Using technology, he plans to bring his dead father back to life. Kurzweil reveals this to me near the end of our conversation ... In a soft voice, he explains how the resurrection would work. "We can find some of his DNA around his grave site - that's a lot of information right there," he says. "The AI will send down some nanobots and get some bone or teeth and extract some DNA and put it all together. Then they'll get some information from my brain and anyone else who still remembers him."
When I ask how exactly they'll extract the knowledge from his brain, Kurzweil bristles, as if the answer should be obvious: "Just send nanobots into my brain and reconstruct my recollections and memories." The machines will capture everything: the piggyback ride to the grocery store, the bedtime reading of Tom Swift, the moment he and his father rejoiced when the letter of acceptance from MIT arrived. To provide the nanobots with even more information, Kurzweil is safeguarding the boxes of his dad's mementos, so the artificial intelligence has as much data as possible from which to reconstruct him. Father 2.0 could take many forms, he says, from a virtual-reality avatar to a fully functioning robot ... "If you can bring back life that was valuable in the past, it should be valuable in the future."
Sunday, March 1, 2009
The rapture of the geeks?
Truly said, 'Death makes strange even the most rational of minds';