Many people have dreamt of immortality. Dmitry Itskov says it will come from a combination of technologies that will transfer his brain and soul into an avatar. A project he decided to devote his fortune to.
While many companies are trying to improve our lives or the near future, a Russian billionaire sees further.
In 2011, Dmitry Itskov created 2045 Initiative, which aims to bring together scientists around the world to find the way to move our brains and consciences in robotic avatars. "In thirty years, we will live forever," he recently told the BBC .
This may seem absurd or presumptuous, but the young billionaire is confident of its success to the point that he abandoned the business world to devote to this project.
"I am 100% sure to get there otherwise I will have started such an adventure", he asserts. And to those who would care for his motives, he says he did it "for the good of humanity."
The plan of the billionaire is divided into four stages. The first taking place between 2015 and 2020 will create a controllable robot via a brain-computer interface, the second (2020 to 2025) will transplant a human brain into an avatar, the third (between 2030 and 2035) will the possibility of transplanting the personality of a human being in this avatar and the last (between 2040 and 2045) will create holographic avatars.
So he put part of his fortune into the financing of research and wants to use advanced technology to discover the secrets of the human brain and then download the mind of an individual in a computer to bypass the biological constraints of the body .
In his adventure, which is extremely close to science fiction, he is accompanied by many scientists including specialists in robotics, artificial organs and neuroscience such as Dr. Randal Koene, Scientific Director 2045 Initiative, who believes that "this project is in theory, possible – extremely difficult but possible." For Randal, Dmitry Itskov is not crazy… but visionary.
That said, how the human brain works is a mystery and how it generates our thoughts is even more so. "The biggest challenge will be to understand how to move from a cluster of cells in a universe of thoughts, our memories, our feelings," says neurobiologist Rafael Yuste of University of Columbia in the United States.