Letter of transmittal for project applications regarding the creation of a system for maintaining brain function outside the body
There is currently dynamic growth in the research being done on maintaining brain function and creating technologies that prevent neurodegenerative processes in the brain, technologies that treat auto-immune diseases, and technologies that activate regenerative processes after a stroke or other injury to the brain. At the same time, advances have been made in the field of bioinformatics, with models of human metabolism being created for the purpose of creating new medicines. Technologies for growing artificial organs are being developed, as are systems for maintaining their functioning. Prototypes are being created of an artificial nervous system based on invasive neurointerfaces for rehabilitating people who have suffered damage to their nervous system.
The development of the technology of invasive interfaces, which can be used by people who are fully paralyzed to control external devices and communicate with people, opens the door to a not-insignificant proposition. For such patients, the human body acts essentially as a life support system for the brain. When extending a person’s life means extending the life of his personality, his individuality, that is equivalent to extending the life of the brain.
Making it possible to preserve brain function after the body dies will make it possible for seriously ill people to extend their lives, even when they have limited physical capabilities. The examples of Stephen Hawking and Nikolai Ostrovsky show that if a person wants to live and do creative work, limited physical capabilities do not preclude him from doing that. And so, for those who want to live, science and medicine can and must offer the necessary technologies.
Russian surgeon Vladimir Demikhov and American neurosurgeon Robert White can be considered the founders of the idea of maintaining brain function outside the body. Demikhov, the father of transplantology, did work on grafting the heads of dogs, while White came very close to actually grafting a human head onto a donor body, performing a series of successful experiments on apes.
The main obstacles standing in the way of developing the technologies necessary to carry out such a procedure lie more in the field of bioethics than in the complexity of the science or the technology. Just as such obstacles were overcome in, for example, the field of transplantology, they will be overcome with regard to preserving human brain function outside the body.
Such technology can essentially be thought of as both an artificial medium for brain-body metabolism in combination with a system of sensory connections to provide the brain with information (including artificial noise from the non-existent body) and a neurointerface to provide direct connections and feedback for controlling external devices (anthropomorphic robot or any other vehicle). By configuring the technology in this way, you can avoid the ethical problems that arise from using a donor human body for a head transplant.
In order to create a unified, integrated framework for a number of the above-listed innovations, it is proposed that a project be undertaken to research and develop a device that can maintain brain function outside the body. This research platform will have four main areas of work.
In order to create an artificial medium for metabolism, a computer model of brain metabolism must be built and the components fundamental to maintaining metabolism in artificial environments must be developed.
The second area is creating a link from the brain to the outside world, which includes everything from ensuring sufficient stimulation of the brain so that it doesn’t enter a vegetative state to researching the conditions needed for the patient to maintain a subjective view of the world. It is thought that the foundation for this technology will be an interface that contains a bonding pad with nerve tissue grown on it.
The third area includes developing artificial environments, researching artificial modes of transit for metabolites, as well as developing the technology of transferring the brain from the body into an artificial environment.
The fourth area is research into the conditions under which nerve cells undergo regenerative or degenerative processes, as well as testing on nerve cells (neurons) the main hypotheses of the aging and death of cells.
Successfully achieving the goals of any of these areas of research would represent a scientific breakthrough in the field. Even if the results of the different research areas are not integrated into a unified life support system for the brain, they will undoubtedly lead to a significant shift in scientific approaches and practice in the fields of neurology, pharmacology, transplantology, medicine, and human physiology in general.
Moreover, if the project is fully carried out, it will provide data that can be used for a whole array of scientific fields that study issues of consciousness and the human psyche—cognitive science, linguistics—as well as inject some clarity into philosophical thought experiments like “brain in a vat”.
Work is currently underway on establishing working groups and formulating action plans for each of the research sections.
The applications have their own descriptions of the working tasks and substantiations of the areas’ relevance.
1. Brain life support
Modeling of metabolism: the ratio of metabolites produced by the brain to those received by the body; age-related dynamics; creation of a perfusion medium.
Elena Vladimirovna Tereshina: Ph.D. biologist, head of the lipid exchange laboratory at the Russian Gerontology Research Institute. “Creation of computer models of brain cell metabolism”
2. Stimulation system: provision of a system of communication between the brain and the external environment; establishing direct interaction between nerve tissue and artificial systems.
Alexander Savelevich Ratushnyak: Ph.D. biologist, laboratory head at the Siberian branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Computing Technology Institute. “Development of software for establishing direct interaction between nerve tissue and artificial (technical) systems”
Nadezhda Vitalyevna Korsakova: Ph.D. in medicine, associate professor in the department of eye surgery at I.N. Ulyanov Chuvash State University. “Self-regulation mechanisms of nerve cells in the formation and prevention of age-related degenerative changes (based on the example of the visual organ)”
3. Development and optimization of a brain transplantation procedure
4. Aging in the brain: the appearance of neurodegenerative processes specific to the brain.
Nadezhda Vitalyevna Korsakova: Ph.D. in medicine, associate professor in the department of eye surgery at I.N. Ulyanov Chuvash State University. “Self-regulation mechanisms of nerve cells in the formation and prevention of age-related degenerative transformations (based on the example of the visual organ)”
/ 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”.