– Russian Mogul’s Plan: Plant Our Brains in Robots, Keep Them Alive Forever (Wired, Feb. 29, 2012):
The Pentagon’s new Avatar project, unveiled by Danger Room a few weeks back, sounds freaky enough: Soldiers practically inhabiting the bodies of robots, who’d act as “surrogates” for their human overlords in battle.
But according to Dmitry Itskov, a 31-year-old Russian media mogul, the U.S. military’s Avatar initiative doesn’t go nearly far enough. He’s got a massive, sci-fi-esque venture of his own that he hopes will put the Pentagon’s project to shame. Itskov’s plan: Construct robots that’ll (within 10 years, he hopes) actually store a human’s mind and keep that consciousness working. Forever.
“This project is leading down the road to immortality,” Itskov, who founded New Media Stars, a Russian company that runs several online news outlets, tells Danger Room. “A person with a perfect Avatar will be able to remain part of society. People don’t want to die.”
Itskov’s project, also called “Avatar,” actually precedes the Pentagon’s. He launched the initiative a year ago, but recently divulged more details to a group of futurists — including Ray Kurzweil — at a three-day conference, called Global Future 2045, held in Moscow.