While many companies are looking at ways to make us live longer, and perhaps even forever, one startup has a different approach to immortality: turning people into cyborgs instead.
Humai, Inc. is developing technology that will allow human brains to be transplanted into a bionic body.
The company claims that the “Humai” (the name of the bionic body, as well as that of the company) will use a brain-computer interface to communicate with the sensory organs and limbs within the bionic body.
Artificial intelligence will be integrated into the organs so they can be operated independently, with sensor technology allowing the user to “feel the essence of the human experience.”
But wait, there’s more: The Humai will also use genetic engineering to fight the aging process as the brain itself (the only part of you still human) matures, including the use of nanotechnology that offers extensive tissue repair and regeneration “one molecule at a time.”
Naturally the technology isn’t available today, with Humai aiming to bring its product to market by 2045, but there’s good news if you can’t wait that long: the offer of cryogenics that will “extend and enhance life” by freezing human brains until such time they can be defrosted (presumably not in a microwave) and placed into a bionic body.
Founder Josh Bocanegra isn’t as keen on creating brain popsicles, though, as he is on his preferred methodology: transplanting a live person’s brain into a bionic body as it would “achieve a point where no one has to die at all.”
It’s easy to have a little bit of fun with the Humai concept, and the company itself may actually be an elaborate hoax, but it’s important to remember that the smartphones we all have in our pockets today were the stuff of science fiction less than 30 years ago; where we’ll be in another 30 years time no one truly knows.
The idea of human immortality may seem farfetched, but there are now numerous funded startups and groups looking at ways of extending life with solid backing from Silicon Valley investors, including Google founder Sergey Brin’s Project Calico, often described as Google’s attempt to “cure death,” and The Methuselah Foundation backed by legendary investor Peter Thiel, to name but a few.
We’re unlikely to see immortality achieved in the next 20 years, but likewise the possibility of living past 100 to say 150, and doing so well, improves every day as modern science finds new ways of slowing aging, and that’s all before the Singularity hits sometime around 2045-2050, which will literally change everything.
Whatever the answer, cyberborg, cell regeneration or simply slowing aging, we may be among the last generation of humans to have to fear death.
Image credit: craiglea/Flickr/CC by 2.0
Duncan is a co-founder of VC funded media company B5Media and founder of news site The Inquisitr, and was a senior writer at TechCrunch in its earlier days.
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