eMerge Americas

Live forever? Maybe, by uploading your brain

Uploading your brain to a computer is closer to becoming a reality.

"Taking a mind and offloading it to software is consistent with physics, and it's something that I think will be done in this century," said Martine Rothblatt, founder of Sirius Satellite Radio and CEO of United Therapeutics, during an interview at eMerge Americas on Monday. (Tweet This)

Rothblatt said she shares the beliefs of computer scientist Ray Kurzweil that technology advancements will ultimately enable human being to live forever. And one of the first stages in this process could include preserving a human's brain in software to keep them alive after the body has died.

Rothblatt's company United Therapeutics does work in transplanting organs, and she said her experience in the field has helped shape her views on the matter.

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"I think it was not a very big stretch for me to ask myself: 'What if you transplanted their minds into software? Would they be able to stay alive in the software while perhaps technology continued to advance?'" she said. "And just like we regenerate lungs and we regenerate hearts, perhaps, ultimately, people can regenerate brain tissue so their minds can rewritten into brain tissue."

While uploading a human brain is obviously not yet a reality, pieces of a person's habit and mannerism can be captured and stored by collecting data from their digital life, she said.

Rothblatt said she has created a nonprofit where people can store their "mind files," which are basically records of a person's digital life, including Facebook, Google and other social media posts.

"All of these things are kept in a mind file and so in the future when software does catch up with Kurzweil's predictions, all of their thoughts and memories will be there [for that use]," Rothblatt added.