Jim Morris's Thought of the Week (or month, or year, ...)
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Teleportation, Time Travel, and Immortality
With Moore's law still in effect, we need some ambitions with exponential growth. Science fiction and religion express some of our deepest desires, so let's talk about the prospects for teleportation, time travel, and immortality. Our technology won't be able to deliver these in quite the way you want, but we can approximate them in just the way today's aircraft achieved Icarus's dream of flying with his own muscles.
For example, we can provide teleportation, not by moving you, but by moving the situation to you. Someone recently performed heart surgery remotely (see http://www.military.com/features/0,15240,97023,00.html for a recent report). The same technique also works for time travel as long as you're willing to restrict your travels to the past. Using image capture and analysis, we can capture a complete event in three dimensions with sound and smells. Then we can make a virtual reality Karaoke machine that allows you to insert yourself into the action (see http://www.ri.cmu.edu/labs/lab_62.html for Takeo Kanade's project, which will allow you to play the role of the referee in a past football game).
Immortality, however, will take a few more years to accomplish. We start by capturing everything that happens in your life. Gordon Bell is working on this (see http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=381893&dl=ACM&coll=ACM). Then a suitable amount of machine learning should be able to create the algorithms you use for all behavior. These algorithms are then downloaded to a robot that looks like you. If this doesn't meet your definition of immortality you might buy the real thing from Ray Kurzweil at http://www.rayandterry.com/wellness_one.php?osCsid=f9443e14b6be787b298a2e5b7fe59e7b
posted - 5/30/2006
posted by Jim Morris @ 8:51 PM