San Junipero is real: Nectome wants to upload your brain

Nectome is a company that suggests they're able to upload your consciousness to a computer, just like on Black Mirror. The episode Black Mirror features a future in which people have a choice when they die: pass on, or have yourself uploaded to a place called San Junipero. Now the company Nectome says they can do that too – but there's no trial period, and you won't come back out the other side alive.

The company aims to be unique amongst those startups heading to Y-Combinator this year, presenting a product that is "100 percent fatal" to the end user. The procedure includes putting the user under with general anesthesia then filling them up with embalming chemicals. According to MIT Tech Review, Nectome have consulted with lawyers about California's End of Life Option Act to make certain they'd be allowed to... you know... murder people for science.

They've got a body already

In February of 2018, Nectome purchased a freshly deceased body from the company Aeternitas. Company founder Fineas Lupeiu confirmed with MIT that he did, indeed "provide" the body to Nectome, but would not disclose details about the woman or "how much he charged." The woman was used to test Nectome's procedures, but her brain will not be stored in a computer. Instead, it'll be sliced into pieces for further study.

"Nectome will create technologies to enable whole-brain nanoscale preservation and imaging, a vital step towards a deep understanding of the mind and of the brain's diseases," wrote Robert McIntyre and team for their RePorter project abstract with the US Department of Health & Human Services. "Current brain-processing technologies compromise between whole-brain applicability or nanoscale resolution; our technologies will achieve both simultaneously."

The company won a federal grant to the tune of $960,000 USD from the United States National Institute of Mental Health. Their project (as described above) seems aimed at drug research rather than preserving the minds of humans for upload to a digital paradise for all time.

Time to sign up

At time of this article's publication, 25 people have signed up for Nectome's service with a $10,000 deposit. Potential users are apparently able to get a full refund if they change their mind. If you happen to be one of these people, please, let me know. I'd love to ask you how you think it's reasonable to burden future generations with the responsibility of keeping your brain files in a live server just because you had $10,000 at one point in the distant past.