On the official Dragon Ball website, it was recently done A very interesting interview with Dr. Masataka Watanabe, professor at Tokyo University of Engineering and co-researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics. He was also the author of the book “From Biological Consciousness to Artificial Consciousness: Neuroscientific Insights and Progress (Springer).
This neuroscientist was asked a Dragon Ball-themed question to find out if it’s possible to leave one’s consciousness inside a machine, thus becoming immortal like the evil scientist Dr. Gero, the one who gave birth to the iconic arc Android / Cell and it has even arrived to pursue eternal life by transforming into an android for the sole purpose of defeating Goku.
The questions asked by the interviewer Shinsuke Tada thus aim to reveal the ideas on the part of the professor, thus outlining a possible affirmative answer to the possibility of becoming immortal thanks to the machines, in a very similar way to that carried out by Dr. Gero in Dragon Ball Z.
The Dragon Ball themed interview about eternal life
First says Dr. Watanabe to believes in the possibility of transferring human consciousness to a machine, with all memories and emotions. In this way, it would be possible to continue living even after the human body, including the brain, has ceased to function.
The scientist claims that this idea is largely based on logic and that the human brain is nothing but an electrical circuit. Therefore, if such an environment can be reproduced on a machine, human consciousness may well reside on that machine. For him, the only way is to test the machine’s conscience is to use our own “subjectivity”that is, to connect the machine with our brain and “see” for ourselves whether consciousness has resided in the machine.
Dr. Watanabe still sees many other difficulties in the process that Dr. Gero performed in Dragon Ball Z on his own body to make him live forever. Consciousness is one thing, but Watanabe sees the issue of “physicality” as extremely difficult with today’s technology. Without the right means, it is just a thought experiment, and in the current situation, an important factor to achieve such goals is only to move forward with the development of the BMI (Brain Machine Interface) device that makes the connection from our brain to the hemisphere of a car.
One will not truly become immortal as far as our original biological body is concerned, but in any case however, the mechanization of the brain would involve the realization of eternal life. Dr. Watanabe studied the same theoretical method as Dr. Gero used to make his real body immortal, but in the world we live in, it is extremely difficult to change the structure of the human body with current technology.
In the end, Watanabe-san claims that admire Dr. Gero a lot to make changes to his body with the goal of eternal life and to succeed in the process (despite Android 17 and 18 being unable to). As for its inevitable demise, there are many reasons for that dumping one’s conscience into a machine might not go according to plan.
Putting human consciousness into a machine requires mimicking the human brain, but aEven the smallest mistake could surely cause a guilty conscience to find its way inside. Watanabe-san indicates that although he will have to start with lab animals, he also hopes to eventually try the consciousness transfer experiment on himself.
To read the full interview on the quest for eternal life as Dr. Gero from Dragon Ball Z, you can find the full text (in English) at this link.
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