When I read this article, I got goosebumps. Everyone who at least watches our project a little will understand me. The article was written in 2015. The person I dream to meet now. This article has been hiding from me for 4 years. It seems that I was unprepared, probably it is. What we and the team came to in the process of introducing a startup at the end of 2019, Sergey Belousov formulated and described briefly and clearly 4 years ago.

The complete “digitization” of the world is about to lead to the fact that people will live forever. Recreating a person will be as easy as phone book contacts

Data planet

The world is rapidly moving towards becoming 100% digital. All processes in business and personal life are perceived through bits and bytes – this is not the future, but reality.

This process is easy to see in current IT trends. Cloud computing makes unlimited computing resources available to everyone and always. Everyone has mobile devices in their hands, and they are always connected to the Internet. Sociality – one of the basic human instincts – is now satisfied with social networks where people practically live. All items can now be printed on 3D printers. The world is full of robots and drones working where people used to work. Big data allows you to benefit from a huge amount of information, and artificial intelligence is becoming smarter before our eyes and makes everything around us accessible for study, practically alive.
All this leads to an explosive increase in the amount of data: an average of at least 125% per year. This means that life and work in the new digital reality need to be treated differently, and this opens up completely new possibilities.

One of the concepts currently being discussed is technological singularity. Wikipedia defines this as “a hypothetical moment after which technological progress will become so fast and complex that it will be inaccessible to understanding …”. My definition of singularity is when the digital world becomes larger and more important than the physical world. Without data, it will be impossible to live in the future in the same way that it cannot exist without water, food, air and energy. It is known that without water a person can exist for about three days. After some time, he will not be able to exist normally without digital information. This is already so for many organizations.

Tombs 2.0

The advent of the digital world has interesting implications. For example, humanity has always been preoccupied with the search for immortality. Egyptian pharaohs were mummified, along with them in the tombs were stored their things, dishes, jewelry, bodies of servants and family members, as well as a description of the life of the pharaoh in hieroglyphs and images. If you think about it, the attempts of the pharaohs were not so useless, because now you can restore a copy of their bodies from preserved DNA (for example, the DNA of Tutankhamun) and a person, at least partially, according to the others, the information in the grave.

Today, a much more complete way of human mummification has appeared – to save not only DNA, but also all its data. Indeed, consciousness most likely represents only a certain set of digital or quantum data.

One of the properties of the physical world is that everything in it is destroyed, nothing can be stored forever. But this does not apply to digital data. With some caveats, the data is eternal – you can transfer it from different types of physical types of storage to others and correct the mistakes made by time and the universe in them. This may mean, among other things, that if you have all the stored information about a person in your hands, then one day you will be able to “restore” it. Of course, there are many questions about data privacy and security, but there are no unsolvable problems.

Most likely, this should be absolutely all the data: not only personal notes, photographs, diaries, correspondence, medical records, etc., but also information about the person: memories of friends and relatives who are perceived by others. With all this data, you can make an exact digital “copy” of a person – a kind of being who will react to the outside world and behave the same way as a person with whom you can talk, ask him questions. According to the Turing test, it may be possible to “prove” that this is the right person.

If we discard moral and ethical issues, my idea can be realized now. Restoring a clone, a physical analogue of a person, using DNA is already practically possible, but there is nothing fantastic in recording and storing a very large amount of information. A person’s life probably weighs tens of terabytes, a maximum of 1 petabyte. The only question is how to “load” information into the created clone.

It is not clear what kind of data is necessary for the “correct” recovery of a unique person, and therefore it is better to save absolutely everything:

Each step, meeting, memory – there are more and more ways to “photograph” the maximum information. There are already programs that record many indicators, for example, while jogging or sleeping. In addition to his DNA, quite a lot of information remained about the same Tutankhamun: memoirs, manuscripts, etc., but it is still tens of orders of magnitude less than the data that the average owner of a smartphone stores.

In this sense, the storage and recording of information about oneself acquires not only practical, but also philosophical, metaphysical meaning. Today you have restored the contacts of your phone, and tomorrow – yourself.

Sergey Belousov, CEO and founder of Acronis