A computer programmer and blogger, Sam Altman, has offered to pay a technology company $10,000, to have his brain chemically frozen and thus bestow eternal consciousness on him.
Altman, who is the president of Y Combinator — a company said to be worth $80bn in market capitalisation as of 2017 — had sold another of his companies, Loopt, for $43.4m, making roughly $5m in profit.
He is also a co-chairman of OpenAI.
For just $10,000, a tech company, Nectome, offers to embalm client’s brain, keeping it from decaying for centuries — maybe even a millennia — until its contents can be uploaded digitally.
However, in order to preserve the brain in microscopic detail, it has to be fresh — really fresh, insinuating that the client would have to die to fulfill his desire.
The 32-year-old Stanford University dropout is one of the 25 people who have splashed the cash to join a waiting list at Nectome, which promises to upload client’s brain into a computer to grant eternal life to their consciousness.
There’s just one (huge) catch: it has to kill the client first.
The process, as described in MIT Technology Review, involves embalming client’s brain for it to potentially be simulated later in a computer.
The living customer would be hooked up to a machine and then pumped full of Nectome’s custom embalming chemicals.
The method is “100 per cent fatal,” claims the company.
“The user experience will be identical to physician-assisted suicide,” Nectome’s co-founder Robert McIntyre revealed to the publication.
“Our mission is to preserve your brain well enough to keep all its memories intact: from that great chapter of your favourite book to the feeling of cold winter air, baking an apple pie, or having dinner with your friends and family,” writes Nectome on its site.
“We believe that within the current century, it will be feasible to digitise this information and use it to recreate your consciousness.”
The reality, however, is that physician-assisted suicide is currently only legal in five out of 50 US states, and individuals seeking it must have a terminal illness, as well as a prognosis of six months or less to live.
As barmy as it sounds, the idea of uploading our consciousness into a computer is gaining ground among techies and scientists.
Futurologist, Dr. Ian Pearson, said in 50 years’ time, humanity will be able to transfer our brains to the cloud (for online storage).
(Fortune, Sun, Wiki)