Is it possible to preserve and read memories after someone has died? Robert McIntyre thinks it is, and that the technology is closer than most people realize. His company Nectome is working on documenting the physical properties of memory formation, and studying ways to preserve those physical properties after death. McIntyre has already won the Brain Preservation Institutes’ “Small Mammal” & “Large Mammal” prizes for preserving a full brain down to the synaptic level, and is now taking the next steps in figuring out how to decode those synapses. These are early experiments, but this is the type of work that will be required if we are someday able to preserve a mind and memories past biological death.
Robert McIntyre is a former AI researcher at MIT, where he worked with Marvin Minsky, Patrick Winston, and Gerald Sussman studying the role of embodiment in AI. He left MIT in 02015 to compete for the Brain Preservation Prizes, and is currently CEO of Nectome, a company he founded to further develop brain preservation technology.
“Engram Preservation: Early Work Towards Mind Uploading” was given on February 11, 02020 as part of The Long Now Foundation’s “Conversations at The Interval” Salon Talks. These hour long talks are recorded live at The Interval, our bar, cafe, & museum in San Francisco. Since 02014 this series has presented artists, authors, entrepreneurs, scientists (and more) taking a long-term perspective on subjects like art, design, history, nature, technology, and time. To follow the talks, you can:
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