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Quote: A Russian billionaire has revealed controversial plans to upload his own brain and become immortal by 2045.
32 year-old Dmitry Itskov believes technology will allow him to live forever in a hologram body.
His '2045 initiative' is described as the next step in evolution, and over 20,000 people have signed up on Facebook to follow its progress, with global conferences planned to explore the technology needed.
We are in the process of creating focus groups of experts,' said Itskov.
'Along with these teams, we will prepare goal statements and research programs schedules.'
The foundation has already planned out its timeline for getting to a fully holographic human, and claims it will be ready to upload a mind into a computer by 2015, a timeline even Itskov says is 'optimistic'.
'The four tracks and their suggested deadlines are optimistic but feasible,' he said of the foundation's site.
'This is our program for the next 35 years, and we will do our best to complete it.'
The ultimate aim is for a hologram body.
'The fourth development track seems the most futuristic one,' said Itskov.
'It’s intent is to create a holographic body. Indeed, its creation is going to be the most complicated task, but at the same time could be the most thrilling problem in the whole of human evolution.'
To help realize the lofty aim, he has set up the Global Future Congress, which held its first meeting in Moscow last year.
The congress will meet again in New York City this June, where it promises to unveil the most human-like robot the world has ever seen.
It will also addressing the ethical and social issues of immortality.
'Modern civilization, with its space stations, nuclear submarines, iPhones and Segways cannot save mankind from the limitations in the physical abilities of our bodies, nor from diseases and death,' the '2045' Strategic Social Initiative says in its manifesto.
'We believe that it is possible and necessary to eliminate aging and even death, and to overcome the fundamental limits of the physical and mental capabilities currently set by the restrictions of the physical body.
'Before 2045 an artificial body will be created that will not only surpass the existing body in terms of functionality, but will achieve perfection of form and be no less attractive than the human body.
'People will make independent decisions about the extension of their lives and the possibilities for personal development in a new body after the resources of the biological body have been exhausted.'
The initiative also believes the first generation of 'android' bodies will have superhuman capabilities.
'The new human being will receive a huge range of abilities and will be capable of withstanding extreme external conditions easily: high temperatures, pressure, radiation, lack of oxygen, etc.
'Using a neural-interface humans will be able to operate several bodies of various forms and sizes remotely.'
The project is also addressing the moral issues of living forever.
'We suggest the implementation of not just a mechanistic project to create an artificial body, but a whole system of views, values and technology which will render assistance to humankind in intellectual, moral, physical, mental and spiritual development.'
'This project is leading down the road to immortality,' Itskov has said previously.
'A person with a perfect Avatar will be able to remain part of society. People don’t want to die.'
Itskov envisages surgically 'transplanting' a human consciousness into a robot body within 10 years.
He hopes to then 'upload' minds without surgery, leaving human bodies as empty husks as their owners 'live on' inside robots.
The project is called Avatar after the James Cameron movie, set far in the future, where human soldiers use mind control to inhabit the bodies of human alien hybrids as they carry out a war against the inhabitants of a distant world.