Spoilers ahead for those who aren't caught up, but last season of Game of Thrones ended with a true Caesar outcome for all-around-hero (and potential Azor Ahai) Jon Snow. But unlike Caesar, today HBO teased the apparent resurrection of the character in the show's April Season 6 premiere. That plotline might be as far-fetched in reality as it may seem, but to find out, we spoke to one optimistic startup company called Humai, that is pursuing actual resurrection for human beings with a target of the next 30 years.
Some hope to extend the human lifetime indefinitely. Singularity proponents hope that eventually we'll be able to upload our consciousness to computers. Now the company Humai aims to bring people back from the dead. From their website:
We're using artificial intelligence and nanotechnology to store data of conversational styles, behavioral patterns, thought processes and information about how your body functions from the inside-out. This data will be coded into multiple sensor technologies, which will be built into an artificial body with the brain of a deceased human.
If it sounds like something out of science fiction, that's because it is.
The challenges are significant: taking a dead brain and bringing it back to life; wiring up the brain so that it can control a silicon-based machine; and trying to replicate that vital thing that is you--your personality, your past experiences, your mind. We wouldn't bet on this thing working, at least not anytime soon. But (hopefully) it won't hurt to try. To find out more about Humai's quest for immortality, we sent a few questions to Josh Bocanegra, the CEO and founder of Humai.
Our biggest question: how?
Our mission is fairly simple to understand but obviously difficult to execute. We'll first collect extensive data on our members for years prior to their death via various apps we're developing. After death we'll freeze the brain using cryonics technology. When the technology is fully developed we'll implant the brain into an artificial body. The artificial body functions will be controlled with your thoughts by measuring brain waves. As the brain ages we'll use nanotechnology to repair and improve cells. Cloning technology is going to help with this too.
Death seems binary. How do you know we're making progress?
Every step we take toward understanding how to get your thoughts to control an artificial body will be huge progress. I'm confident that in the process we'll develop a technology that will even save lives. However, the ultimate test will be when we perform the first surgical procedure to implant a human brain to an artificial body.
Where does the biology and computer science meet?
The short answer is: Bionics, nanotechnology and artificial intelligence. I think the body has limitations and I don't believe the body was evolved with the best possible functions. I think an artificial body will contribute more to the human experience. It will extend the human experience. So much so, that those who accept death will probably change their mind.
What does your staff look like?
There are 5 of us in total. We have one person working on A.I. We have 2 researchers. One who is focused on bionics and sensors. The other is focused on A.I. and nanotech. And finally, we have an ambassador who is forming a team of educators to help educate the public about Humais' mission and the technology being used. I do a bit of everything but I'm mainly focused on strategy. We're setting up meetings now and over the coming months to recruit team members.
Are you funded by any other organizations?
As of now, I've only put in my own money into this company. We'll be looking for outside funding in the coming months.
What's your timeline for resurrection?
We believe we can resurrect the first human within 30 years.
Why fight death?
I don't think of it as fighting death. I think of it as making death optional. I personally can't imagine why anyone would want to die but I respect their wishes.