Culture & Ethics
Pre-Order Immortality Now! (It’s Only 8 Years Away, Apparently)
Ray Kurzweil, former Google engineer, thinks that humanity is a mere “eight years away” from achieving immortality. No, he’s not a spiritual leader predicting the eschaton. He’s not telling you to seek union with God and achieve immortality the old-fashioned way. He thinks we’ll be able to live forever via age-reversing “nanobots.” These “tiny robots” will correct damaged cells and make us immune to disease, thus leading to radically increased human longevity. Stacy Liberatore writes at the Daily Mail,
Now the former Google engineer believes technology is set to become so powerful it will help humans live forever, in what is known as the singularity.
Singularity is a theoretical point when artificial intelligence surpasses human intelligence and changes the path of our evolution, LifeBoat reports. Kurzweil, an author who describes himself as a futurist, predicted that technological singularity would happen by 2045, with AI passing a valid Turing test in 2029. It is a test of a machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behavior equivalent to, or indistinguishable from, that of a human. He said that machines are already making us more intelligent and connecting them to our neocortex will help people think more smartly. Contrary to the fears of some, he believes that implanting computers in our brains will improve us. ‘We’re going to get more neocortex, we’re going to be funnier, we’re going to be better at music. We’re going to be sexier’, he said. ‘We’re really going to exemplify all the things that we value in humans to a greater degree.’STACY LIBERATORE, HUMANS WILL ACHIEVE IMMORTALITY IN EIGHT YEARS, SAYS FORMER GOOGLE ENGINEER | DAILY MAIL ONLINE
Efforts to increase biological longevity (if not total immortality) are funded at places like Altos Labs, which both Elon Musk and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos are involved in. Peter Biles covered Altos Labs and similar operatives in this piece here, and considered the following questions: Who could afford the technology? Are the futurists delusional in thinking we can actually achieve immortality?
On a more philosophical note, greater length of physical life doesn’t solve the more fundamental, existential questions of meaning and purpose that we all have as human beings. Would living forever in a utopian technological society really be as great as the transhumanists insist?
Cross-posted at Mind Matters News.