I haven’t seen anything from Dmitry Itskov since 2016ish. There is no update that I can find anywhere: not the project websites, not on social media. I think he’s a visionary, but has nowhere to go with the vision right now because the science is not there yet. There’s so very much we don’t understand about the brain and consciousness.
With three+ years of silence, there’s a good chance that the initiative is dormant or defunct. I even checked with the immortal.me website and emailed their team requesting a status update. I have not heard back as of this time.
While the ideas were cool and the timeline ambitious, I think they were developed prematurely. These short term goals depend on a significant amount of progress. While I believe that technology is going to sky-rocket in the next 20 years, we simply cannot understand the direction that will go from our current perspectives.
So the summary of what The 2045 Initiative wanted to accomplish is this:
Among the featured life-extension projects, the first is to create a humanoid robot dubbed “Avatar”, and a state-of-the-art brain-computer interface system. The next phase consists of creating a life support system for the human brain and connect it to the “Avatar”. The final phase of this project is to create an artificial brain in which to transfer the original individual consciousness into.http://2045.com/faq/
I think the advanced BCI (Brain Computer Interface) is not that far off (see Neuralink). I think creating a robotic host that will house a brain that can control it is closer to reality than fiction. The next phase is where it loses me: creating an artificial brain and transferring consciousness into it.
Transference at this time is the proposed “uploading” of a digital copy of the brain to some sort of computer hardware, such as in the movie Transcendence. But is that really immortality?
For example, based on my understanding right now, creating a separate copy of your consciousness doesn’t mean you live on indefinitely. You still die. But a reasonable copy of you could potentially be created.
Consciousness is a fluid pattern of bio-chemical reactions in your brain. Digitizing every aspect of the brain, down to the molecular level would only make a static “snapshot” of the brain at a given frame.
So lets say we have a brain image file. If it is going to exist on a computer network, it will need some sort of emulator to execute it. It’s no longer brain matter, so that fluid biochemical consciousness will not function as just a digital image alone. You have to have some program that is emulating a biological brain using the data from the image scan.
But would a single emulator software be able to accurately simulate the environment that the original brain was functioning in? Of course, we can only speculate the answers to that. That brain was receiving a massive amount of data every second delivered from a nervous system in a body. If all of that input was suddenly no longer there, would the consciousness simulation function or would it go into some sort of shock, lock up and crash?
Our brain is a conscious AND a subconscious. Our brain is constantly controlling not only our heartbeat and breathing, but every single organ and muscle in our body. Unfortunately, it’s not just as simple as “uploading consciousness” because we simply don’t fully understand consciousness. And the ethics considerations with human experimentation isn’t going to speed things up in that field.
A more likely scenario may be taking the scan of your brain and decoding the memories so that data can be fed into a fresh AGI. It will then not only know everything you had stored away in your brain, but can also extrapolate behavior from reviewing how you reacted to things and then become a working simulation of you from the point of the scan.
I think the common conception of immortality is that of a singular consciousness with continuity of existence. That type of immortality will likely be realized through the fields of biology, genetics, and efforts in anti-aging. It will be about keeping the brain healthy and preventing it from growing old and dying.