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ETERNAL LIFE? Human minds will be uploaded to super computers in next generation

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
June 19th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Humans will be able to upload their entire minds to computers and become digitally immortal within the next generation. That's the projection of a Google Futurist Ray Kurzweil, who also predicts that the biological parts of our body will be replaced with mechanical parts as shortly as 2100.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic online) - Kurzweil, director of engineering at Google made the claims during his conference speech at the Global Futures 2045 International Congress in New York.

Becoming digitally immortal is an event called "singularity." Technological singularity is the development of "super-intelligence" brought about through the use of technology. "Singularity" was first referred to by mathematician John von Neumann in the mid-1950s.

"Ever accelerating progress of technology and changes in the mode of human life, which gives the appearance of approaching some essential singularity in the history of the race beyond which human affairs, as we know them, could not continue," Von Neumann said.

Kurzweil cited von Neumann's use of the term in a foreword to von Neumann's classic "The Computer and the Brain," predicting that the singularity will occur around 2045.

The Global Futures 2045 International Congress is the brainchild of Russian multimillionaire Dmitry Itskov and featured visionary talks about how the world will look by 2045.

"Based on conservative estimates of the amount of computation you need to functionally simulate a human brain, we'll be able to expand the scope of our intelligence a billion-fold," Kurzweil said.

Referring to Moore's Law, Kurzweil stated the power of computing doubles, on average, every two years quoting the developments from genetic sequencing and 3D printing.

In his book, "The Singularity Is Near," he plots this development and journey towards singularity in a graph.

This singularity is also referred to as "digital immortality" because brains and a person's intelligence will be digitally stored forever -- even after they die.

Kurzweil says that this will be possible through neural engineering and referenced the recent strides made towards modeling the brain and technologies which can replace biological functions.

Expanding on this idea, CEO of bio-tech company United Therapeutics, Martine Rothblatt, introduced the idea of "mindclones," digital versions of humans that can live forever and can create "mindfiles" that are a place to store aspects of our personalities.

"The first company that develops mindware will have [as much success as] a thousand Googles," she says.

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