Companies Develop Technology to Cure Disease, Upload Personalities
The medical profession has taken some bad raps over the years. Particularly the saying that goes ” If they cured you, then they would have no customers.” And that is partly true, but medicine is bringing about in vitro cures in great numbers. The ability to adjust our DNA, by switching one of the four letters, AGCT, and with the help of stem cells, they are making miraculous advancements. They, meaning scientists, are pretty sure they have found a cure for sickle-cell anemia, as featured on the latest episode of 60 Minutes. So it’s not hard to look down that road and wonder how many diseases or disabilities will medicine be able to eradicate? Maybe build a superhuman while they are at it.
Now, technology is also being considered for the external platform to eternal life. Yes, they are inventing ways to upload your personality into the computer, or possibly the cloud.
You with all your quirks and everything else that makes you work. Yes, YOU could become, as the Moody Blues once opined, magnetic ink.
According to Elon Musk, anyone on earth using a cell phone with regularity is already a cyborg. And he is right. We no longer rely on just human brain electricity and memory banks. We have become one with our phones and our phones are one with us. The computing power we lean on daily for accurate information or storage of our visual snapshots has raised our individual and herd consciousness.
So the next step would be a neuro-link between us and the computer. It’s being done as I write this line. AI is being used in prosthetics, skateboards and stationary bicycles. AI learns how the users operate the product and adjust to find an ideal ratio of response for the human. Real cyborg stuff.
Now moving on. The next step I put to you for consideration is the uploading of the human mind into the computer before the body dies. This is where it all gets tricky.
Without going into the nuts and bolts of this kind of uploading, here are some thoughts about what it might be like to experience being able to live forever. This digitaltrends.com story explores six ways technology is working to extend lives. People are already living longer, but with gene therapies and other tech, lives could be substantially lengthened, according to a story in Forbes.
Basically, let’s imagine you’re 88 years old and the ol’ ticker is failing and could stop at any minute. Your doctor has discussed the possibility of you being uploaded, and you have decided to proceed with it. ZAAAAP. Now your heart fails, but you’re still very much alive in what we can call The System. What do you think that might feel like? Or maybe better put, would you feel anything at all?
With your meat suit or corpse removed and discarded, you might expect science could digitally provide for your senses. Being involved with state of the art digital recording, I know it’s possible to create sounds you never dreamed of or recreate the exact sound of any speaker, microphone or amp. Electric drums that feel and sound so close to acoustic drums you can’t hear or really even feel the difference between them.
But can science imbue your uploaded spirit with the feel of the first few raindrops that splat on your arm or the top of your head, gently yet brightly? The smell of this rain must be included in this search for our new-found electronic existence. The slight pull of the mud on your shoe when you step out into that worn spot by the porch, can that be sent to your ‘cloud existence,’ relayed in such a way that your body-less spirit can feel that light tug or pressure?
In this electronic existence, I suppose you could still interact with friends and family on a screen. Maybe you’ll be put into a robot/android body and get to move around. That might be the next level technology could reach. Quantum computing and AI will do things we can’t even comprehend, even while we are still perfecting them.
So I ask, which will make you immortal first, technology or medicine? If it were possible to upload your conscious mind into the Tron world, would you like to live forever in that state?
I’ll get back to you as soon as I figure out how I feel about that. In the meantime, check out this video: Elon Musk appears on Joe Rogan’s YouTube channel talking about the personality upload, or Neuralink, right around the 25-minute mark.