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Timour Shchoukine, "2045" Initiative Coordinator in Russia, About Technology and Human Development

Are cyborgs able to grow spiritually? Who will be the first to get an artificial body? Is "2045" Initiative an inhumane project? Here is Here is "2045" Initiative Coordinator in Russia Timour Shchoukine’s standpoint.

The first technique appeared way earlier than the invention of the plow, car and cell phone

Contradiction to the technological and humanistic approaches to the development of humanity seems obvious: the industrial world depersonalizes man, turns him into a “brick in the wall”, it dries out the communications, making the relations non-contact and superficial, while humanity is associated with images of nature, family, creativity and self-knowledge. Any technological innovation is seen as dehumanizing and destructive for human nature.

In my opinion, this view is valid for the industrialized world, but not for technology in general. Today a significant part of the planet is already in the post-industrial stage. Technology is an essential part of mankind, it accompanies us from the very moment when the first sparks of self-consciousness were lit in the eyes of our humanoid ancestors.

Before technology came out into the external world in the form of levers, traps for animals, steam engines and nuclear plants, it was internal. The first type of technology is language - the system of signs of an external origin; signs that gave man the opportunity to think about objects and actions that are out of his direct experience. Objects and actions were named, a man has learned to plan his hunt in his imagination and in the communication with other people. The language is a tool which has completely changed the situation on the planet separating our species from the rest of the biosphere, and placing the mankind in the  unique place of the evolutionary process.

The basis of the language is the alienation from the direct experience, abstraction, assigning a specific meaning to a random combination of signals (sounds, for example). Using these signs with others, a man gets an opportunity to talk to himself, and then - in his mind... eventually the inner speech subsides, revealing the thinking process. Each of us goes through this process in childhood, otherwise a man turns into a “Mowgli” - a creature almost no different from an animal.

Along with language, an arbitrariness appeared. Man has learned to control himself with words, to control his own attention and the attention of others, to control the memory by his will rather than through association and situational, and to talk even. Language is the first tool to control the world and self, the first psycho-technique.

Cars, plants, iphones are all just versions of “organ projection”, the term invented by father Pavel Florensky. It is the process of physical body functions transferring to the outside world. The functions of the hand are transferred to a stick, and then - to a shovel or a mining complex. Calculation and analysis get delegated to the knots in a rope, and later to computers capable of beating even a chess grandmaster. A person delegates his own functions to the outside technical world and takes off the external layers of himself which is like peeling an onion or a head of cabbage. This gives him an opportunity to say, if this is external then it isn’t me. And then he continues the process of the search for self while saturating the surrounding world with his own functions.

The world is at the point when the functions which humans consider to be their essential attributes (thinking, decision making, emotions) are on the edge of being finally alienated. Soon they will be performed by artificial systems. Some techniques of altered states of consciousness are already being performed by external tools and can be amplified with biofeedback devices, bin-aural stimulation and light stimulation, not to mention pharmacological agents.


How Can External Devices Help Internal Development

There is technology (device-free and device-based) aimed at returning a person to himself, stimulating and strengthening the development of specific human qualities: creativity, attention, emotionality, ability for deep and mutually enriching relationships. Methods of working with body and breath are technology. A therapist uses techniques     to direct the client’s attention to the problem, helping him to keep the grip to a certain point of the inner space, though when masterly applied it can be called art. Using real hardware - biofeedback devices - a man can dramatically accelerate the process of self-awareness, learn to control the functions of the body up to activity of individual cells. Even to change the state of consciousness voluntarily, spending months to complete amounts of work that with classical schools of yoga would take decades. A good expert on the theory of inventive problem solving uses methods and techniques part of which are algorithms for systems reasoning and another part is technology in the usual meaning of the word (ie software, schemes, tables). He can bring his own technological or scientific creation to a new height and make high-level inventions and discoveries in days without sacrificing years to option iteration.

Therefore, appearance of cybernetic hands or even bodies controlled by neural interfaces, transition of some body and psychic functions to artificial media is quite a natural way to go. It follows the basic trends of “body-projection” and definitely isn’t something “anti-human”. Expanding the range of accessible states of consciousness, mind capabilities along with body capabilities, a man gets much more opportunities for development than before. Regardless of what exactly he calls a development; unlimited growth of inner freedom and new states of consciousness or the opposite, the search for that “unchanging” matter is the source of all this diversity.


