Immortality has been a dream of human beings since the dawn of time. Mankind´s fascination with cheating death is reflected in scientific records, mythology, and folklore dating back at least to ancient Egypt.
Now, Ray Kurzweil, a former Google engineer, claims that humans will achieve immortality by 2030 – and 86 percent of his 147 predictions have been correct.
Kurzweil spoke with the YouTube channel Adagio, discussing the expansion in genetics, nanotechnology, and robotics, which he believes will lead to age-reversing “nanobots.”
These tiny robots will repair damaged cells and tissues that deteriorate as the body ages and make us immune to diseases like cancer.
The predictions that such a feat is achievable by 2030 have been met with excitement and skepticism, as curing all deadly diseases seems far out of reach, the Daily Mail notes.
Kurzweil was hired by Google in 2012 to ‘work on new projects involving machine learning and language processing,’ but he was predicting technological advances long before.
In 1990, he predicted the world’s best chess player would lose to a computer by 2000, and it happened in 1997 when Deep Blue beat Gary Kasparov.
Kurzweil made another startling prediction in 1999: he said that by 2023 a $1,000 laptop would have a human brain’s computing power and storage capacity.
Now the former Google engineer believes technology is set to become so powerful it will help humans live forever, in what is known as the singularity.
AI to help humans in the quest for immortality
Kurzweil, an author who describes himself as a futurist, predicted that technological singularity would happen by 2045, with Artificial Intelligence passing a valid Turing test in 2029.
This tests a machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behavior equivalent to, or indistinguishable from, that of a human.
He said that machines are already making us more intelligent, and connecting them to our neocortex will help people think more smartly.
Contrary to the fears of some, he believes that implanting computers in our brains will improve us.
“We’re going to get more neocortex, we’re going to be funnier, we’re going to be better at music. We’re going to be sexier,” he said.
“We’re really going to exemplify all the things that we value in humans to a greater degree.”
Rather than a vision of the future where machines take over humanity, Kurzweil believes we will create a human-machine synthesis that will make us better.
The concept of nanomachines being inserted into the human body has been in science fiction for decades.
In Star Trek, tiny molecular robots called nanites were used to help repair damaged cells in the body.
More than ten years ago, the US National Science Foundation predicted “network-enhanced telepathy” – sending thoughts over the internet – would be practicable by the 2020s.
“Ultimately, it will affect everything,” Kurzweil said.
“We’re going to be able to meet the physical needs of all humans. We’re going to expand our minds and exemplify these artistic qualities that we value.”