The theory of having the ability to add our awareness to a pc is a tech dream that everybody from science-fiction writers to futurist Ray Kurzweil has mentioned. However a brand new startup being shepherded via startup accelerator Y Combinator needs to make it a fact — even though there’s a catch. It’s important to die to ensure that it so as to paintings its magic. And there’s no be sure that the awareness importing phase will in truth pan out, both.
Known as Nectome, the startup’s premise is to keep brains in microscopic element the use of what MIT Assessment describes as a “high-tech embalming procedure.” This comes to a procedure known as vitrifixation, sometimes called aldehyde-stabilized cryopreservation. The staff in the back of the mission, led via co-founders Michael McCanna and Robert McIntyre, have up to now received the Mind Preservation Prize (sure, that’s an actual factor!) for holding an entire rabbit connectome, an entire map of all of the neural connections within the mind. They have got additionally scaled this preservation procedure to bigger brains, together with one performed at the corpse of an aged girl in February. This used to be the primary demonstration of vitrifixation on a human mind.
So what’s the gross sales pitch? Principally that you’ll pay Nectome to hold out its mind embalming procedure after your demise. At this time, the corporate is gauging pastime via taking $10,000 deposits from shoppers, even though those are absolutely refundable when you occur to have a transformation of thoughts — as a way to discuss.
Past this, the corporate isn’t promising the rest in relation to assured immortality, however its website online indisputably means that thoughts importing is the tip objective — even though it’s now not transparent whether or not this is able to be performed via Nectome or a 3rd celebration.
“Our project is to keep your mind neatly sufficient to stay all its reminiscences intact: from that groovy bankruptcy of your favourite guide to the sensation of chilly wintry weather air, baking an apple pie, or having dinner along with your family and friends,” the corporate writes. “We imagine that inside the present century it’s going to be possible to digitize this knowledge and use it to re-create your awareness.”
Thus far, Nectome has gained $1 million in investment, together with $120,000 from Y Combinator and an extra $960,000 federal grant from the U.S. Nationwide Institute of Psychological Well being for “whole-brain nanoscale preservation and imaging.” Will sufficient folks upload their $10,000 deposits to make this a scalable industry? We wager we can have to attend and spot.