Moreover - a person that learns to control a prosthetic limb or even a whole robot through a neural interface usually does that using biofeedback methods. It is well known that this method gives a wide variety of positive (from the psychotherapy point of view) “side-effects”. Redirection of attention to inside the body, tracking of the subtle nuances of states and constant introspection are essential parts of effective teaching. And this helps to realize interesting facts about our own structure, to accelerate elaboration of psychological problems, to increase the range of comfortable states of consciousness, and even to enhance immunity and to reduce the incidence of colds and flu.

Body tuning, the study of the inner world, the correction of somatic problems related to improper functioning of the body and its "software" (the systems of mental control) - this is the main application of biofeedback techniques besides the control of external devices through neural interface. Professional literature describes this in detail, additional information can be found on my website www.wetware.ru


Thus, the technological way does not mean a transformation of man into robot. The "2045" Initiative program combines both a technological and a humanistic approach. Any technology allows human abilities to expand - it is what it was created for. On the other hand, these abilities may be aimed either at development or at self-destruction and destruction of the world around us.


In other words, the purpose of any technology is dual. And the purpose is chosen by man himself. Serious technology requires serious responsibility.

Who will get the super abilities and a long, likely eternal life? The question is not whether thieves, murderers, lifelong presidents, cynical bankers, glamorous fraudsters and other unworthy people would get it. The question is - who will get all the abilities if we get them? What would determine the way I will use the abilities? Technology evolves, so should the ethics, aggression control mechanisms, the instruments of communication and cooperative activity. A well-known Russian culturologist Akop Nazaaretyan calls it the hypothesis of techno-humanitarian balance. The future of the mankind depends on sustaining this balance.

Psychological subjectivity and selfishness is the major theme of the self development discourse (whether it is self-discovery, counseling or religion). The self-image is connected with the system of needs which controls the activity and determines whether a man will be a vindictive prime minister, a disgrunted taxi driver or a curious oceanologist. A self-structure with its entirety, fragmentation and truth is the defining point in self-development. Counseling helps a person to realize that some of the views or desires do not belong to her or him and are a part of someone else’s scenario. It may happen because family forced the person to accept these scenarios, or that they are the result of a neurotic process. And now these scenarios control all his or her life!

If Self Gets Rid Of Itself, What Will Happen Next?

One of the most influential figures in the world of psychoanalysis, Jacques Lacan, considered Self as the major neurosis of the personality. Self is Other, Lacan says. Any neurosis is the image of Self which became rigid. For example, fear of an accident may be the frozen image of self in a traumatic situation which demands from other mind structures (and even the body) to match the previous trauma. The majority of psychotherapy systems peel Self from its tumors and don’t go further while admitting that the core of the personality is neurosis-like.

That is why any self-development should start from self-discovery and through paying attention to one’s inner world, to the process or thoughts, emotions and emerging bodily sensations. The person discovers how his inner processes interact with each other, which of his reactions and feelings are automatic and which are not.

It is clear that creating an eternal body for Ego, which is a combination of unperceived needs and beliefs, is not humane unlike the opportunity to live and grow, to discover and develop oneself. There is no point of making someone develop against their will, no matter how long life is. But if the life is long there is hope that the person will experience circumstances which may change him for the better. Eternal life makes it unavoidable.

Learning to use an artificial body will include exercises which themselves have a positive psychological effect. The usage of biofeedback as a method also tips the scale in the desired direction. Before science will make the transition to an artificial body simple and easy, the first people to master control of an artificial body would be those who would be no longer tied to the current body. May be this can become a kind of protection?


Muscles and Joints of Our Future Wings

We can hope and work on the methodology of the development and the real evolution of mankind which would be continued even after a transfer to an artificial media. This is a part of the "2045" Initiative. If a man does not develop ,then he degenerates, obviously. “Use it or loose it”. Usually death hides the final part of this trend, but with the increase of life expectancy the division into mentally healthy and developing people and mega-neurotics could become much more obvious.

