FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Ray Kurzweil on Living Forever

Noted futurist Ray Kurzweil believes that bioengineering and nanotechnology will one day allow humans to "reprogram" their bodies to prevent illness and heal injuries... thereby keeping the human body alive indefinitely.

Much of Kurzweil's thinking in this area was inspired by his own experiences with diabetes. He believes that one of the body's fundamental weaknesses is its slow response in fighting disease and healing wounds. Nanobots, he suggests, could do the job much more quickly, as well as enhance normal bodily functions like digestion.

Kurzweil foresees a day when people can heal -- or even improve -- their bodies by downloading patches and upgrades, just as we update our computer software over the Internet today. Much of his thinking is outlined in his recent book Fantastic Voyage : Live Long Enough to Live Forever, coauthored with Terry Grossman.