Thanks for the memory
By Nick Farrell: Monday 23 May 2005, 06:30
A LEADING British futurologist believes that it will be possible to download your brain into a supercomputer, in about 50 years.
Ian Pearson, head of the futurology at BT told the Observer that such technology will be possible for the very rich in about 50 or so years. The rest of us will have to wait, but of course we will have more interesting lives to record.
He said that will mean that when you die it’s not a major career problem, you just work from inside the computer rather than having to use a monitor. His rationale is that Sony’s new PlayStation 3 is 35 times more powerful than the model it replaced, and in terms of processing is "one per cent as powerful as a human brain".
So if this rate of growth keeps going then in 50 years we should have a computer which can take a brain dump and run like one. This was a notion peddled in the 1970s.
Pearson thinks that the next computing goal would be replicating consciousness. His crystal ball also forecasts that computer systems will be able to feel emotions so that aeroplanes will be programmed to be more terrified of crashing than their passengers, meaning they would do whatever possible to stay airborne.
Of course they might have phobias, or be permanently depressed. So in 50 years we could be living for ever, totally miserable, locked inside a Dell supercomputer bought by our relatives to keep us alive. Suddenly the future does not look so good. µ
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