Immortality: A fate worse than death?

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BY MATHEW PURSER

Digital immortality.

Sounds pretty cool, right?

Making news today is a ‘futurist’ at Google predicting that by 2045 human beings will be able to essentially upload their entire mind into computers and achieve this ‘digital immortality’.

The first thought that immediately springs to mind is “what the ever-loving fuck is a futurist?”. It comes from the latin futuris which of course means to pull things out of one’s arse. That may be paraphrased.

The second thought is far more sobering. With all the concerns and recent revelations of media outlets tapping phone calls and government departments having access to online data seemingly at will, what will they have access to? Will they now have access to our innermost thoughts? Our desires? Our hopes or dreams or fears?

And, once they have access to this information, is there any frame of reference for our thoughts or feelings? Do those of us who have a somewhat dark sense of humour have the ability to mark thought patterns or feelings as “just a joke” or can they be seen, interpreted and acted on as serious risks or impulses by third parties governmental or otherwise?

A punishable offence in 2045?

Then considering this is Google we’re talking about, what about less horrifying but no less insidious possibilities? Considering the data already gathered by them to fuel advertising revenue, where does that end? If they have access to our innermost desires will we see personalised targeted advertising for individuals?

These are admittedly all open-ended almost rhetorical questions and there’s no indication that there is a legitimate possibility of this becoming a reality. Previous predictions of moon colonies and artificial intelligence, among a multitude of others, have been hilariously wrong.

Technology though has evolved at rates unimaginable even mere decades ago so one can only assume if not this technology then something very similar is an inevitability, whether it be in three years, thirty or three hundred.

We can only hope that the human race evolves alongside it to a point where it can be used in a more responsible way than is done with technology in the present day.

Mathew already shares far too much online. To share in his innermost hopes and dreams you can follow him on Twitter here.

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