I'm part of the last generation to die - thoughts on Transcendence
April 10, 2014
Thinking today about the movie, "Transcendence" with Johnny Depp, based on Ray Kurzweil's work. The basic idea is that we will soon be able to upload our consciousness into the cloud (or a hard drive I suppose, if it has the storage) when we die. So our physical bodies may die, but a great deal of the stuff (memories, 'personality' etc) that makes us us, can live on in a digital/virtual format.
So in the future my kids can have their house's temperature automated by a Nest (thermostat) and I can wish them goodnight from the great beyond. How weird will THAT be? Also - big thought for me this morning. My generation (I'm 45) may be the last generation to die. Meaning, this transcendence thing may not fully happen until 2030 or so. I'll still be around at that point (I hope), but not sure who will have access to this tech first (or of course I'm sure - rich people will). But I genuinely believe this will happen in our lifetime.
This concept brings up SO many questions for me. Will people voluntarily "kill" their physical bodies at a young age if they get some kind of government subsidy because they're keeping population down and not taxing our resources? Will people "upgrade" their entire bodies versus using cosmetic surgery? They could also put their consciousness into a really hot robot. That's kind of appealing. Eat too much at Thanksgiving? Change your robot skin!
Last question along these lines - what happens if you delete someone's consciousness by mistake? We've all lost data or files or pictures or whatever. My assumption is hackers of the future will try to delete the consciousness of people, or perhaps even hold them hostage for money. Yes, dystopian but I'm honestly trying to work this stuff out in my brain to figure out how to deal with it now before we start seeing ads for this. Which the movie, "Transendence" essentially is.