If you are reading this and you’re under 40 – look after yourself. Don’t contract any life-threatening illnesses, don't let yourself get hit by a bus, or do anything else that might get you killed. Because if you can make it to the year 2050, according to highly-acclaimed futurologist Dr Ian Peterson, you will be able to live forever.
“There are quite a lot of people interested in living forever,” explains Dr Pearson in an interview with The Sun. “There always has been, but the difference now is tech is improving so quickly, lots of people believe they can actually do it.”
Dr Pearson believes there are a few methods, all within a technological arms-reach, through which we will be able to become immortal.
RENEWABLE BODY PARTS
A team of British scientists made a significant breakthrough back in 2016 when they used 3D-printing technology to synthesise human tissue. The new technique involves integrating ‘micro-channels’ that deliver nutrients and oxygen throughout the tissue. This revolutionary approach overcomes a major development hurdle that previously prevented the printing of living organs more than 2-millimetres thick.
Technological advances like these could help us rejuvenate, regenerate and renew our bodies. “No one wants to live forever at 95 years old,” says Pearson. “But if you could rejuvenate the body to 29 or 30, you might want to do that.”
Uploading the human mind onto a server and downloading it into an artificial body is a classic science fiction trope. It's often used by authors like Isaac Asimov as a vehicle to ponder philosophical questions about the existence of the soul and what it means to be human.
Ultimately, the answer is usually something about the human condition, the irreproducibility of the soul and the profound difference between biological and mechanical beings.
But, really who cares? We just want to live forever, and the nature of the human soul isn’t going to get in the way. Dr Pearson believes that advances in robotics, specifically sex dolls, which he says are “starting to look quite human-like”, will provide the first breakthroughs necessary for human immortality.
It wouldn't be the first time our insatiable need to find new ways to fuck is driving technological advance.
“Give them another 30 years development and they’ll be extremely human-like,” he says.
Pearson says we’ll be able to download our consciousness into a host of different android bodies. “You might even have ones of different genders and different ages, some old, young, female, male – there might be new genders by 2050 as well, so several other ones you can pick too.”
Of course, if you didn’t want to, you wouldn’t necessarily even need to download your consciousness into a physical body. Once your mind is in the cloud, a virtual reality server dreamed up by you, or shared with other digital beings could be your own version of utopia.
“If you’re online all the time, you could have a fantastic life,” says Pearson. “It would be all virtual, so you could have anything you want. Seventy-two virgins if that’s what drives you; all of that, because it’s totally imaginary.”
Pearson presents a world of possibilities that stretch the imagination. “You could link your mind to millions of other minds, and have unlimited intelligence, and be in multiple places at once,” he says.
The only issue that Dr Pearson can foresee is that, like most of the fun things in life, only the rich will have access to it – at least for the first few years.
“By 2050, it will only really be for the rich and famous. Most people on middle-class incomes and reasonable working-class incomes can probably afford this in the 2060s. So, anyone 90 or under by 2060.
“If you were born sometime in 1970 onwards, that would make you 48 this year. So, anybody under 50 has got a good chance of it, and anyone under 40 almost definitely will have access to this.”
So, if you’re reading this, and you’re under 40, congratulations – you may be here for a whole lot longer than you thought. In the meantime, just don’t do anything stupid.