Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Man to attain immortality by 2045


 Hold on, hold your fire. This has nothing to do with any religious chicanery. This is no end of time, rapture or apocalypse article. This is about the emergence of supercomputers, the end of the human era as we know it- or as the futurists put it, the technological singularity.

Now, I know it sounds like some Sci-fi/Star wars jargons. That’s because it started as a star wars jargon in a Sci-fi novel. But, think about all we have been able to achieve with technology within this century, it has be nothing short of phenomenal. The level of development of processors, flying cars (Yes, there are flying cars), North Korea’s hydrogen bomb, oops.. I do digress.
What is technological singularity?

Vernor Vinge introduced the term Technological Singularity in his science fiction novel “Marooned in Realtime”(1986) and later developed the concept in his essay “the Coming Technological Singularity “(1993). His definition of Singularity is widely known as the event horizon thesis and in essence says that trans or post-human minds will imply a weirder future than we can imagine.
Ray Kurzweil went ahead to state clearly the simplest definition of technological singularity.
“… a future period during which the pace of technological change will be so rapid, its impact so deep, that human life will be irreversibly transformed. Although neither utopian nor dystopian, this epoch will transform the concepts that we rely on to give meaning to our lives, from our business models to the cycle of human life, including death itself.”

Basically, the pace of technology, which has increased at an exponential rate in the last century, will get the human race to the stage where computers will become self-aware. This would be the last and most significant technological achievement of man. At this stage, Computers would have the ability to think on their own, out think humans, most importantly; they will be conscious of that fact.

The implications are;

1. Man would no longer have the brain power to develop computers. Computers, being self aware will develop itself.

2. Man would have to depend on computers to develop him, the creation becomes the creator. The beginning of the age of trans-humanism, merging of man and machine (biotechnology, neurotechnology, nanotechnology).

3. The problems associated with aging would be solved, making immortality possible.

Ray Kurzweil believes so much in the Technological singularity that he joined the Alcor Life Extension Foundation, a cryonics company. In the event of his declared death, Kurzweil plans to be perfused with cryoprotectants, vitrified in liquid nitrogen, and stored at an Alcor facility in the hope that future medical technology will be able to repair his tissues and revive him. According to the rate of technological development, that future is 2045.

Whether you see it as an attainable goal or a science fiction jargons, there are thousands of futurist and trans-humanist dedicating their strength and resources to the technological singularity. Hollywood’s futuristic movies already feature self aware computers. The possibility of a self aware computer was explored in the movie “Transcendence”.

Every man has an innate need to exist forever. Men of faith  depend on religion for immortality, either as a saint in heaven, or a sinner in hell. Men of science depend on technological singularity for the same goal. Existence will appear pointless without an after life. “Let us die young or let us live forever”.

No comments:
Write comments

Popular Posts


News (618) Technology (72) Entertainment (67) Jokes (36) Relationship (28) Lifestyle (26)