Paranormal Phenomena

Billionaire plans to live forever by uploading his personality to a robot

Molecular Thoughts

Money can buy you immortality, according to the Russian internet multi-millionaire who is ploughing a fortune into a project to create a human that never dies.

Web entrepreneur Dmitry Itskov is behind the “2045 Initiative”, an ambitious experiment to bring about immortality within the next 30 years by creating a robot capable of storing human personalities.

The group of neuroscientists, robot builders and consciousness researchers say they can create an android that is capable of uploading someone’s personality.

Mr Itskov, who has made a reported £1bn from his Moscow-based news publishing company, is the project’s financial backer.

“Different scientists call it uploading or they call it mind transfer. I prefer to call it personality transfer” – Dmitry Itskov​

They believe that robots can store a person’s thoughts and feelings because brains function in the same way as a computer.

It would work by uploading a digital version of a human brain to an android – effectively rebooting a person’s mind – which would take the form of a robotic copy of a human body or, once technology has developed, a hologram with a full human personality.

Mr Itskov, who at 35 has amassed a fortune from his internet media firm New Media Stars, says he is “100pc sure it will happen”.

He told BBC Horizon in a documentary that airs Wednesday: “If there is no immortality technology, I’ll be dead in the next 35 years.”

The project’s first step is to create a robot that can be controlled using the mind.

The documentary-makers travel to California, where a quadriplegic Californian man, Erik Sorto, is attempting to control a robot arm with his thoughts.

“The ultimate goal of my plan is to transfer someone’s personality into the new artificial carrier,” Mr Itskov told the Horizon documentary, writes The Sunday Times.

“Different scientists call it uploading or they call it mind transfer. I prefer to call it personality transfer.”