Don’t get hit by a bus before 2029 arrives. Interviewed via the Sun, is Ray Kurzweil’s optimistic two-decade time frame perhaps influenced by his own advancing age (61)? He says:
I and many other scientists now believe that in around 20 years we will have the means to reprogramme our bodies’ stone-age software so we can halt, then reverse, ageing. Then nano-technology will let us live for ever.
Already, blood cell-sized submarines called nanobots are being tested in animals. These will soon be used to destroy tumours, unblock clots and perform operations without scars. Ultimately, nanobots will replace blood cells and do their work thousands of times more effectively.
These technologies should not seem at all fanciful. Our phones now perform tasks we wouldn’t have dreamed possible 20 years ago. When I was a student in 1965, my university’s only computer cost £7million and was huge. Today your mobile phone is a million times less expensive and a thousand times more powerful. That’s a billion times more capable for the same price. We will experience another billion-fold increase in technological capability for the same cost in the next 25 years.
In 2008 we discovered skin cells can be transformed into the equivalent of embryonic cells. So organs will soon be repaired and eventually grown. In a few years most people will have their entire genetic sequences mapped. Before long, we will all know the diseases we are susceptible to and gene therapies will mean virtually no genetic problems that can’t be erased.
It’s important to ensure we get to take advantage of the upcoming technologies by living well and not getting hit by a bus. By the middle of this century we will have back-up copies of the information in our bodies and brains that make us who we are. Then we really will be immortal.
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