Humai wants people to live forever, but experts are doubtful

Over the weekend, you may have caught wind about a new startup and its not-so-new idea to bring people back to life using a mixture of cryonics and other science. Some immediately called it a hoax, but others have been kind enough to entertain it as a maybe-they're-serious proposal. For those in the latter camp, take note: experts have already surfaced who, to put it mildly, are doubtful about the company's claims.

Humai's website says, "Human resurrection through artificial intelligence." That's only one technology the startup plans to use, with nanotechnology and cryonics also being in the pipeline.

According to Josh Bocanegra, Humai's CEO, who spoke recently with PopSci, the company would "resurrect" humans in the next 30 or so years via a combination of data collection, brain freezing, artificial bodies, and nanotech troubleshooting.

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. When the technology is fully developed we'll implant the brain into an artificial body. The artificial body functions will be controlled with your thoughts by measuring brain waves. As the brain ages we'll use nanotechnology to repair and improve cells. Cloning technology is going to help with this too.

Questions about the science aside, there are big question marks on the business front, and people haven't failed to notice. According to the interview, for example, Humai only has a total of five employees, with one dedicated to artificial intelligence, two on research, one on bionics and sensors, and one on nanotech and AI. Aside from that, there's an "ambassador" tasked with educating a team who will ultimately educate the public on the company's goals.

Funding is mostly absent at this point, with Bocanegra saying it is his "own money" going into Humai for now, with the team planning on "looking for outside funding in the coming months."

The notion of living forever is a romantic one, and it isn't surprising humans have dreamt of such technology for a very long time. Humai, however, doesn't look like the answer, at least to some experts who have spoken up.

Speaking to HuffPo, for example, AI expert and former Amazon employee Andrea Riposte said Humai's plans could prove "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. But this is an amazing business model for Humai. They can collect monthly/yearly payments from their customers promising something in the future."

Bocanegra countered that, though, saying in a statement to HuffPo:

Humai is a legit project. Yes, it's super ambitious, but that's the reason why I'm excited to work on it. As an innovator, big ideas have always been my core motivation. Humai is obviously not monetary incentive – at least not anytime soon. This is a project I care deeply about and I only hope to contribute to making an impact on humanity.