Russian tycoon wants to move mind to machine

Posted on June 17, 2013
Russian billionaire Dmitry Itskov speaks to the Global Future 2045 Congress, Saturday, June 15, 2013 at Lincoln Center in New York. Some of humanity's best brains are gathering in New York to discuss how our minds can outlive our bodies. The conference is funded by a Russian billionaire with an aggressive time schedule: immortality by 2045. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Russian billionaire Dmitry Itskov speaks to the Global Future 2045 Congress, Saturday, June 15, 2013 at Lincoln Center in New York. Some of humanity’s best brains are gathering in New York to discuss how our minds can outlive our bodies. The conference is funded by a Russian billionaire with an aggressive time schedule: immortality by 2045. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Can the City That Never Sleeps become the City That Never Dies? A Russian multimillionaire thinks so.

Dmitry Itskov gathered some of humanity’s best brains—and a few robots—in New York City on Saturday to discuss how humans can get their minds to outlive their bodies. Itskov, who looks younger than his 32 years, has an aggressive timetable in which he’d like to see milestones toward that goal met:

— By 2020, robots we can control remotely with our brains.

— By 2025, a scenario familiar to watchers of sci-fi cartoon show “Futurama:” the capability to transplant the brain into a life-support system, which could be a robot body. Essentially, a robot prosthesis that can replace an ailing, perhaps dying body.

— By 2035, the ability to move the mind into a computer, eliminating the need for the robot bodies to carry around wet, messy brains.

— By 2045, technology nirvana in the form of artificial brains controlling insubstantial, hologram bodies.

The testimony of the neuroscience experts invited to Itskov’s Global Future 2045 conference at Lincoln Center in the New York City’s Manhattan borough indicate that Itskov’s timetable is ambitious to the point of being unrealistic. But the gathering was a rare public airing of questions that will face us as technology progresses.

Is immortality desirable, and if so, what’s the best way to get there? Do we leave behind something essentially human if we leave our bodies behind? If you send your robot copy to work, do you get paid?

Japanese robotics researcher Hiroshi Ishiguro’s presentation started out with a life-size, like-like robot representation of himself on stage.

The robot moved its lips, nodded and moved it eyes while a hidden loudspeaker played up Ishiguro’s voice. Apart from a stiff posture and a curious splay of the hands, the robot could be mistaken for a human, at least 10 rows from the stage.

Read more at: Phys.org