For decades, scientists have been obsessed with unlocking the secret to immortality. This quest has been funded heavily by some of the biggest names in technology (including Google, Paypal and Oracle), with mounting evidence suggesting that ageing is in fact a disease that can be “cured”.
Whether advancements in technology innovation can aid us to live forever is not a question – we have already proved that it’s possible. In 1900, you’d be lucky to live until 50; today, the average Briton lives until they’re 81 years old.
The limitations of the human physique are what cause ageing – with many deaths related to the physical and cellular changes that occur as time wears on.
The exact nature of our mind and the degree in which it’s tied to our body can be debated. Nothing suggests that it wouldn’t be possible for the mind, as information and awareness, couldn’t be preserved beyond the physical body.
Some scientists believe that by encoding the brain into an exact software replica, it would be able to function as a preserved consciousness. And, by uploading the mind to a computer, a form of immortality would be achieved, as the computer can be indefinitely repaired or the mind replicated across multiple computers.
The only drawback preventing further research in this field is the current state of computing power. Neuroscientist Dr Hannah Critchlow says that if a computer could be built to recreate the 100 trillion connections in the brain, it would be possible for a human to exist inside a programme.
Dr Critchlow from Cambridge University said: “If you had a computer that could make 100 trillion circuit connections, then that circuit is what makes us us…so, yes, it would be possible.”
By 2018, it is likely that this scale of computing will become common, allowing full-scale simulation of the human brain.
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