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Global Future 2045 Conference in NYC - what will we look like in 32 years?

Posted: Thu, June 13, 2013 | By: Events

by David Kekich

The big longevity news over the past several weeks is this weekend’s Global Future 2045 Conference in NYC.

There’s been tons of publicity, even in mainstream media. This is surprising on one hand, since the 2045 initiative is so extreme. But it shouldn’t have surprised me, since sensationalism sells newspapers and magazines.

Also, the organizer, Dmitry Itskov, is a Russian multimillionaire who made his fortune in online media. So he’s not a rookie when it comes to promotion.

Dmitry Itskov
Dmitry Itskov

In a nutshell, his initiative is developing mass production of lifelike, low-cost avatars that can be uploaded with the contents of a human brain by 2045, complete with all the particulars of consciousness and personality.

Obviously, he needs lots of money to realize his dream. I met with him and some of his team last year, and we discussed the funding needs among other particulars. He wanted to solicit billionaires to join him in his quest.

My advice to him was that he will turn off nearly every person he talks to outside of the transhumanist and futurist communities with his ambitious goal. I encouraged him to use a more understandable and more easily assimilated approach, such as extending healthy lifespans, and then to work his way up the ladder once he has established relationships with potential funders.

Apparently my advice fell on deaf ears, and I totally underestimated this young quiet entrepreneur.

He has attracted a spectacular lineup of 34 speakers, many of whom are internationally renowned scientists and spiritual leaders. These associations give him tons of credibility which will make it easier to open billionaires’ doors.

And if influential people take his proposal seriously, that will make it all the easier for us to propose something as “conservative” as the end to aging. So the best of luck to you Dmitry.

Is it personal wealth that he’s after? Seemingly not. He’s already well off. What he may be is one of the world’s more ambitious utopians. As he stated, “We need to show that we’re actually here to save lives. To help the disabled, to cure diseases, to create technology that will allow us in the future to answer some existential questions. Like what is the brain, what is life, what is consciousness and, finally, what is the universe?”

I wish I could attend the fascinating conference. If any of this interests you, it may not be too late for you to get a ticket.

Meanwhile, I’ll plug away on the biology of human aging. I’ll be 102 in 2045, so I need to help make something happen long before then.


More on Dmitry Itskov and the 2045 Initiative -  Monday, June 3, 2013

The technological aim of the program is to move out of our biology and into durable, ageless machine bodies and minds as quickly as possible - though of course an upload of you is not you, but rather a distinct copy. 

That will not prevent people from choosing to create uploaded copies of themselves when the option becomes available, and will not diminish the enthusiasm of those who belief that a copy of you is you. Moving from a biological mind to a machine mind without copying or destroying yourself would have to be a much more gradual process, perhaps by a slow replacement of individual neurons and synapses with more resilient nanomachines that serve the same purpose. 

The technologies needed to enable these goals are distant but not implausible - there is a lot of work between here and there. I might not believe that Itskov’s vision is the best way forward towards greater longevity, but I do think that we would all benefit from the existence of a good many more ambitious utopians of this sort.

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