The human way to reach immortality…

Over the last few years, as I wrote, I have never given spotlight towards artificial intelligence. However, recently as I watched my favorite TV show ‘Scorpion’ my interest towards this subject grew.

So before I begin, you may wonder the exact definition of artificial intelligence (AI). According to AlanTuring.Net, “AI is usually defined as the science of making computers do things that require intelligence when done by humans.” But then other questions arise as we identify this subject. For example, how do people define intelligence? Again according to AlanTuring.Net, “Mainstream thinking in psychology regards human knowledge not as a single ability or cognitive process but rather as an array of separate components.”

With this knowledge in mind, I would like to discuss the main focus of today’s article. “The human way to reach immortality.” Humans have been on a constant journey towards an ‘immortal’ life. Some could argue this desire to live forever is related to the origin of scientific studies.

 

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Emperor Huangdi in search of immortality.

Historically the pursuit of immortality began with the notorious Emperor Huangdi searching for ways to become ‘immortal’ which resulted in the discovery of dangerous mercury. Even centuries after the search for eternal life did not end on safe terms.

In fact, I remember last year reading an article about tech titans in Silicon Valley trying to make humans immortal. These companies are taking medical, biological approaches to “cure” death by inventing ways to print organs or fight age-caused diseases. So, where does artificial intelligence play a role in the search for immortality?

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Movie – Transcendence

This film was the first personal encounter with the idea of becoming immortal with the help of “artificial intelligence.” In the film, Doctor Will Caster (cast by Johnny Depp) is shot by a group of “anti-technology” people. The doctor’s fiancé, desperate to keep her husband alive, drives to finish her husband’s work on artificial intelligence. She later succeeds in uploading her husband’s consciousness online.

 

 

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Scene from TV show – Scorpion

 

Another time I have seen the drive to have the AI mimic the human brain was in my favorite TV show – Scorpion. Scorpion is a TV show about a group of geniuses solving real-life problems that the U.S. government or individuals experience. In the show, the main character( Walter O’ Brien )’s sister suffers from an incurable disease. As a top worldwide genius, O’ Brien conducted months of research to have AI to preserve his sister’s brain.

Last but not least, the MARVEL movie, Age of Ultron, was also a war between the world’s superheroes and a man-made artifical intelligence.

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Avengers: Age of Ultron

 

 

These fictional struggles with the artificial intelligence to mimic the human brain reveals modern science’s direction. In sooner time, I believe scientist will be able to decrease the technical gaps between the human brain and computers. But I am also aware of the public doubts in this area. “How can a simple machine made by us become like us?”

So how does this work?

The human brain is a sophisticated processing unit. It can perform quite important tasks. Computers struggle to emulate complexity of human brain by the help of an AI tool – Neural Network. Neural Network derives from the biological background of the brain consisting millions and millions of specialized cells called neurons. Unlike any other cell, the neuron is unique. It connects to different neurons through synapses. The neural network, an approach from AI, in short, is the simulation of the neural system of the human brain.

The journey won’t stop… 

Although human technology seems to be getting closer to emulate the brain in fictions and reality, the journey is just at the beginning. Multiple years and decades of research are required before scientists can understand the full capacity and patterns of the brain. Even if scientists are able to do so, there are ethical questions to follow. Do people have the right to preserve their identity and consciousness through the help of technology? If people do, who would regulate these ‘technical’ people? The government? Private companies? We never know.

-Bibliography-

“Classical History Project.”                            AP WORLD HISTORY. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Feb. 2016.

“Artificial Intelligence Neural Networks.” Www.tutorialspoint.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Feb. 2016.

Isaacson, Betsy. “SILICON VALLEY IS TRYING TO MAKE HUMANS IMMORTAL—AND FINDING SOME SUCCESS.” Newsweek. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Feb. 2016.

Images from Google