Technology has developed so much and is developing further with every single second. It is reaching heights which seemed impossible years ago. Fiction is coming to reality. We could have never imagined that there would come a time where we would be able to call someone who is living on the other side of the world by simply giving a voice command to a bot installed in our phones. But, tech experts these days are pushing their limits and are trying to reach new heights.
Also see is AI a friend or a foe?
Can you upload your mind to a computer?
A Russian millionaire, named Dmitry Itskov has set his mind to make it possible for us to upload our brain to a computer. Yes, it seems bizarre but, he is keen on making it possible. He claims that within the next thirty years, he will be able to make human minds immortal. Dmitry is so confident that he left his business to completely devote his time and finances to this journey.
What made him think this is possible?
This idea came to his mind when he started thinking about how he will be dead within the next thirty-five years which deeply saddened him. This led to him thinking about a technology which could make human beings immortal. His passion to make fiction into reality started in the 1980s. Dmitry tells that it was his dream as a child to fly into the outer space by becoming a cosmonaut. His inspiration comes from a sci-fi novel in which the hero takes a pill of immortality and flies into the outer space.
But how is this even possible?
He states that as human beings get older, their cells start getting weaker which makes us more penetrable by various life-threatening diseases. To cure this, Dmitry Itskov has devised a plan that will bypass our aging. He intends to make use of highly advanced and pioneering science to explore the human mind and then upload it to the computer. This will make the human minds immortal and free from the constraints and limitations of the human body. His idea is pretty similar to Thomas Dietterich’s prediction about human beings turning into superhumans with the help of Artificial Intelligence and exoskeletons. What does he exactly mean by ‘uploading brains to a computer’? Dmitry Itskov explains that he wants to transfer a personality into a computer.
The Mixed Response
Dmitry’s statements and plans have received quite a lot of backlash but, no one has ever commented that his goal is impossible to achieve. Dr. Randal Koene who is a neuroscientist and a professor of memory and brain at the Boston University says Dmitry definitely lost touch with reality and his goal is very difficult to achieve. But, on the other hand, Randal also agrees that the evidence shows that what Dmitry wants to achieve is possible but, with a lot of hard work. He further states, that even neuroscience has yet to uncover such mysteries about the human mind.
Dr. Miguel Nicolelis, who is currently working on developing mind-controlled exoskeletons for paralyzed people criticizes Dmitry’s vision. He states that it is impossible to codify the human emotions like love and hate. The aesthetic yet complex human mind can never be reduced to a digital medium.
Concerns of neuroscience
Neuroscientists suggest that for Dmitry’s plan, they would have to study the brain as a computer. Dr. Ken Heyworth is of the opinion that the easier way to accomplish this mission is to map out the complex connections of the human brain. He believes that this is the only way of learning about the mysteries of our brain. Ken further admits that mapping the human brain with the technology that we have now is not possible. Yuste, from the Brain Initiative, gives us hope by stating that mapping the human brain may become possible within the next fifteen years.
The neuroscientists are skeptical about Dmitry’s plans but, they cannot deny it because they themselves have not yet unleashed the secrets of the human mind.