Eternal life is the immortal obsession of mankind. Egyptian Pharaoh builds pyramids for resurrection; Qin Shihuang sends Xu Fu overseas to find immortal elixir; 16th-century Spanish explorer De Leon tries to find the spring of constant spring; in recent decades, attempts to freeze the body and imagine one day’s recovery have been common … Director Woody Allen said: “I don’t want to get immortal through my work, I want to live forever.”
Dreams are always there, what if it is realized? According to a recent report by the Washington Post, 78-year-old writer Andrew Kaplan has decided to become the world’s first “digital person”. He will save his memory, emotions, consciousness, and even subconsciousness to the cloud through technical means, and let the virtual self ” Immortal. ” If everything goes according to plan, in the next few decades or even hundreds of years, generations can interact with “Kaplan” through platforms such as mobile devices, listen to his stories, chat with him, ask him questions, and listen to life experiences … …
“Listen to Grandpa’s grandpa”
”Parents have been dead for decades, but I find that I still miss them, and I really want to ask them some advice, or just to get comfort.” Kaplan told the Washington Post, “I think this This impulse will never disappear. ”
Kaplan’s life is different from many others. During the Third Middle East War, he served in the US Army and then the Israeli Army, and the CIA repeatedly tried to recruit him. Later, he became the president of a technology communications company, and government agencies and some large companies were his customers. He is better known as a screenwriter and spy novelist, and is widely known for his spy thriller series Scorpion and Homeland Security.
By making an artificial intelligence version of himself, Kaplan hopes to contribute his life-long experience to help children and grandchildren even after his physical death. “My son is in his thirties, and I hope that the” virtual me “is valuable to him and his children.” Let me hear what Grandpa and Grandpa say. ”
Kaplan claimed to be” Little Mouse “. “Being a pioneer at my age is a bit unexpected. But why not?” He commissioned a startup called “The Afterlife” to create his own avatar AndyBot. This avatar will always exist and allow future people to access its memories.
”Afterlife” ‘s website reads: “Our goal is to capture people’s spirits and make them immortal.” The company was co-founded by Sonia Talati and James Frajos, a former personal estate consultant The latter is an artificial intelligence designer known for creating “daddy robots” programs.
Flajos’ father died of cancer. A few years later, the father’s voice remained on the phone at home, “because my mother couldn’t bear to let my father’s voice disappear.” To help his mother get out of grief, Frajos designed the “Daddy Robot”, a family that allows the family to hear their father talk about life, sing, and tell jokes at any time.
As news spread, many people found Flajos, hoping to create a similar program for their loved ones. This allowed Flajos to see business opportunities and decide to enter the untapped virtual human market and create a “afterlife.” Kaplan gladly accepted the startup’s offer to become the first “digital man” in history. A slogan from the “Latter Life” company deeply moved him: “Never lose the person you love.”
Compared to the simple “Daddy robot”, the products promoted by the “Next Life” company are more complex and humane. Virtual models can communicate and interact with humans at a deep level, just like real people live. For example, if your grandmother answers a lot of questions about her childhood, marriage, and important events in the “afterlife” company, the company can transform and reshape her voice and even the logic of logic into audio through data algorithms.
Afterlife company website said that more than 44,000 people have signed up, hoping that they or their loved ones, like Kaplan, will “live indefinitely” in the form of intelligent avatars.
In 2045, eternal life will become a reality?
Russian billionaire Dmitry Izkov speaks politely and is even a little shy. However, one of the most commonly spoken words to him is: “Are you crazy?”
Compared to the exploration of the “afterlife” company, the “Russia 2045” plan, also known as the “Avatar” plan, launched by Izkov in 2011 Ambitious and wild. The plan claims that it will extend human life through advanced technology until the “immortal body” is achieved. More than 5,000 researchers and volunteers participated in the program.
According to the New York Times, “Avatar” is planned to be carried out in four phases: the first phase (to 2020), to build a robot that can be remotely controlled by the human brain; the second phase (by 2025), the person who has passed away The brain is transplanted to the robot; in the third stage (by 2035), an “artificial brain” that can store personality and memory is developed; in the fourth stage (by 2045), a true “virtual human” is created, that is, a human Thoughts, consciousness, and feelings, but without physical holograms.
