There’s never been anything quite like Nectome. And the startup accelerator Y Combinator, known for supporting audacious companies, will soon be pitched the idea of a “mind uploading service” that is 100% fatal.
Nectome is a preserve-your-brain-and-upload-it company. The process will kill the person who undergoes the mind uploading service and that’s the only way it can work. But Nectome feels that this isn’t a morality issue citing California’s two-year-old End of Life Option Act, which permits doctor-assisted suicide for terminal patients, and believes its service will be legal. The product is “100 percent fatal,” says McIntyre. “That is why we are uniquely situated among the Y Combinator companies.”
Next week, while at YC’s “demo days,” Nectome’s co-founder, Robert McIntyre, is going to describe the technology for exquisitely preserving brains in microscopic detail using a high-tech embalming process. The MIT graduate will then make his business pitch to YC. “What if we told you we could back up your mind?” Nectome’s website reads. You can also join in on the fun, and add your name to the waitlist. So far, 25 people have done so.
Following the example of electric-vehicle maker Tesla, it is sizing up demand by inviting prospective customers to join the waiting list for a deposit of $10,000, which fully refundable if you change your mind. One of them is Sam Altman, a 32-year-old investor who is one of the creators of the Y Combinator program. Altman tells MIT Technology Review he’s pretty sure minds will be digitized in his lifetime. “I assume my brain will be uploaded to the cloud,” he says.
Nectome’s chemical solution can keep a body intact for hundreds of years, maybe thousands, as a statue of frozen glass. The idea is that someday in the future scientists will scan your bricked brain and turn it into a computer simulation. That way, someone a lot like you, though not exactly you, will smell the flowers again in a data server somewhere.
It sounds a little like a dystopian sci-fi movie, but this the reality we are facing and brain uploading will be familiar to readers of Ray Kurzweil’s books.
However, the horrifying truth is that for Nectome’s procedure to work, it’s essential that the brain be fresh. The company says its plan is to connect people with terminal illnesses to a heart-lung machine in order to pump its mix of scientific embalming chemicals into the big carotid arteries in their necks while they are still alive, although they will be placed under general anesthesia. This process is fatal.
McIntyre, a computer scientist, and his co-founder Michael McCanna have come up with perhaps the most macabre and taboo idea yet when it comes to mind preservation. “The user experience will be identical to physician-assisted suicide,” he says. “Product-market fit is people believing that it works.”
Nectome has won a large federal grant and is currently collaborating with Edward Boyden, a top neuroscientist at MIT. Its technique just claimed an $80,000 science prize for preserving a pig’s brain so well that every synapse inside it could be seen with an electron microscope.
Really, what this amounts to besides murder is embalming. No one is going to bring these victims back.
I’m not opposed to certain forms of mercy killing. A ninety-nine year old in horrible pain who will die in a few hours, or a few days for example. Give the poor man a morphine drip and let him die painlessly without consideration that he might overdose. That is humane.
This here crap is sadistic. The creators of this kind of thing may be intelligent. But they are also homicidal maniacs. These guys at MIT are the most dangerous of all living human beings. Humanity would be better off if they were locked up in prison then subjected to their own medicine.
I love how people are arrogant and conceited enough to think the human race in general would actually want them to have their brains uploaded to some group conscientious. You aren’t contributing anything useful now, what will change once you are sent off to cyberspace…?
That’s the part that worries me. Let me explain.
If I’m dead anyway… I’d be like “sure why not” EXCEPT…
“You aren’t contributing anything useful now, what will change once you are sent off to cyberspace…?”
Well see that’s the thing, isn’t it. Either you will never be brought back… or you will be brought back in a manner in which “you now contribute something useful”.
Like say for instance an “artificially” intelligent piece of factory equipment. With an off switch. And 24-7 thought monitoring…
Ironically, people seem to be supportive of euthanasia, but not making a fossil.
“The user experience will be identical to physician-assisted suicide,” he says.
Vaporware is a product, typically computer hardware or software, that is announced to the general public but is never actually manufactured nor officially cancelled.
This is designed to fuck over the investors.
Can you only sign yourself up or can you sign other people up for it? Anniversaries, birthdays, or Christmas? Sounds kind of like murder, doesn’t it? I guess we’ll have to settle for the next best thing of constantly feeding your “loved” ones with food from fast food restaurants.
They would sorely be disappointed with mine.
They’d trash it and me into the soylent green bin they will be feeding people by then.
Why wait until a person is terminally ill? Hell just ask people if they just want to be euthanized? I’d go for that.
potential for a darwin award here. but seriously, lets start a gofundme for HRC with a bump for a capture net.
Menzo, I wouldn’t have any problem doing it to someone like Hillary.
She’s already damned herself.
No love for career criminal Hillary from me, BUT to think i thought “brave” could not possibly turn this topic’s comment section into another venue for violence against another person like he does on so many other articles.
the keyboard commando strikes again.
Hint, the guys who have been in the fire zone for a living do not talk all the smack of this one….somebody needs to get out of mom’s basement and waddle that fat body over to the gym to release some pent up testosterone.
“change your mind” get it?
ROTFLMAO! William Filer, that’s a damn good one.
A ‘mind uploading’ service? That couldn’t be like a brain transplant. Last time I checked libturds don’t have any brains, LOL!
they do, in their hind ends.
When I use the toilet, I take a “liberal mind download”
NEC Wrangler, LOL! Good one!
I think generally those with the most depraved minds would be most likely to use this.
of course. it appeals to no one but the sociopathic, the egotistical, and the narcissistic. Who else would imagine they are so important as to need to be immortalized?
Money soon parts from it’s fool.
“preserving a pig’s brain so well that every synapse inside it could be seen with an electron microscope.” Kind of like saying you can read a document in a file cabinet because you preserved the cabinet. Sounds like a load of pig shyt to me.
Its plain sick.
I don’t get it. Life to me is a whole thing – body, mind, heart and soul. Not just one part of that whole. Even if one part was preserved, just how would the other 3 portions be?
It’s not really an upload service. All they do is preserve your brain really well and hope that your mind might be uploaded from it someday in the future. Flash freezing at the time of death would accomplish the same thing, probably cheaper.
The real problem at this point in time as far as I’m aware is that seeing a synapsis or being able to map them is a far cry from understanding or being able to unlock a memory and electronically display or experience that memory, or understanding, concept, etc. Although that ability may be developed in the future.