Dead elites are planning to live on in cyberspace by uploading their cloned brains to computer systems which will eventually take the form of artificially intelligent robots.
If you think this sounds like science fiction, then take a look at the work of Martine Rothblatt, the transgender founder of Sirius and America’s highest paid female CEO.
She created a rudimentary copy of her wife’s brain and uploaded it into a life-like robot.
Rothblatt predicts that within 20 years, mind clones will be humanity’s biggest invention.
The concept of cloning dead people’s brains and re-animating them in physical form has been the plot of numerous science fiction films and television shows, notably Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror, which portrayed a dystopian near future in which a grieving wife resurrects her dead husband by talking to an online version of his personality.
In the plot, this clone is subsequently transferred to a physical robot likeness of her husband, although the cloned version is devoid of all the intrinsically human traits that she once loved him for.
Futurist Ray Kurzweil envisages a future in which bodies will be replaced by machines within 90 years and people will become digitally immortal.
Kurzweil lays out the plan for this transhumanist utopia in his book The Age of Spiritual Machines, which accurately predicted the arrival of the iPad, Kindle, iTunes, You Tube and on demand services like Netflix years beforehand.
Throughout the book, Kurzweil communicates with a fictional character called Molly who is living through all the different time periods Kurzweil anticipates, from 2009 to 2099.
By 2029 Molly has dumped her loving but pathetically human husband Ben and chosen instead to pursue an intimate relationship – including virtual reality fornication – with her artificially intelligent lover George – a computer program.
By 2099, Molly has uploaded her own brain into a computer program and merged with George to create a hive mind – one that now has sex with itself.
When Kurzweil questions ‘Molly’ about whether or not the new creation truly represents the original Molly – whose human body has long since perished and been replaced by a virtual reality projection, the Molly/George hive computer mind gets defensive and swears that it really is the original Molly.
The dialogue ends with Kurzweil basically insinuating that he too would like to have sex with the Molly/George assimilation, leaving the reader with the impression that Kurzweil’s obsessive pursuit of singularity is not merely a desperate attempt to hide from the fear of death, but also a weird kind of sexual fetish.
According to Kurzweil, humans who resist the pressure to become part of the transhumanist singularity or are unable to afford to do so will be ostracized from society and treated as second class citizens.
If you had the choice or could afford to do so, would you upload your own consciousness to a computer? Would you purchase a cloned robot version of a dead relative? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.