Google Engineer Thinks We’ll Be Immortal Soon

    June 17, 2013
    Zach Walton
    Comments are off for this post.

Immortality has always been seen as beyond our grasp as a species, but one Google engineer doesn’t think that will necessarily be the case in the near future.

Ray Kurzweil, director of engineering at Google, recently spoke on immortality and advances in technology at the Global Future 2045 World Congress in New York. He predicts that advances in medicine and science will bring about longer lifespans than was previously possible in just a few decades.

Kurzweil says the secret is looking at the human body as if it is software that needs to be reprogrammed:

“There’s already fantastic therapies to overcome heart disease, cancer and every other neurological disease based on this idea of reprogramming the software. These are all examples of treating biology as software…These technologies will be a 1000 times more powerful than they were a decade ago…These will be 1,000 times more powerful by the end of the decade. And a million times more powerful in 20 years.”

In the coming decades, Kurzweil sees the average life expectancy of humans to skyrocket:

“The life expectancy was 20 one thousand years ago…we doubled it in 200 years, this will go into high gear within 10 and 20 years from now, probably less than 15 we will be reaching that tipping point where we add more time than has gone by because of scientific progress. Somewhere between 10 and 20 years, there is going to be tremendous transformation of health and medicine.”

Kurzweil’s statements may sound familiar to you if you’ve been following Russian billionaire Dmitry Itskov’s 2045 Initiative. It’s no coincidence then that the Global Future 2045 World Congress shares the same year as Itskov’s plan as he funded the event. His goal is to bring together futurists, scientists and researchers from around the world to find the secret to immortality. His ultimate goal is to upload the human consciousness to “an Avatar with an artificial brain.” It’s not your traditional old man Taoist immortality, but it’s definitely far more believable.

[h/t: Business Insider]
  • Jacob Schlueter

    Personally, I’d rather have exchangeable “flesh and bone” bodies than non-organic androids.

    I think the idea of abandoning our organic bodies will make us no longer human. What’s the point of immortality if you’re no longer human?

    All that said, it’s still an interesting claim, and I hope I’m fortunate enough to see how it plays out one way or another.

    • Jacob Schlueter

      Actually, to clarify, I don’t really consider abandoning our organic bodies to be “true” immortality, but this seems like it may be a reasonable stepping stone in that pursuit.

      I’d be more interested in potential methods to remain within organic, humanoid bodies, even if those aren’t necessarily the same as the organic bodies within which we were born. But even then, I wouldn’t really call it “true” immortality. I’ll reserve that for remaining in one’s original organic body for an indefinitely long lifespan.

  • http://Agrigento.dbakeca.com bakeca Agrigento

    very nice post….interesting topic

  • http://about.me/aeronmike Mike Aeron

    the brain transfer will probably fail. the effects will surge decades later.
    zombie apocalypse. LoL

  • Alex Wojtak

    What makes him think we’re 7 years away from being able to keep a brain alive outside of the body? The biological challenges to that would be staggering. We still know so little about tissue rejection, and even if someone came up for a cure for cancer today, it would take ten years to get through the approval process to bring it to market. We struggle to get inert items that can be placed in the body, and he’s talking about a procedure that would place a brain in an environment where everything is foreign, deal with every rejection issue, and get approval in 7-12 years? He’s insane. And that’s ignoring the fact that this wouldn’t even stop illnesses like Alzheimers, cancer, meningitis, or a whole host of possible pathogens attacking a brain with no immune system and no method of generating mood influencing chemicals our bodies currently supply.

  • http://idpcampus.org/idp-school/home.html Idpschool

    these type of research help specially on during organ transplantation rejection problem. in future we can reduce medical expense and cost of operation

  • PghBob

    There are numerous holes in this idea and timeline. A good bit of the expanding life expectancy of humans has to do more with better food, cleaner water, better medicine, fewer predators, etc. than fancy new life extension tech.
    They have yet to “hack” the human brain in any significant way. This sounds more and more like some cheesy 1950s sci-fi movie than a realistic near-term accomplishment. A lot of science needs to be done before this is a reality.
    The item left out of all this… who would benefit from the immortality process? Most likely only the very rich. Let’s not get too excited about this, it’s conjecture at this point. I doubt anyone will pay to make a poverty stricken crack addict immortal.

  • sciencemile

    Sounds good; always figured I’d either live until 50 or I’d live forever.