Russian plutocrat wants to create machines with human minds

Posted by Nick Farrell

In what looks like a Dr Who plot made real, a Russian billionaire wants to use his wealth to build a cyborg. Dmitry Itskov, who does not own a zeppelin, wants to make humans immortal by merging them with machines.

In 2011 he founded the 2045 Initiative which is his deadline to make "substance-independent" minds to receive artificial bodies.

We guess Itskov would be knocking on a bit by that time so might even be a starter for the first few transplants.

His ultimate goal is to be able to transfer a person's mind or consciousness from a living brain into a machine with that person's personality and memories intact.

It means that a person would exist in a network similar to the internet and be able to travel at the speed of light all over the planet, or even into space.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Itskov has mapped out several key steps with the first goal to create an Avatar using a brain-machine interface. He has until 2020 to do that and he is not far off.

Avatar B, due 2025, would involve transplanting a human brain into an artificial body "at the end of one's life".

That is a similar plot to a Dr Who episode where, on an alternative earth, humans are perfected by shoving their brains into machines by a genius billionaire who cannot face his own mortality.

Of course the risk of merging your consciousness with a machine is that you might lose all your humanity, or get involved with wars with other cyborg type forces like the daleks.

By 2035 Itskov thinks that by the time Avatar C rolls around in 2035 he can keep all human personality intact. To achieve this step, it will be necessary to create a computer model of human consciousness.

By 2045, Itskov hopes the Initiative will have learned enough about the human mind to free it completely from physical form. From the internet-like hive mind, individual personalities could manifest themselves as holograms when they need to interact with their environment.

Itskov is going to need a lot of money, and his billions probably aren't enough. He is hitting up other billionaires but didn't make much progress and recruiting scientists to his cause to support to push society's transition to "neo-humanity".