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Aging Part 3 of 3: The Russia 2045 Project
There are some that are not just content to use technology to help extend life but seek to use it to gain immortality. Of course no discussion of aging would be complete without exploring how robots and technology are increasingly mixing with the human experience.
The Russia 2045 project is a project at the far end of the spectrum. Their belief is that global turmoil will gradually force humankind to seek new horizons to preserve itself and that old age may not even be an option. Their goal is to create a new civilization of android avatars in which we could transfer our personalities and intelligence when our mortal body dies – regardless of age.
While it sounds shocking, advances in robotic technology are well documented and increasingly projects all over the globe are combining the human and computer interface to change our experiences. One notable example is the case of the quadriplegic woman who recently was able to take a drink of coffee via a robotic arm using her thoughts – via a neural interface the size of an aspirin implanted in her brain.
So the potential for the mind and machine to talk to each other already exists. Why shouldn’t the technology be able to be refined as the years pass?
The Russia 2045 project is counting on this. They have already created an android prototype of the project’s founder – Dimitri Itskov – a Russian media entrepreneur. It seems to make sense to start with him as he is the man who conceived of the idea and is gathering the scientific minds, including the Russian Federation Ministry of Education and Science, to work on the project.
While the android prototype is in the beginning phases, the Russia 2045 project believes it won’t be long before the androids will become complete copies of us, and at some point could transfer our personality and cognition to them completely. Eventually, the project believes we could create holograms of ourselves that could explore deep space on behalf of our avatars.
All of this, of course, does away with the traditional concept of aging altogether. Our spirit and intelligence could potentially live forever. And while, it sounds bizarre to us now – it is worth considering that the late science fiction author Ray Bradbury predicted many strange concepts over the years that eventually came true.
Aging Will Never Be the Same
With all the work going on around the idea of aging – whether to understand how to cure disease or to send our immortal souls exploring the stars – the only thing we can say for sure it that we will likely never be able to define it the same way again.
We may talk about old age more as quality of life rather than then length of life one day. Our physical years will have been extended and improved. That is a concept that likely everyone would embrace. Whether we want to transfer our intelligence or spirit into androids so that we might live forever in mind and spirit regardless of body is another matter.
One thing is for certain as it is an experience we all share, we all have an interest in the “project” of aging. Expanding the experience and redefining what it means to be “elderly” gives society a gift. By extending their role in society we retain their wisdom, skills and the history and story of “us.”
View Part one of our series "The Longevity Genes Project."
View Part two of our series "The Manhattan Project."
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