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Immortality through AI: Tech startups want to preserve your brain by uploading it onto the cloud




Small pulses of electricity to the brain have an effect on memory, new research shows.
Small pulses of electricity to the brain have an effect on memory, new research shows.
Science Photo Library/SCIEPRO/Getty Images

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Computer scientists and artificial intelligence specialists are developing programs that would digitize the brain.

Nectome, a neuroscience startup, believes that brains could be uploaded to computers. Nectome’s founders, MIT graduates Robert McIntyre and Michael McCanna, are using brain-scanning technologies to digitize the mind by recreating neural maps. Nectome claims to have already preserved an animal’s brain connectomes.

The use of artificial intelligence has ventured into questionable territory, from developing digital avatars to connecting our brains to a digital cloud. Some bioethicists and neuroscientists have raised ethical and philosophical concerns over the use of such technology.

So how does this technology work and what are the ethical implications?

Guests:

Antonio Regalado, senior editor for biomedicine at MIT Technology Review who’s covered this topic

Nita A. Farahany, bioethical ethicist; professor of law and philosophy at Duke University