A tech-billionaire at Silicon Valley has decided to pay $10,000 so that he can be killed and his brain can be preserved digitally. Sam Altman is an entrepreneur and one of those 25 people on a waiting list at Nectome. The company claims that they can upload and preserve the contents of a person’s brain on a computer. However, to have the brain preserved for life, the person has to die first. It is a physician-assisted suicide which is legal in five US states.
The company founded by Altman called ‘Y Combinator’ funds the startups like Nectome. The process he has signed up for involves embalming the brain so that it can be simulated onto a computer. The person who wants to run the procedure is hooked up to a machine and then injected with Nectome’s embalming chemicals. The company has already told that the method is 100% fatal. Nectome’s co-founder, Robert Mcintyre said in a review, “The user experience will be identical to physician-assisted suicide.”
The company’s website says that their mission is to ‘preserve your brain well enough to keep all its memories intact’. The statement says, “We believe that within the current century it will be feasible to digitize this information and use it to recreate your consciousness.” The business pitch states, “What if we told you we could back up your mind?” Embalming fluid keeps the body frozen and intact. There is no chance of decomposition for many hundred years. However, for the procedure to work, the brain has to be fresh.
Nectome said that they are planning to connect with people suffering from terminal diseases and pump embalming mixture into their carotid arteries through their necks. The procedure qualifies as physician-assisted suicide, which is legal in only five states within the country. The company has consulted lawyers and said that if people have some terminal disease, they believe that this service should be made legal to them.
The idea of uploading human consciousness into a computer or storing it on the cloud is becoming famous among the scientists in the Silicon Valley. Dr. Ian Pearson said that in 50 years humans will be able to store their brains onto the cloud. He said that a person will be able to “use any android that you feel like it to inhibit the real world.” Nectome has a huge federal grant and is also collaborating with MIT neuroscientists. Their embalming technique has also won $80,000 prize for preserving a pigs brain. It was preserved so well that every synapse inside it was clearly visible with an electron microscope.