At the recent Global Future 2045 International Congress held in Moscow, 31-year-old media mogul Dmitry Itskov told attendees how he plans to create exactly that kind of immortality, first by creating a robot controlled by the human brain, then by actually transplanting a human brain into a humanoid robot, and then by replacing the surgical transplant with a method for simply uploading a person’s consciousness into a surrogate ‘bot. He thinks he can get beyond the first phase--to transplanting a working brain into a robot--in just ten years, putting him on course to achieve his ultimate goal--human consciousness completely disembodied and placed within a holographic host--within 30 years time.
Pushing aside all the extremely difficult technological challenges for a moment, there are a couple of important to considerations tied up in Itskov’s vision. First, while the later phases of his project are so far out as to seem ridiculous, phase one is totally feasible (in fact it’s already being done). From there, the leap to phase two--human brainpower transplanted into a mechanical robot--is a quite a leap. But if we are willing to allow that it might be possible even within the next 30 years, then we have to consider a further possibility: that many people alive today--like the twenty-something author of this piece--could be confronted with this kind of technology in their lifetimes.