A social initiative called Russia 2045 wants to put an end to death by creating robots that can replace our physical bodies and store our personalities on artificial brains — and they believe it will happen in the next few decades. Led by Russian media mogul Dmitry Itskov, the Avatar program — not to be confused with DARPA's project of the same name — includes four different avatars, each of which will steadily advance our march towards immortality. By 2020 the group hopes to create a humanoid robot that can be controlled with your brain, while 2025 will see a human brain actually transplanted into such a robot. A decade later the group believes that its avatar will be able to host a human personality in an artificial brain, and by 2045 that brain will be part of a "hologram-like avatar." And they have high hopes for just how great their creation will be:
"Before 2045 an artificial body will be created that will not only surpass the existing body in terms of functionality, but will achieve perfection of form and be no less attractive than the human body."
Of course, this all sounds rather far-fetched, and so far the group is a long way from its goal. While researchers have built a realistic-looking android, right now it can't do much more than blink and move its fingers — it seems unlikely that in less than a decade it will be a functioning mind-controlled robot. Then again, the group's goals for beyond 2045 are even more outlandish, including everything from allowing humans to "control reality by thought" and "manage the course of history" to making it possible for everyone to "create a personal universe." While these dreams will very likely remain just that for the foreseeable future, at the very least the project has the support of the Dalai Lama.