devices.
Musk told a crowd in Dubai, "Over time I think we will probably see a closer merger of biological intelligence and digital intelligence." He added that "it's mostly about the bandwidth, the speed of the connection between your brain and the digital version of yourself, particularly output."
While most people think this kind of brains exists only in science fictions, Elon Musk thinks we need to become cyborgs or risk being relevant.
More so, Gordon Bell and Jim Gray from Microsoft Research have been researching on how the information a person had ever heard can be retained and according to them, it's already realistic.
Interestingly, it requires less than a terabyte of storage to store this information, that's basically because there is need to have it in high quality. On the flip side, the speech and text recognition technologies are some of their biggest challenges.
Here is a table from the research that describes the requirement for storage.
Slowing Down the Process of Aging
Another research also tried to explore how aging can be reduced with technology -- another way to extend our lives.
More scientists are convinced now more than ever that aging even though it's a natural phenomenon experienced by living organisms is a disease and needs to be treated or cured.
While some scientists want to slow down the aging process, others want to cure it completely to make us immortal.
Science has evolved so much; everything seems to be possible. Especially with Artificial Intelligence (AI) firm believers like Alex Zhavoronkov who is the director of the International Research Portfolio (IARP) and the Biogerontology Research Foundation as well.
He is also the CEO of bioinformatics company Insilico Medicine. Zhavoronkov isn't afraid AI is going to destroy humanity. However, he believes AI can help humans defeat death and he's researching tirelessly to see this come to pass soon.
In an interview with Life Extension Advocacy Foundation (LEAF), he said:
"In 5 years, we want to build a comprehensive system to model and monitor the human health status and rapidly correct any deviations from the ideal healthy state with lifestyle or therapeutic interventions. Considering what we already have, I hope that we will be able to do it sooner than in 5 years [...] One of our major contributions to the field was the application of deep neural networks for predicting the age of the person. People are very different and have different diseases. I think that this approach is novel and will result in many breakthroughs."
Essentially, for Zhavoronkov, AI has a great impact on humans more than businesses can make out of it. And it goes beyond the possibility of causing singularity apocalypse -- it could likely be the discovery that will save man from death.
When I thought I have seen it all, another startup called Humai (Human Resurrection through Artificial Intelligence.), said no, they have got more.
An Everlasting Life - No More a Distant Possibility
According to the CEO, Josh Bocanegra, "when the time comes and all the necessary advancements are in place, we'll be able to freeze your brain, create a new artificial body, repair any damage to your brain, and transfer it into your new body. This process could then be repeated in perpetuity."
Now, this sounds scary and interesting at the same time. It sounds like the silver bullet to everlasting life. Even though the technology to make this happen now isn't available, Josh Bocanegra says they should be able to achieve this in the next 30 years -- 2045 is their target launch date.
The most amazing part is that there are only two researchers for this project and the company has 5 staff.
Still, experts question the possibility of downloading someone's thoughts into a computer. According to British software consultant, Michael Maven, "The technology which could extract legible thoughts and ideas out of an organ made of living tissue is nowhere near anything we have yet"
Michael Maven told Huffington Post that except Humai is planning to piggyback on other people's work, or merely collect payment from desperate old billionaires who want to escape death; they will need more funding and a large team of scientist to accomplish this.
Well, the truth is, everyone wants to live longer. If this speculations and plans become reality especially that of Humai, what will life look like to become immortal? Will people get tired of living? Do you also think this technology can be used to exploit humans as Elon Musk said?
There are endless possibilities to what we can achieve with artificial intelligence if it could extend our lives without causing harm instead, I think that will be fine.