An Essay by Prof. Hiroi Published in the 8/14/18 Edition of the Kyoto Shimbun Newspaper as Part of its "Contemporary Words" Series
An essay by Prof. Yoshinori Hiroi was published in the 8/14/18 edition of the Kyoto Shimbun Newspaper as part of its “Contemporary Words” series.
The title, “A Contemporary Version of ‘A Dream of Immortality'” argues that themes surrounding immortality, which has been an “eternal dream” since antiquity, is beginning to be discussed more realistically in the fields of “science”. The essay points out that there two fields of science are prominent in this discussion: medical and life science systems (e.g. regenerative medicine), and information science and engineering systems (e.g. transplanting human consciousness into machines).
How do we acknowledge and think about such topics? The essay posed such questions by referring to “The Cat that Lived a Million Times” by Yoko Sano.
Contemporary Words by Yoshinori Hiroi
Immortality has been an “eternal dream” for humans since ancient times. Recently, however, topics surrounding immortality have started to be addressed in mainstream in science.
As far as I’m concerned, there are two separate streams to this scientific inquiry into immortality. One of them is comprised of the fields of life science and medicine, seen for example in the rapid development of regenerative medicine. The other stream is information science, which is discussing how we can “transplant” human’ “consciousness” into machines and the internet, allowing consciousness to “live forever”.
In simple terms, the former is associated with “physical immortality” and the latter is associated with the “immortality of consciousness”. Of the two, the “immortality of consciousness” may be more familiar to us due to it receiving greater media attention.
(Excerpt from the 8/14/18
Kyoto Shimbun Newspaper article)