A research initiative under the code name "Avatar" is opening its San Francisco office this summer, and will be launching a social media project connecting scientists around the world with the unprecedented goal of offering them immortality. Dimitry Itskov, a 31 yr-old media entrepreneur aims to transplant a human brain into a robot body within the next 10 years.
Avatar, the Movie
The human-like robot will become the Avatar, named after the James Cameron movie, where human soldiers used mind control to inhabit the bodies of of alien hybrids as they carried out a war against the inhabitants of a distant world.
This hi-tech experiment would work in four phases.
First is "Avatar A" or the development of robots that can be controlled by the human mind. Following that, and ideally within 10 years, Itskov wants to develop robots or "Avatar B's" that can actually host a flesh-and-blood human brain, via surgical transplant. In twenty years time, things get even more interesting: Itskov anticipates Dimitry Itskov“uploading” the contents of the human brain into a robot turning "Avatar B" into "Avatar C", and yielding eternal life via artificial body. By 2045, he’d like to create "Avatar Ds" to replace those ‘bots entirely — with holograms"
Described in vivid detail on this website, even the Dalai Lama supports Itskov's "2045 Initiative." Recently the serial entrepreneur met with His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, in his residence in Dharamsala, a small mountain town in northern India.
Erring on the side of caution, however, the Dalai Lama believes its crucial to keep ethics in the forefront as Itskov continues his work. “We should carry out these experiments with a full sense of responsibility and respect for life that will only benefit humanity, benefit others,” His Holiness noted.
Itskov has been reaching out to other spiritual leaders as well to start a dialogue about how they could reach harmonious integration with scientists. “It’s important to establish a bridge between scientists and spiritual leaders for a successful transition to a new phase for humanity,” he said.
Separate from scientists moving "2045" along, social media has also been identified for robots "without" human brains. In my recent post, "Will Robots Social Network When They Eclipse Man's Intelligence?" it came to my attention that robots with artificial intelligence will inevitably achieve "Singularity" where they will eclipse man's intelligence. And in so doing, will need their own social networks to communicate.
And according to a new social network catering to robots and their owners, you don't have to wait another 10 to 20 years to find out. Almost like a real-life version of "Back To The Future," launched in December, 2011, MyRobots.com is artificial intelligence's answer to Facebook.
This raises the question: If man has a shot at transferring his brain outside of his body into a robot, will the robots (without human brains) we are creating today become our cousins or on the darker side, a potential new kind of enemy we'll have to spar with in the turf-wars of the future? Your thoughts, readers? Wanna live forever?