Silicon Valley’s Quest to Immortality
Death — “It’s natural, it’s the goal of life,’ ” Kurzweil says. “But that’s not really how we feel when we hear that someone we love has died.”
The question: “what is the fundamental you that is you?”
Is it mind? — a lot of people seem to think so. But if that’s true, can the human mind only exist in a human body, a 1.5kg mass of brain made up of mostly water?
Could it exist somewhere else?
Yes. This is what Google’s resident futurist and famed inventor Ray Kurzweil thinks. He says humans are just a few scientific breakthroughs away from achieving eternal life.
Mr Kurzweil said, “I believe we will reach a point around 2029 when medical technologies will add one additional year every year to your life expectancy.”
and he also believes it will go far beyond, choosing the year 2045 for full eternal life, “The nonbiological intelligence created in that year will reach a level that’s a billion times more powerful than all human intelligence today.”
Kurzweil isn’t one to doubt. Many of his predictions have been true, or not far off. Although a couple predictions never came true. There’s actually a whole wikipedia dedicated Kurzweil’s predictions. You can read them here.
Beware technological singularity though— also, simply, the singularity — a hypothetical future point in time at which technological growth becomes uncontrollable and irreversible, resulting in unforeseeable changes to human civilization. It may be happening right now.
If eternal life is developed in Silicon Valley how would it change human civilization? and who would have access to it?
From a philosophical perspective, many believe that death gives meaning to life… but does it?
Why do people want to find eternal life. Here is an argument for eternal life:
Death is a great robber of meaning. It robs us of love. It robs us of ourselves. Death is a tragedy.
Yet many humans, when asked, would choose death over eternal life. The wish to preserve life as we know it, even at the cost of dying, is profoundly human. To remain as we were created.
Death is in a sense, the mother of beauty.
But could this beauty last forever if we never died?
I’d love to hear your input on eternal life and technological singularity.
Friend, Tad. “Silicon Valley’s Quest to Live Forever.” The New Yorker, The New Yorker, 9 July 2019, www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/04/03/silicon-valleys-quest-to-live-forever.