Thursday, 2 May 2013

Transplanting a human brain into robot bodies

Transplanting a human brain into robot bodies?
It doesn't just sound like science fiction; it sounds like bad science fiction. But that’s what ambitious Russian Dmitry Itskov claims to be working towards. Granted, this isn’t a technology that is currently available but Itskov plans to have it running in the next 10 years  well before all those billionaire baby boomers punch their final ticket. He says his technology will be of interest at first to the 'disabled and close to dying'.

The Russian entrepreneur heads a hi-tech research project called 'Avatar' and has contacted billionaires to offer them immortality. Itskov claims he will personally oversee their immortality process, in exchange for an undisclosed fee. Itskov, a media entrepreneur, seems to have hired 30 scientists to reach this goal - and aims to transplant a human brain into a robot body within 10 years.

'You have the ability to finance the extension of your own life up to immortality. Our civilization has come very near to the creation of such technologies it's not a science fiction fantasy. It is in your power to make sure that this goal will be achieved in your lifetime, says Itskov in a letter delivered to billionaires listed in Forbes magazine.

'This project is leading down the road to immortality,' says Itskov. 'A person with a perfect Avatar will be able to remain part of society. People don’t want to die.' He hopes to then 'upload' minds without surgery, leaving human bodies as empty husks as their owners 'live on' inside robots.

'The next effort of science will be to create a new body for the human being,' says Itskov, speaking at the Global Future 2045 conference. 'It will have a perfect brain-machine interface to allow control and a human brain life support system so the brain can survive outside the body.'

'The third phase will be to create an artificial human brain,' he says - a computer environment into which human minds can be uploaded. His final goal, he says, is to upload human minds into holographic bodies. Holograms give plenty of advantages. You can walk through walls, move at the speed of light, he says.

Itskov says he wants to work with DARPA  the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency in the U.S military. DARPA is already  researching ways for its troops to use their minds to remotely control androids who will take human soldiers' place on the battlefield. The Pentagon's hi-tech research arm, has earmarked $7million for research into the project, also nicknamed Avatar.

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