Futurist Gets Around To Digital Immortality

Ian Pearson, head of the Futurology unit at BT, claims that the wealthy will be able to download their minds into computers by 2050. Science fiction writers have been making the same claim since the 1960's.

"If you draw the timelines, realistically by 2050 we would expect to be able to download your mind into a machine, so when you die it's not a major career problem,' Dr. Pearson stated. “If you're rich enough then by 2050 it's feasible. If you're poor you'll probably have to wait until 2075 or 2080 when it's routine. We are very serious about it. That's how fast this technology is moving: 45 years is a hell of a long time in IT."

Dr. Pearson bases his belief at least partially on the observed advances in computer-based intelligence; computers should have sufficient power to equal human intelligence within the next fifteen years.

SF writers have had fun with this kind of prediction since the 1960's. A very early reference to the idea of downloading your mind into a robotic body can be found in a 1965 comic called T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents. Anthony Dunn was a scientist who developed a way to electronically place his mind into the computer brain of a robot, cheating death. He became NoMan, able to transfer his mind from one robotic body to the next at will.


(From NoMan can download his mind)

David Brin's 2002 novel Kiln People allows people to imprint their personalities on android copies that last only a day - ditto blanks:

The sensible thing, as always, would be to send a copy. But my place is too far from the Teller building. My little home kiln couldn't thaw and imprint quickly enough to make Blaine's rendezvous.
(Learn more about imprinting.)

An example of being able to make a backup copy of your mind can be found in Richard Morgan's 2003 novel Altered Carbon.

"You can't kill me just by wiping out my cortical stack."

"You've got remote storage. How regular is the update?"

Bancroft smiled. "Every 48 hours." He tapped the back of his neck. "Direct needlecast from here into a shielded stack over at the PsychaSec installation at Alcatraz." (Read more about the cortical stack.)

You can also download your mind into a synthetic sleeve, an android body.

Read more of an interview with Dr. Pearson in Download the mind by 2050. See also this review of David Brin's Kiln People.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 5/28/2005)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 7 )

Related News Stories - (" Medical ")

iFlytek Doctor Robot First To Pass Medical Exams
No problem, we'll just use the autodoc.

Watch What People Are Seeing Via Brain Scanning
'had managed to see through the other man's eyes as the other man, all unaware, washed their Zis limousine sixteen hundred meters away...' - Cordwainer Smith, 1958.

PRIMA Bionic Vision Restoration
'The VISOR... was a medical device used in the Federation to aid patients who have suffered loss of eyesight...'

Targeted Neuroplasticity Training For 'Downloading Skills'
'I know kung-fu.'

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

A 'Genuine Nanorobotic Production Factory'
'Microscopic machinery, smaller than ants, smaller than pins, working energetically, purposefully - constructing something...'

Neuromorphic Computer Offers Non-von Neumann Architecture
Fires faster than brain at 1/10K energy.

Evorus Your Crowd-Powered Conversational Assistant
'...the DS [Daily Schedule] was suddenly transformed into a valued confidante.'

Mealworms Food Of The Future
Get your grubs on.

Alibaba's AI May Read Better Than You
'Mike ... could accept other languages and was doing technical translating - and reading endlessly.'

Musk's Boring Flamethrower
'Skeletons in tatters. Burned by a flesh gun'

Humanity Star LEO Advertisement?
'Everyone has noticed those enormous advertisements...'

Nissan ProPILOT Slippers Are Self-Parking, Autonomous
Beyond science and fiction.

Atomristors - Atomic Memristors - Using Thin Nanomaterials
'I could almost feel those little tunnel junction neuristors working, forming their own interconnections as I operated it.'

Bigelow Prepares Inflatable Lunar Hotel
'Suddenly, hitherto unheard-of sums of money became available for investment in civilian orbital stations.'

Drunk Driver Of Tesla Claims Autopilot Was In Charge
'Mr. Garden, you are in no condition to drive.'

Medical Exoskeleton From Cyberdyne Gets FDA Approval
It's been a long road for HAL-5; I started writing about it in 2005.

Fungi-Infused Concrete Repairs Itself
'I noticed that curious mottled knots were forming, indicating where the room had been strained and healed faultily.'

Shiftwear Display Shoes
'He unlaced her shoe and glanced at its readout.'

NASA SEXTANT First With X-Ray Nav In Space
'You need at least four beacons for an accurate fix.'

GM Introduces Cruise AV With No Steering Wheel
'How about the steering wheel?' ... 'I do not need one.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.