Building robotic life-extension shells (for real)

If Dmitry Itskov has his way, the human lifespan will soon no longer depend on the limitations of the human body. Itskov, a Russian tycoon and former media mogul, is the founder of the 2045 Project — a venture that seeks to replace flesh-and-blood bodies with robotic avatars, each one uploaded with the contents of a human brain. The goal: to extend human lives by hundreds or thousands of years, if not indefinitely.

2045 project because he wants this all to be achieved by then. A tad optimistic I think, given this timeline available on

Even “Avatar A” looks ridiculously optimistic, even though I believe this will be possible “someday”.

This will open a whole new can of morality. For instance, if you kill someone who just had his mind backed up into his avatar, is it still murder, or merely vandalism?

And who gets priority access to the dwindling resources in the year 3,000 AFSM*: a new bona fide baby, or a seventh incarnate artistic genius?

  • Anno Flying Spaghetti Monster

Better yet, what if you don’t kill him right after he backs up? Which him is the real him?

As for resources, you’d expect an Avatar to use resources vastly different than that of a newborn baby. At the point that this project is “complete”, you presumably would just need energy to sustain your life. And if you run out, you wouldn’t die. You’d just be switched off until you’re supplied with energy again. With adequate “backup” strategies it would become extremely difficult to actually kill someone.

Hopefully at that point our energy would come from either solar or fusion, both sustainable and scalable.

In fact, you might make the case someday that converting all of humanity to run on solar power would be GREAT for the environment. Hmmm, actually, you’d still need the resources to build the avatar, and I can imagine people upgrading their avatar every couple of years much like we upgrade cellphones and cars.

It does open some scary doors though… what happens if someone hacks your mind, or a backup of your mind and then kills you. How would you know “you” hadn’t been altered? Moreover, if the US govt. is currently spying on everyone’s digital communications… what would prevent them from doing the same with your thoughts if they could?

BoogieMonster: All good points. I short, the very idea of such avatars is a science fiction writer’s dream, and one can imagine SF stories ranging from the multilayered paranoia of Philip K. Dick to philosophical musings on what exactly an individual is if there can be multiple, slowly diverging copies of him, to comedies in which a man and woman who cannot stand each other accidentally get uploaded to each other’s avatars.

Would you insure yourself with Sanlam or Santam? Would your dog still want to go for a walk with you? Would you have a gender? Would you crave for chocolates? There are lots to ponder.

Hopefully the former. Otherwise you’ll be required to lock yourself in a garage every night. :wink:


You probably wouldn’t care about night and day.