The technical feasibility of the "2045" Initiative is not in doubt. I am so to speak infected with TIPS (Theory of Inventive Problem Solving) virus, and no longer see impossible tasks, only tasks of different difficulty levels. If mankind will not succeed in destroying itself by that time, then the project will be fully implemented. This can happen by the year 2045. And then our answer to the classic question of “why don’t people fly like birds”, will be “because before 2010 people did not have neither electro-polymers for the creation of electrical muscles, nor Tesla-style ways of energy transfer through ionized channels pierced by a laser; nor neural interfaces able to control a complex dynamic system (flight control) in real time, nor even primitive artificial intellect able to automate control of artificial wing muscle systems. And most importantly - in 2010 the "2045" Initiative had not even started, nor the interdisciplinary research in the field of neural interfaces, artificial organs and systems!

/ About us

Founded by Russian entrepreneur Dmitry Itskov in February 2011 with the participation of leading Russian specialists in the field of neural interfaces, robotics, artificial organs and systems.

The main goals of the 2045 Initiative: the creation and realization of a new strategy for the development of humanity which meets global civilization challenges; the creation of optimale conditions promoting the spiritual enlightenment of humanity; and the realization of a new futuristic reality based on 5 principles: high spirituality, high culture, high ethics, high science and high technologies. 

The main science mega-project of the 2045 Initiative aims to create technologies enabling the transfer of a individual’s personality to a more advanced non-biological carrier, and extending life, including to the point of immortality. We devote particular attention to enabling the fullest possible dialogue between the world’s major spiritual traditions, science and society.

A large-scale transformation of humanity, comparable to some of the major spiritual and sci-tech revolutions in history, will require a new strategy. We believe this to be necessary to overcome existing crises, which threaten our planetary habitat and the continued existence of humanity as a species. With the 2045 Initiative, we hope to realize a new strategy for humanity's development, and in so doing, create a more productive, fulfilling, and satisfying future.

The "2045" team is working towards creating an international research center where leading scientists will be engaged in research and development in the fields of anthropomorphic robotics, living systems modeling and brain and consciousness modeling with the goal of transferring one’s individual consciousness to an artificial carrier and achieving cybernetic immortality.

An annual congress "The Global Future 2045" is organized by the Initiative to give platform for discussing mankind's evolutionary strategy based on technologies of cybernetic immortality as well as the possible impact of such technologies on global society, politics and economies of the future.


Future prospects of "2045" Initiative for society


The emergence and widespread use of affordable android "avatars" controlled by a "brain-computer" interface. Coupled with related technologies “avatars’ will give people a number of new features: ability to work in dangerous environments, perform rescue operations, travel in extreme situations etc.
Avatar components will be used in medicine for the rehabilitation of fully or partially disabled patients giving them prosthetic limbs or recover lost senses.


Creation of an autonomous life-support system for the human brain linked to a robot, ‘avatar’, will save people whose body is completely worn out or irreversibly damaged. Any patient with an intact brain will be able to return to a fully functioning  bodily life. Such technologies will  greatly enlarge  the possibility of hybrid bio-electronic devices, thus creating a new IT revolution and will make  all  kinds of superimpositions of electronic and biological systems possible.


Creation of a computer model of the brain and human consciousness  with the subsequent development of means to transfer individual consciousness  onto an artificial carrier. This development will profoundly change the world, it will not only give everyone the possibility of  cybernetic immortality but will also create a friendly artificial intelligence,  expand human capabilities  and provide opportunities for ordinary people to restore or modify their own brain multiple times.  The final result  at this stage can be a real revolution in the understanding of human nature that will completely change the human and technical prospects for humanity.


This is the time when substance-independent minds will receive new bodies with capacities far exceeding those of ordinary humans. A new era for humanity will arrive!  Changes will occur in all spheres of human activity – energy generation, transportation, politics, medicine, psychology, sciences, and so on.

Today it is hard to imagine a future when bodies consisting of nanorobots  will become affordable  and capable of taking any form. It is also hard to imagine body holograms featuring controlled matter. One thing is clear however:  humanity, for the first time in its history, will make a fully managed evolutionary transition and eventually become a new species. Moreover,  prerequisites for a large-scale  expansion into outer space will be created as well.


Key elements of the project in the future

• International social movement
• social network immortal.me
• charitable foundation "Global Future 2045" (Foundation 2045)
• scientific research centre "Immortality"
• business incubator
• University of "Immortality"
• annual award for contribution to the realization of  the project of "Immortality”.

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