Sunday, November 01, 2009

Will the Singularity enable us to resurrect cremains?

As AI (SAI) exceeds human levels, they will accelerate medical science, and increase the time we can resuscitate flatlined individuals - incrementally at first, then that will accelerate as well.

Right now, we can resuscitate individuals who have been dead for maybe 2-3 minutes, thanks to CPR, defibs, epinephrine, and amiodarone.

When AI helps us decipher the processes of the human body, we may figure out how to reverse more necrotizing processes. Brain-death will soon become a reversible condition.

Then we'll reach the 5-minute resuscitation threshold, then 7, 10, 15, 20, 30, 45, 1 hour (resurrection at this point), 2, 4, 8, 12, and you can imagine the rest.

Soon, we may even be able to miraculously interrupt wakes to bring them back to life. Then we'll eventually get to stop a funeral procession.

(AI will first need to figure out how to reverse the anti-life properties that embalming fluids have. People die from drinking embalming fluid, so that needs to be undone from a body first, before a resurrection can start.)

Then we can start exhuming fresh graves, then those that are older, and older, and older.

Eventually, SAI will figure out how to bring a collection of bones back to life, after somehow recovering the data for a personality and its memories from brains long since rotted to mush.

(At the end of the Haley Joel Osment film, "A.I.," evolved androids figure out how to recover memories and personalities of the deceased from "fabrics of space-time," but can only keep a resurrectee awake for one day, then that space-time fabric gets used-up for all time and the resurectee never wakes again. I hope that's not true, and if it is, that The Singularity will somehow learn how to override that and keep them existing from then until forever.)

The final step would be the ashes from a cremation. I don't think any strand of DNA would stay as intact and original as it was pre-cremation, as the burning process will have disturbed it so much.

Therefore, how would the Singularity reverse this chemical change and bring the cremated back to life?

(Before you say it can't, remember that the Singularity will create advances that not even one person living today could have imagined. For example, how would have anyone imagined the Internet from Isaac Newton's era? Most of us cannot imagine how the Singularity will resurrect someone's cremains, but I hope that somebody on Mind-X would be able to.)

So once again, how would the Singularity reverse this chemical change and bring the cremated back to life?

(This post is a retelling of my original thread on


  1. BS. If you pull a corpse then the brain is rotted completely. Nothing to recreate the person from more substantial than the usual thing historical references. It doesn't matter what your tech is if the required information does not exist. Now, if you had time travel and could scan the brain while intact or just abduct the person just before they died you might have a chance. Claims that Singularity will do the impossible just because it is unimaginably better tech are getting really boring.

  2. Thanks, Samantha. I have been taking the effort to repost my old original forum threads from onto BYB, as it's supposed to be a journal of ideas, innovations, and inventions. (Disclaimer: When a post is none of those, it will have a parenthesis disclaimer at the end of the title.)

    I have updated this post to include a link to the original. A user there named "Eldras" mentioned "Quantum Archaeology." Do you know a thing about that? That concept gives us hope that long-dead bodies can get resurrected after all.