Since the inception of mankind, the quest for immortality has been a cornerstone of many cultures, as evidenced by its prevalence within major religions. (The concept of heaven, for example, reflects humans’ denial of our impending deaths.)
To the scientific community, however, immortality has long been regarded as a pipe dream, with Benjamin Franklin famously claiming, “Nothing can be certain but death and taxes.” But according to ex-Google engineer Ray Kurzweil, immortality may not be so unrealistic.
Who Is Ray Kurzweil, and Why Should His Prediction Be Taken Seriously?
Immortality is attainable by 2030: Google scientist https://t.co/rJp09yGxgT— New York Post (@nypost) March 29, 2023
Ray Kurzweil is an ex-Google engineer, though he is perhaps best known as a futurist, or, one who makes predictions based on current trends. In the past, he has prophesied startlingly accurately.
For example, in 1990, he predicted that the world champion of chess would lose a match to a computer by the year 2000. And in 1997, sure enough, his prediction came true.
Similarly, in 1999, he claimed that by 2023, a $1,000 computer would match a human brain’s computing ability and storage capacity.
Now, Kurzweil is claiming that the technology that will allow humans to live “everlasting life” will be available by the year 2030.
How Can Humanity Achieve Immortality by the Year 2030?
According to Kurzweil, the secret to immortality lies in the advent of nanobots, or, “programmable molecules that can perform specific tasks.” Ideally, these nanobots would swim through our bloodstreams, warding off disease and even the effects of aging.
Kurzweil goes on to say that nanobots in our brains will be able to store memories and send texts/emails, browse the internet, and make phone calls, eliminating the need for cell phones.
It should be noted that even if Kurzweil is correct in his prediction, just because this technology will have been developed by the year 2030 does not mean that it will immediately be widespread.
Living Forever Could Have Negative Consequences
While the thought of immortality may appeal to some, we must be realistic about the negative impact it could have on the world. Our collective carbon footprint has already done irreversible damage to the planet. Nearly half the world’s wealth is held by 1% of its population.
With the massive spike in population that immortality would cause, these problems would likely get worse before they got better. It is for this reason that many skeptics are saying that even if such technology were developed, it is unlikely to be made available to the general public.