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Transhumanists Are Back with Another Immortality Scheme


Ah, the transhumanists. They mostly don’t believe in anything beyond the nakedly material, but like those who are theistically minded, they hope to live forever. So rather than prayer or repentance, they turn to technology.

A company called Humai Tech wants to exploit that potentially huge market by seeking to create technology to resurrect you — in robot form — after death. Here’s the plan. First, create a realistic artificial body. From the story in The Mirror:

Creating an imprint of people to remain after they go, Humai is using artificial intelligence and nanotechnology to store data of conversational styles, behavioral patterns, thought processes and information about how bodies function.

This data will be coded into multiple sensor technologies, which will be built into an artificial body with the brain of a deceased human.

Wait. A dead brain?

Bocanegra told Australian Popular Science that the brain of the deceased will be frozen using cryonics technology so that when the technology is fully developed they can implant the brain into an artificial body.

Ah, the idea is to thaw the brain out, and voila, you’re back!

I’m sorry, even if they took your brain at the moment of death and froze it solid, you’d be dead with a brain preserved in a cryogenic tank. If they removed your brain before death, that process would kill you and you’d be equally dead.

Restoring the brain later to function in an artificial body? Please. Think blood flow. Think damaged neurons. Think, we don’t know what consciousness really is in any event. And if the materialists are right, there would be nothing left of your essence but so many carbon atoms.

I’m not saying Humai wouldn’t make a profit. As P.T. Barnum said, there’s a sucker born every minute. But better to buy a Pet Rock than pay to have your head frozen.

It would be cheaper. At least you’d have something to look at. And it could be useful if you ever had to break a window. But then, I guess so too could a frozen brain.

Image: Pet rocks, by Pet Rock Net, [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikicommons.

Cross-posted at Human Exceptionalism.

Wesley J. Smith

Chair and Senior Fellow, Center on Human Exceptionalism
Wesley J. Smith is Chair and Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism. Wesley is a contributor to National Review and is the author of 14 books, in recent years focusing on human dignity, liberty, and equality. Wesley has been recognized as one of America’s premier public intellectuals on bioethics by National Journal and has been honored by the Human Life Foundation as a “Great Defender of Life” for his work against suicide and euthanasia. Wesley’s most recent book is Culture of Death: The Age of “Do Harm” Medicine, a warning about the dangers to patients of the modern bioethics movement.