Become a Robot & Live Forever

According to a futurologist, by 2050, humans will be able to integrate their brain or mind data into computers which can be encased in a humanoid robot and thereby live forever. As with many revolutions, the roots of this emerging symbiosis between man and machines run deep. 

In 1960, the visionary psychologist and computer pioneer JCR Licklider wrote of his hope, "that, in not too many years, human brains and computing machines will be coupled together very tightly, and that the resulting partnership will think as no human brain has ever thought and process data in a way not approached by the information-handling machines we know today." 

Licklider helped to launch the information revolution of the past half century, but the full realisation of this particular dream had to wait a few decades for two technology trends to mature. Today, some futurologists talk about adding external computing capability to human brains to create enhanced capabilities so that ultimately the majority of the human brain might be runs running on external IT rather than the organic matrerial of the human brain. This human-computer mind-meld will be “seamless”, says Dr ID Pearson, who is a member of a network of technology futurologists called Futurizon. So seamless, in fact, that by the time the ORGANIC  IS ready to die, there will be no need to “upload” your mind to cloud, “it simply grows into the new platform seamlessly and as far as you are concerned”.

In other words, he says the mind is “very much still you” and that data can be transferred or connected to a humanoid robot, or “android”.

Pearson does not use the word “clone” but many eminent scientists predict human cloning will happen within 50 years and Pearson is mainly talking about digital clones. “In principle, you can swap bodies as often as you like, because your mind is resident elsewhere, the android is just a temporary front end, just transport for sensors. You’re sort of immortal, your mind still running just fine, for as long as the servers carry on running it.”

Pearson speculates that to faciltate this  process, private companies might retain some rights over replication, ownership and licensing. This would enable them to make money from your mental qualities.

  • 3D printing is now capable of using material which is similar to human flesh and skin, so the androids Pearson envisages could be hyper-realistic.
  • It could also be that not only will the companies store you mind data, they could also have your genetic code, which they could recreate to use to build your android.

Companies that do these things could also subvert your mind, your appearance and remake you as the exact opposite of what you are, but leaving some recognisable element of you in their creation. Such a situation is the subject of a recent film, called Marjorie Prime and cloning is often featured in feature films, such as in 'The Matrix'.

Pearson offers some fascinating ideas. He doesn’t use the words “artificial intelligence”, which could be worrying because it implies that human essence can be distilled into the basic computer programming code, a whole load of if-then and do-while loops. 

In other words, the technology necessary to replicate humans in highly accurate detail already exists.

But should companies or anyone be allowed to go ahead and bring all that technology together and produce highly realistic human-like androids that are indistinguishable from actual, natural-born humans? Even if most people answer no, some of them probably think that it will happen some point in the future.

Currently Artificial intelligence (AI) is being developed that can replace school tutors, fitness trainers and financial advisers.
Big tech companies are expanding the use of artificial intelligence. Both Facebook and Google are relying on AI to remove more inappropriate posts since the companies' human content moderators can't review certain things from home. A 2017 report by global consultants McKinsey predicted a third of workers in the US would be replaced by automation and robots by 2030. Critical events like the Coronavirus pandemics clearly have the potential to change the timeline and it's really up to humans to decide how they want to integrate this technology in the world.

Machines have been displacing humans on job tasks for several centuries, and for seventy years many of these machines have been controlled by computers. 

While the power computers have improved over many orders of magnitude, the rate at which human jobs have been displaced has remained modest and relatively constant. This is likely because human jobs vary enormously in the computing power required to do those jobs adequately. This suggests that the rate of future job displacement may remain relatively constant, even if computing power continues to improve exponentially.

It is certainly to be hoped that AI will work to optimise, augment and improve human activities and experiences, to save human labour and save human lives via health advances and the reduction of risks and of poverty.  The hope is that AI that it will spur innovation and broaden opportunities, increase the value of human-to-human experiences, augment human capabilities and increase many individuals’ life satisfaction

BBVA Open Mind:     Robotic and Automation News:        Wired:       BBC:       PewResearch:         Image: Unsplash

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