A billionaire from Silicon Valley has signed up to kill himself in an attempt to try and achieve immortality, for ten thousand dollars.

Sam Altman, an entrepreneur paid $10,000 to join 24 other people on a waiting list to have their brains uploaded to a computer, which involves being killed. The startup performing the operation, Nectome says this method is “100 percent fatal,” in the company’s own words.

“The user experience will be identical to physician-assisted suicide,” Nectome’s co-founder Robert McIntyre bluntly explained.

“Our mission is to preserve your brain well enough to keep all its memories intact: from that great chapter of your favorite book to the feeling of cold winter air, baking an apple pie, or having dinner with your friends and family,” said Nectome on its site.

“We believe that within the current century it will be feasible to digitize this information and use it to recreate your consciousness.”

The process is essentially embalming a person’s brain, so it can be possibly simulated later on a computer. Somehow, the person’s consciousness might be transplanted into another thing in the future, after the person accepts the fate of death first.

These living people will be hooked up to some type of machine, and then their brains will be filled with Nectome’s “custom embalming chemicals.”

This idea is so serious, it must be performed only in US states where physician-assisted suicide is legal, which is only 5 out of 50 states, because this idea is essentially suicide. People who want to have their brains embalmed must have a terminal illness and a prognosis of six months to live or less.

It can probably be assumed that billionaire Sam Altman will not choose to end his human life with this before he has a terminal illness much later in life. It is unclear whether or not this legal requirement can be avoided.

The idea of uploading a person’s consciousness to a computer, which may place it in an inanimate object or horrifically trap a person with possibilities we can hardly conceive of sounds like hell, a fate worse than death to me. To people obsessed with pushing the boundaries of technology no matter what the consequences, this actually sounds like a good idea.

People who are excited about this include ”futurologist” Dr. Ian Pearson, who believes that in about 50 years we will be able to transfer our brains to “the cloud.” He claims this will allow people to “use any android that you feel like to inhabit the real world.”

According to the Sun:

“Altman, whose company Y Combinator funds startups, is best buds with fellow Silicon Valley billionaire (and PayPal co-founder) Peter Thiel.

The two were recently lampooned when Altman let slip that they were planning to escape a potential apocalypse by hiding in the bunker in Thiel’s home in New Zealand.

But, if you’re living in a computer, do you even have to worry about the end of days?”

This idea sounds like a veritable hell, and personally I’d rather die than risk the possibility of having my consciousness be helplessly trapped in an inanimate object, or replicated without my soul.

I believe in the soul, so I don’t know how that would work in this situation. People can do what they want, but for me I am content with the current state of life and death as a human being.


Image credit: iamwire