Quoted: Tech billionaires and human immortality

“When I am successful in realizing this mega-project, then I will finally have 10,000 years for numerous hobbies.”

Dmitry Itskov, founder of the 2045 Initiative, which aims to transfer our brains and human consciousness to robot avatars instead of bodies that weaken and die. Itskov is a billionaire who’s known as the godfather of the Russian Internet. He also apparently has plenty of hobbies.

Think tech isn’t working on big problems? Newsweek checks on the progress of the 2045 Initiative and other efforts — including in Silicon Valley — to cheat death. The efforts are funded by other deep-pocketed titans of tech: Peter Thiel of PayPal fame has given money to the Methuselah Foundation, which is working to find drugs that cure age-related damage to the body’s cells. Oracle founder Larry Ellison’s Ellison Medical Foundation distributes grants to those who are researching aging. As we’ve written, Google spinoff Calico‘s stated mission is to “harness advanced technologies to increase our understanding of the biology that controls lifespan.” Google’s Larry Page has also backed Singularity University; co-founders Ray Kurzweil and Peter Diamandis are big fans of immortality — or at least living till 700.

One prospect that seems promising, according to the Newsweek piece: Progress in reversing aging in mice. Also cause for optimism, perhaps, is being able to 3D print organs. And in the “are robots the answer” department, the magazine mentions that Intel “is aiming to have an ‘exascale’ computer — a computer that can operate at the same speed as the human brain — by 2018.”


Photo: Peter Diamandis, left, and Google co-founder Sergey Brin in 2008. (Gary Reyes/Mercury News)


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  • David Gobel

    Methuselah Foundation also runs the New Organ Liver Prize for the creation of fully vascularized and functional livers in large mammals and is the founding investor in Organovo. New parts for people is this decade’s no-brainer advance.

  • RegularGuy55

    I’d think I’d like to work for the Methuselah Foundation. That job would never get old.

    • David Gobel


  • ithakavi

    It is astonishing that smart people cannot recognize their own hubris.