Would YOU want to live forever? Expert claims we could extend our lives and become 'virtually immortal' as soon as 2029
- Futurist Ray Kurzweil repeated his long-held beliefs in a recent interview
- He believes that by 2029, humans will be extending their lives
- He also predicts nanobots could help back up our memories to the cloud
- This could also help to expand human creativity and emotions, he claims
Although the idea of living forever seems to be rooted firmly in the realms of science fiction, it may not be the futuristic pipe dream once thought.
Ray Kurzweil, an author who describes himself as a futurist and works on Google's machine learning project, predicts that by 2029, humans will be extending their lives considerably or even indefinitely.
He also believes the human brain could be enhanced by tiny robotic implants that connect to cloud-based computer networks to give us 'God-like' abilities.
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Ray Kurzweil (pictured), who describes himself as a futurist and works on Google's machine learning project, predicts that by 2029, humans will be extending their lives considerably or even indefinitely. He also believes the brain could be enhanced by implants that connect to cloud-based networks to give us 'God-like' abilities
However, he admitted computers won't take over us until they learn to love and laugh.
Mr Kurzweil's views about living forever have been expressed on a number of occassions, but more recently in an interview with Playboy.
The comments build on those he made previously during a discussion in New York with astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.
'When I talk about computers reaching human levels of intelligence, I'm not talking about logical intelligence,' Kurzweil said.
'It is being funny, and expressing a loving sentiment...That is the cutting edge of human intelligence.'
CREATING LIVING ROBOTS
The implants would allow people to send emails and photos directly to each other's brains while also backing up our thoughts and memories.
Mr Kurzweil said they could also expand our capacity for emotions and creativity, and this ability to expand our brains with the information held in the cloud will combine with the power of artificial intelligence to make humans more 'God-like'.
'There is beauty, love and creativity and intelligence in the world, and it all comes from the neocortex,' he explained.
'We are going to be able to expand the neocortex and so we are going to become more God-like.
'We are going to add additional levels of abstraction and create more profound means of expression so we are going to be more musical, we are going to be funnier, we are going to be sexier and be better at expression more loving sentiments.'
He added that it may be possible in the future to use the extra brain power provided by the cloud to multiply human intelligence.
By the 2030s if he met Google co-founder Larry Page, for example, in the street, the technology could provide some assistance.
He said: 'So I'm walking along, and I see Larry Page coming, and I think, "I better think of something clever to say."
'But my 300 million modules in my neocortex isn't going to cut it. I need a billion in two seconds.
'I'll be able to access that in the cloud - just like I can multiply intelligence with my smartphone thousands fold today.'
Tiny robots (illustrated above) that have the capacity to connect our brains directly to the internet could help to give humans God-like abilities, expanding our capacity for emotions and creativity
Scientists developing nano-machines have created capsules of DNA that can change their shape in response to certain conditions in the body and a molecular 'car' that uses balls of carbon as wheels (illustrated)
The concept of nanomachines being inserted into the human body has been around in science fiction for decades.
In the TV series Star Trek tiny molecular robots called nanites were used to help repair damaged cells in the body.
Mr Kurzweil said similar robots could be built out of DNA and injected into the brain.
Last year researchers injected packages of DNA that would unfurl under certain conditions into the bodies of cockroaches.
They DNA origami were described as being the first step towards building basic robots that perform logical operations when it encounters a specific protein – much like a 1 or a 0 from a silicon microchip.
The more DNA robots injected into an animal, the greater the complexity can be achieved, and the researchers from the Bar Ilan University are now working to scale up the 'computing power' so that it rivals old 8-bit computers from the 1980s like a Commodore 64 or an Atari 800.
Scientists at Rice University recently demonstrated a single-molecule 'car', which had buckyballs of carbon for wheels and could be controlled by changes in temperature.
Computer scientist and author Ray Kurzweil claims nanobots could lead humans along an entirely new path of evolution that will give our species new powers of intelligence and emotional capabilities
However, some scientists have warned the effectiveness of such devices will be limited.
Most nano-machines are likely to find more use as ways of delivering drugs to specific cells in the body.
Professor James Friend, a mechanical engineer at the University of California San diego told TheWorldPost that getting approval to inject these into humans may be difficult.
He said would be a great deal of concern about injecting 'swimming mysterious things in your head and leaving them there'.
Other leading scientists and technology experts have expressed fears at the growing use of Artificial Intelligence and called for tighter controls to be placed on its development.
But Mr Kurzweil said nanobots could also help people create realistic avatars with the aid of artificial intelligence.
He said: In the 2030s, we will be able to send nanobots into living people's brains and extract memories of people who have passed away. Then you can really make them very realistic.'
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE 'AS DANGEROUS AS NUCLEAR WEAPONS'
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