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]