Just because your body will eventually wither away and die doesn’t mean your brain and all the memories stored in it have to. At least that’s the pitch made California-based company Nectome, which claims to perfectly preserve clients brains for use in the future when technology will allow all the information stored in them to be transferred to a computer.
Nectome claims that we will one day be able to survey the brain’s connectome – the neural connections within the brain – so thoroughly as to reconstruct a person’s memories long after they have died. That day is still a long way away, but Nectome is offering to preserve people’s brain in such a way that when the aforementioned technology becomes available, they can be among the first to resume their lives as computer programs, or even something more.
While the idea of returning to life, be it even as something immaterial like software, may be appealing to a lot of people, the service offered by Nectome does come with a huge catch. As company co-founder Robert McIntyrehe openly admits, the service is “100 percent fatal” for clients, meaning that in order to preserve the connectome, the brain has to be pumped with a cocktail of embalming chemicals while still fresh. It’s essentially a form of assisted suicide with the alleged benefit of potentially coming back to life one day.
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