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From AI to eternity: Startup promises to scan brains of people consenting to euthanasia, for possible immortality

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Uploaded to computer.You thought AI was just about a robot downsizing your job?

From Antonio Regolado at Technology Review:

Nectome will preserve your brain, but you have to be euthanized first.

Its chemical solution can keep a body intact for hundreds of years, maybe thousands, as a statue of frozen glass. The idea is that someday in the future scientists will scan your bricked brain and turn it into a computer simulation. That way, someone a lot like you, though not exactly you, will smell the flowers again in a data server somewhere.

This story has a grisly twist, though. For Nectome’s procedure to work, it’s essential that the brain be fresh. The company says its plan is to connect people with terminal illnesses to a heart-lung machine in order to pump its mix of scientific embalming chemicals into the big carotid arteries in their necks while they are still alive (though under general anesthesia).

The company has consulted with lawyers familiar with California’s two-year-old End of Life Option Act, which permits doctor-assisted suicide for terminal patients, and believes its service will be legal. The product is “100 percent fatal,” says McIntyre. “That is why we are uniquely situated among the Y Combinator companies.”More.

Perhaps the heirs can get a tax deduction due to savings on government late-life health care expenses. In a naturalist environment, that is the way of the future.

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Why human beings cannot design a conscious machine: Basic physics would suggest that even that single neuron has properties that cannot be duplicated by all the world’s supercomputers running Attoflop simulations.

2 Replies to “From AI to eternity: Startup promises to scan brains of people consenting to euthanasia, for possible immortality

  1. 1
    gpuccio says:


    Have you ever read Clifford Simak’s Why Call them Back From Heaven?

  2. 2 says:

    Call it automaton, golem, automatic pilot, robot or artificial intelligence (AI), the idea that the inert can turn into the living is not new. And if God can make this happen, why can’t the human? While everything is possible in fiction of course, even some of the actual humans creations have been advanced enough for their times to amaze the uninformed into believing these devices have actually crossed the impossible barrier and come alive. But once the uninformed become informed, the performance becomes less compelling if still amusing. In essence we are witnessing an arms race between human imagination and human creativity.

    “Free Will” and “Artificial Creativity” machines have been attempted unsuccessfully by the “singularity” crowd, those vested in a mechanistic view of intelligence. These attempts will continue to fail because Conscience, Willpower, and Creativity are not just regular milestones in a bottom-up progression as imagined in the Darwinian fallacy. Instead they derive top-down from their Creator, no matter how removed the link appears. But in the end, AI is not much different than any other ordinary tool such a hammer.

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