Itzkov was inspired by the Hollywood science fiction movie Time Machine. In that movie, the hero crosses the earth 800,000 years later and actually meets a friend he met in the 21st century. It turns out that this friend is a “virtual person” who looks exactly like a real person, has human emotions and memories, but is actually a large database driven by nuclear energy, which has witnessed hundreds of thousands of years of vicissitudes of life.
Google’s chief futurist Ray Kurzweil also firmly believes that 2045 is the “singularity” of machine intelligence to challenge human intelligence, and everyone’s brain can be converted into digital storage before the end of life. The US “futurology” website claims that 86% of Kurzweil’s predictions on technological development have come true in the past 30 years. Will all prophecies about “2045” be fulfilled? Right now, there are only three months left until the end of the first phase of the “Avatar” plan, and the plan’s official website does not give the latest progress. In any case, for some people who desire longevity, waiting for a plan that will not succeed until 2045 at the earliest seems out of reach. Many people have chosen a more “traditional” strategy: freezing themselves, hoping that advanced technology will “pull themselves back into this world.”
So far, there is no scientific evidence that the dreams of resurrection can become a reality. Irish writer Mark O. Cornell calls “eternal humans” in “Becoming a Machine,” and their stories are diverse. Some cases are cited in the website of the New Republic Magazine: a biomedical expert regards death as a disease that can be cured; a neuroscientist dedicated to “uploading” thinking, hoping to create “emotional machines”; A social activist has called for the drafting of the Transhumanist Bill of Rights to ensure that “humans, sentimental artificial intelligence, electronic humans, and other advanced intelligent life forms are given equal rights to avoid involuntary suffering “… Cornell wrote with a critical eye:” The concept of ‘future’ has always been the source of wealth, the more abstract and vague it is, the more profitable it becomes. ”
Eternal life: the weight that human beings cannot bear
The dead have died? Humans do not agree. However, the ethical dilemma brought by the pursuit of “eternal life” is equally unbearable. As the “futurology” website puts it: “A better self will live forever in the world, will it bring more panic?” Any technology is a double-edged sword. While bringing progress, it often means crisis.
It is generally feared that if “eternal life” becomes a reality, people who have more money and power will have more capital to transform themselves, class consolidation will intensify, and social conflicts will intensify.
”The New Republic” quoted Bill Gates as saying in a speech: “While we haven’t gotten rid of malaria and tuberculosis, rich people are investing in living longer and even in pursuit of immortality, which is too selfish. It is true that a series of experiments in pursuit of eternal life are also part of scientific and technological progress, and its researchers claim that their work will benefit all mankind. But the question is: what will the future look like? Who belongs to the future?
Eternal life will also pose huge challenges to law, ethics and social relations. The New Republic states that if the average human life expectancy is extended to 100 years or more, social, economic and environmental changes will occur dramatically. Assuming that the “baby boomer” generation can vote for another 50 years, what will the political landscape of a country become? If people retire at the age of 65 and then live another 100 years, what will the retirement protection system look like?
”The pursuit of transhumanism coincides with the unprecedented fragility of Western democracy.” The New Republic wrote that the wealth of today’s world is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a small group of people. The future has been uncertain, but for many people today The future is particularly bleak. Imagining a future in which the superhumanistic aspirations come true seems to be an exciting thought experiment, but the excitement will soon ebb: “Too little land, too many people, and if human brain information is from a century ago, They will all become obsolete software as they are uploaded. ”
Canadian ethicist Rachel Halliburton also wrote in Kapton Watch:” Odysseus was given eternal life, but he refused “Because of his limited life, the joy and sorrow, success and failure of this Greek hero have meaning. The article goes on to question: “If we can live forever, what is the purpose of eternal life? Is it just to increase the subjective pleasure we have? For some, this is the full meaning of eternal life.”
Stephen Hawking expressed his concerns over the pursuit of eternal life many times before his death: “For humans, the rise of artificial intelligence can be described as ‘unsuccessful and benevolent’.” Hawking pointed out, “But whether it is ‘successful’ or ‘seriously’, anyone can Can’t tell. “