In Self/Less, a science-fiction thriller to be released in the U.S. today, July 10, 2015, Damian Hale, an extremely wealthy aristocrat (Ben Kingsley) dying from cancer, undergoes a $250 million radical medical procedure at a lab called Phoenix Biogenic in Manhattan to have his consciousness transferred into the body of a healthy young man (Ryan Reynolds).
But when he starts to uncover the mystery of the body’s origin — he has flashbacks in a dream of a former life as Mark — he discovers the body was not grown in a laboratory, as promised, and that the “organization” he bought the body from will kill to protect its investment. To make matters worse, he faces the threat of losing control of the body he now possesses and its original owner’s consciousness resurfacing, which will erase his mind in the process.
Curiously, at one point, Mark looks up the scientist who did the transfer on Wikipedia, and finds that he was the “godfather of transhumanism.”
“What many summer movie-goers might not realize is that Self/less is loosely based on a real-life project called the 2045 Initiative, which is being spearheaded by Dmitry Itskov, a Russian multi-millionaire, Ars Technica suggests. But the theme has also been explored in a number of movies, ranging from Metropolis to The Sixth Day, Avatar, and The Age of Ultron.
Want to be immortal? A Russian group called the 2045 Initiative has a plan, and they hope to make it a reality during our lifetimes. From their website:
"The main objectives of the Initiative are: the creation of a new vision of human development that meets global challenges humanity faces today, realization of the possibility of a radical extension of human life by means of cybernetic technology, as well as the formation of a new culture associated with these technologies."
These "cybernetic technologies" take many forms. In the end the group, founded by Dmitry Itskov in February of 2011, think humans can attain immortality not by outsmarting disease and pathogens, but by harnessing nanotechnology, robots and brain-computer interfaces to create hologram bodies with artificial brains that can be programmed with your own personality.
Oh, by the way, this not only requires intense investigation in pretty much every area of science, but also involves a complete overhaul of our social, ethical and pretty much every other part of our human lives. Yeah. That will happen by 2045. Good job setting attainable goals, guys.
Here's the plan for holographic immortality if you want to get on board:
2012-2013. The global economic and social crises are exacerbated. The debates on the global paradigm of future development intensifies.
New transhumanist movements and parties emerge. Russia 2045 transforms into World 2045.
2013-2014. New centers working on cybernetic technologies for the development of radical life extension rise. The 'race for immortality' starts.
2015-2020. The Avatar is created — A robotic human copy controlled by thought via 'brain-computer' interface. It becomes as popular as a car.
2020. In Russia and in the world appear — in testing mode — several breakthrough projects:
Android robots replace people in manufacturing tasks; android robot servants for every home; thought-controlled Avatars to provide telepresence in any place of the world and abolish the need business trips; flying cars; thought driven mobile communications built into the body or sprayed onto the skin.
2020-2025. An autonomous system providing life support for the brain and allowing it interaction with the environment is created. The brain is transplanted into an Avatar B. With Avatar B man receives new, expanded life.
2025. The new generation of Avatars provides complete transmission of sensations from all five sensory robot organs to the operator.
2030-2035. ReBrain — The colossal project of brain reverse engineering is implemented. World science comes very close to understanding the principles of consciousness.
2035. The first successful attempt to transfer one's personality to an alternative carrier. The epoch of cybernetic immortality begins.
2040-2050. Bodies made of nanorobots that can take any shape arise alongside hologram bodies.
2045-2050. Drastic changes in social structure, and in scientific and technological development. For the man of the future, war and violence are unacceptable. The main priority of his development is spiritual self-improvement.
A new era dawns: The era of neohumanity.
The '2045 Initiative' Says Immortality Will Come Via Brain Computers And Hologram Bodies In 30 Years JENNIFER WELSH Jul. 30, 2012