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Digital longevity will mean retiring to the Cloud to live forever
By Phil Newman  |  Apr 01, 2024
Digital longevity will mean retiring to the Cloud to live forever
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Humans’ physical bodies wear out and break down over time. Many ongoing studies seek to slow or even reverse aging, and while these may eventually bear fruit, preserving one’s digital self might be more easily achievable, writes Phil Newman, CEO and founder of Longevity Technology.

LONDON - The scent of freshly sharpened pencils is not just nostalgia, it is a trigger that is very personal to me - and probably impossible to replicate in artificial intelligence (AI), at least for now. A single whiff throws this author back to a classroom in the early 1970s filled with the cheerful chaos of childhood - the water play, the sand play, cutting things out, pasting things down, and the freckles on the face of my teacher, Ms Rust (whom my classmates and I all called Ms Rusty). It all comes flooding back. 

This is a potent reminder of the personalization of life, that those days, like the scent itself, remain challenges of recreating personalization in a virtual world indistinguishable from the real one - a world to where (eventually) only a one-way ticket will be available.

What if the essence of who a person is could be preserved? What if, even after one’s body gasps its last breath, one could still live on? Play golf, have sex, enjoy nights out with friends, experience great adventures, and no longer have to worry about personal income, bad weather, aching knees, and global unrest?

The human body is a marvel, but one with a limited lifespan. Peoples’ bodies betray them, muscles weaken, metabolisms struggle, and most tragically, minds begin to dim. Why fight the inevitable when a potential path to live forever looms on the horizon?

There is the state of scientific innovation and the practicalities of progress to start with - if this were a mountain, humanity would still be in the foothills.

Beyond corporeal limits

The recent demonstration of a quadriplegic person controlling a computer cursor with just thoughts using Elon Musk's Neuralink system was less impressive than it seemed. While headlines focused on the eponymous Fremont, California-based company, others have been quietly working on

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