Nectome, a San Francisco-based tech startup has recently posted an uncanny product proposal. According to the announcement, the company is searching for ‘able-bodied’ patients who would agree to be euthanized and their consciousness uploaded to a computer cloud. The company believes that its uploading memories technique will work but offers no guarantees.
Is it Possible to Upload Memories to a Machine?
Transhumanism or the belief that humankind can evolve far beyond its corporeal form has been fervently discussed throughout the years in various scientific circles. Potentially, an individual’s life-long memories and personalities can be uploaded to a machine, which would make immortality a plausible perspective.
However, such hypotheses have not been empirically confirmed, until now. Robert McIntyre, the co-founder and head researcher of Nectome, a San Francisco-based tech startup, has just announced that his company is marketing a product that could very well prove to be the milestone of transhumanism.
In an interview with MIT Technology Review, McIntyre declared that his company has developed and refined a brain conservation process that not only preserves the organ but the individual’s consciousness as well.
As McIntyre noted, the process’s only caveat is that the human subject must agree to be euthanized beforehand, as the procedure requires a ‘fresh brain.’ The company’s co-founder has won numerous awards for developing a refined brain embalming process, a technique which he demonstrated on a pig.
However, preserving the organ is one thing, but tackling things as fleeting and abstract as memories and personality is something entirely different. For the uploading process to work, McIntyre said that connectomes must be targeted.
Connectomes is an intricate neural web that encompasses both biological and consciousness-related information. The process aims to ‘freeze’ these connectomes and to upload them to a cloud.
In early February, McIntire and his company proved that the process is feasible by deep-freezing and preserving the brain of a recently deceased woman.
Nectome and the company’s uploading memories technique are not sure of detractors who claim that transhumanism is wrong or that McIntire’s attitude of asking patients to kill themselves for the good of science is arrogant and fraudulent.
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