Against the idea of mortality!
Humans have always been curious about their own existence on earth. Why are we born on this planet? What is the purpose of life? And why do we die? These are some of the questions that great thinkers have tried to answer in the time till now. We have tried to understand how the nature works. But now the Silicon Valley is all set and geared up to challenge the way the nature works. Ray Kurzweil asserts that in future, everyone will live forever.
Surprisingly, the idea itself is not recent, and dates back to at least 1972 with the foundation of Alcor Life Extension Foundation which has been preserving human corpses with hopes of restoring them to full health when hypothetical new technology is developed in the future. As of January 2017, they have over 182 bodies preserved, out of which 33 are animals.
Elon Musk’s new venture Neuralink aims at merging the human brain and AI. Musk has been quite vocal about the fact that if humans have to keep up the advancement of technologies, we will have to augment ourselves. After disrupting space travel and electric vehicle industry by innovating through first principles, he is all set disrupting life itself!
What excites me is the fact that with the advancing technologies, we are actually getting closer to this dream. CRISPR have given humans the ability to edit genomes with unprecedented precision, efficiency and flexibility. This could make curing any genetic disease a possibility, and yes, even designer babies! What’s more? Anyone with internet and $150 can order their own CRISPR kit off the internet!
This has only become possible because of the recent advancement in technology, along with the desire to understand life through first principles. In the next few years, it would be possible to map the exact neural transactions of our brain that would give us unprecedented knowledge of how a human brain works. There is no uncertainty that in future death would be an unknown concept, maybe just a science fiction concept.
But while this has a ton of useful applications, technologies have always been a double edged sword. Having the ability to edit human genome with cheap kits at home can lead to disastrous things. Are we still humans if we’re not even completely biological? What happens when all human beings are part of a computer network?
These are some questions that will become increasingly relevant in the coming years. People would just be against the idea of mortality!