Ray Kurzweil says nanobots will soon wipe out cancer, back up memories and slow aging

In 30 or 40 years, we'll have microscopic machines traveling through our bodies, repairing damaged cells and organs, effectively wiping out diseases. The nanotechnology will also be used to back up our memories and personalities.

In an interview with Computerworld, author and futurist Ray Kurzweil said that anyone alive come 2040 or 2050 could be close to immortal. The quickening advance of nanotechnology means that the human condition will shift into more of a collaboration of man and machine, as nanobots flow through human blood streams and eventually even replace biological blood, he added.

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Tags: Kurzweil, cancer, immortal, nano

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Replies to This Discussion

"On the "plus side" for religion, it turns out that increasing religiosity causes lower anxiety or depression relating to death. On the other hand, atheists and agnostics have higher death anxiety."

Interesting. The effect on me is rather the opposite. When I was a catholic, I used to fear death. When I became an atheist, the fear evaporated. Not that I welcome death. I just don't fear it anymore. Last year was a sad year for me - losing two dear friends. Death makes life a big joke.
"Practicality of dying aside, I simply don't want to. Ever. It may be a pipe-dream, but I hope that we can find some way."

I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that you might not be the only one.

Peter F. Hamilton has some good sci-fi describing what the future might look like with immortality granted via nano-tech and memory storage. I highly recommend his series beginning with Pandora's Star.

For me the immediate question would be how will we get everyone to stop breeding? Failing that, where will we put everyone?
"For me the immediate question would be how will we get everyone to stop breeding? Failing that, where will we put everyone?"

Yes, a change so fundamental as the defeat of death would require massive changes in human thought, emotion, morality, and intuition. It would require taking the very "long view" on everything.
Some people are ostensibly revolted by the idea of living forever, but I think that in actual fact it would be fantastic; the only caveat would be I think that we currently would not be prepared for it in our current psychological state. It would be a very profound change, and would require an equally profound social response to it.
"For me the immediate question would be how will we get everyone to stop breeding? Failing that, where will we put everyone?"

Well, you don't have to. Not everyone alive on this planet today is prepared to welcome and embrace the idea of longevity and immortality even if technology is made available. My concern is on the genetic divide. Those that welcome and embrace it but cannot afford it.

Earth will not be home forever for mankind. To conquer space and its physiological effects (muscular atrophy, bone deterioration) on the present human body, man may eventually need to redesign itself.
"To conquer space ... man may eventually need to redesign itself."

Agreed. Cosmic radiation alone demands this.
That's one reason why people aren't so keen to go on manned missions to Mars yet (aside from the personal isolation and the difficulty of rescue in event of mission failure).
"Well, you don't have to. Not everyone alive on this planet today is prepared to welcome and embrace the idea of longevity and immortality even if technology is made available."

Population increase is accelerating, even without immortality. The world population has doubled just in the last 40 years and will do so again in less time. Even without immortality population control is an issue. If a fraction of the population becomes immortal that aggravates the issue, perhaps in ways we may not even imagine. Imagine if a single woman had, instead of a 20-30 year window in which to bear children, an unlimited window.
"Imagine if a single woman had, instead of a 20-30 year window in which to bear children, an unlimited window."

Not that I imagine procreation will be constrained to a biological host forever.

Is it bad to reply to yourself? Oh well :)
Population control is a very sensitive and complex issue.

Research for life extension, cloning, and immortality will continue. Human genetic cloning is banned in the US but is not in other countries. Even if it is totally banned, no one can STOP it from going underground. And no one wants that to happen.

It is inevitable. The world is in a mess, yes. Welcome to the greatest show this side of the Milky Way.

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