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 |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 7 )
Related News Stories -
Skin Electronics Can Show Electrocardiogram
'... the young men in the streets who applied polyimde OLED body film to their bared shoulders.' - Chen Qiufan, 2019.
Neurodevices For Consumers? Neuroethicists (And Philip K Dick) Say 'Caveat Emptor'
'They tried to use it today and it wouldn't work. No colors and no ceph patterns, neither one...' - Philip K. Dick, 1977.
BrainEx Restores Some Activity To Severed Pig Head
'... they placed the brain in a special solution, having all the properties of Nursing the brain cells.' - Edmond Hamilton, 1929.
Purdue Pharma Ready To Profit From OxyContin Use Or Addiction Recovery
'It may be organic damage. It may be permanent. Time'll tell, and only after you are off Substance D for a long while.' - Philip K. Dick, 1977.
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.
China Deploys Robot Traffic Police
'The robot came up smooth and fast as a rocket...'
Better Than Dune Chromoplastic? This Guy Might Have Done It
'But when Old Father Sun departs, the chromoplastic reverts to transparency in the dark.'
Gather, An AI Warehouse Inventory Drone Startup
'It extended three of its tiny arms sideways to lock onto the registration pins...'
China's Artificial Intelligence-Enhanced Education
'The grey gas not only cut off his vision, but also his other senses...'
Orbital Manufacturer 'Made in Space' Gets $73 Million NASA Contract
'Mass-produced in the orbiting factories...'
Soli Gesture Tech Will Be In Google Pixel 4
'I enjoy watching this way, but - He waved his hand and the circuit switched abruptly.'
Uber Eats Pairs Cars With Drones
Fresh grub? Let's hope they aren't delivering grubs.
Space-Based Solar Power Roundup
SF writers popularized and elaborated on this idea a generation before the first patents were filed.
Lost Language Meanings Found By Machine Learning
'The autopilot would need data before it could begin a translation...'
'Aerogel' Sheets For Martian Gardens
'Sealed to the ground along all the sides, Honey, he growled...'
France's 'Red Team' Of Science Fiction Authors
'They're the only experts we have.'
Dim The Sun With Stratospheric Controlled Perturbation Experiment
'Those twin volcanoes; d'ye see them, Mr. Renner?'
Mashambas Skyscraper Farm Design Wins
'...a towering eighty-story structure like the office In-and Out baskets stacked up to the sky.'
Self-Driving Tractors From China Plan Ahead
'Machines that seemingly with full consciousness walked out into the fields to do their daily work.'
Jet-Powered Hoverboard Works!
L'audace, l'audace, toujours l'audace!
Nobe 3-Wheel Electric Vehicle Parking Like I, Robot
Spidercar, Spidercar, does whatever a spidercar does.
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories