A Los Angeles man’s alleged plan to resurrect the deceased using cryonics and artificial intelligence may be dead on arrival.
Multiple news outlets these week proclaimed that a company called Humai is developing methods that will get previously dead people up and walking within 30 years. But experts in the field say there’s no way Humai’s plan is feasible, and there’s some evidence the whole thing may be a hoax.
Humai founder and CEO Josh Bocanegra says the company will rely on advances in artificial technology, nanotechnology and cryonics — and some advanced planning from future dead people while they are still alive.
“We’ll first collect extensive data on our members for years prior to their death via various apps we’re developing. After death, we’ll freeze the brain using cryonics technology,” he told PopSci.com.”When the technology is fully developed we’ll implant the brain into an artificial body.”
Humai’s website is basically only a launch page with a request for emails while New Age music plays in the background.
However, Bocanegra told SeriousWonder.com that his plan will enhance what it means to be human, not just extend human life.
“I think the body has limitations and I don’t believe the body has evolved with the best possible functions,” he told SeriousWonder.com. “I think an artificial body will contribute more to the human experience. It will extend the human experience. So much so, that those who accept death will probably change their mind.”
Michael Maven, a British-based business consultant who has developed software that helps retain customers based on previous purchases, told HuffPost that Bocanegra’s idea is “damn near impossible.”
Maven is skeptical because Bocanegra claims he can do — with only five employees, only two of whom are researchers — what scientists have been trying to do for years, and with no venture capital.
Then there’s the sticky issue of bringing a brain back to life.
“How will he connect it to a machine? You don’t just simply plug it in via USB. Nanotechnology is not an answer, it’s a buzzword,” Maven said via email. “The technology which could extract legible thoughts and ideas out of an organ made of living tissue is nowhere near anything we have yet.”
Andrea Riposati, an artificial intelligence expert formerly employed at Amazon, said Bocanegra’s plan is both a hoax and could be “a very effective way to rob people.”
“Everyone will tell you that the technology is not ready. No reason to believe it will be ready in 30 years,” Riposati told HuffPost by email. “But this is an amazing business model for Humai. They can collect monthly/yearly payments from their customers promising something in the future.”
However, there’s no evidence that Bocanegra is actually asking anyone for cash.
Riposati says people who want to take a chance that Bocanegra is legit would have to pay up to $80,000 annually just for the cheapest available memory storage programs.
“We are talking about big money,” he said.
The Huffington Post reached out to Bocanegra, but he has not yet responded.
However, evidence suggests he may not be dead serious.
The 25-year-old’s primary business experience isn’t in tech, but in creating beats for hip-hop artists, according to Forbes.
Bocanegra also has a history of creating Internet pranks. The alleged tech guru came to the world’s attention in 2013 when he created “LoveRoom,” a sort of Airbnb home rental system for people who wanted to rent a place where the other guests would be attractive.
The idea got lots of attention when he announced the project. Bocanegra later told Forbes.com that it was a “thought experiment that I would work on if there was interest. But it was really more of a joke because I didn’t think people would really be interested.”
Also on HuffPost:
— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.