The founder of the Russia 2045 initiative is interviewed here: "Dmitry Itskov is the founder of Global Future 2045, which recently held its first conference. The Russian entrepreneur gathered scientists from around the world to discuss many topics that will help achieve one goal: life extension. ... The main idea of the project and my mission is to help people, to eliminate disease and death probably in the future, to overcome the limitations of our body, and to help humanity grow out of the crisis. As for my personal background, I have always been in the IT business, internet technologies. I published a few internet newspapers in Russia, I produce internet TV channel, a kind of blog service, email service, so being in this business I have always been interested in science and technologies that can extend life. Of course, like anybody, I have seen death and diseases in my family, my grandparents have gone, I've always been thinking how can I personally help. I've also been interested in science and I've seen an example of scientists who haven't gone, who are with us, like Stephan Hawking. He can't even move, he can't even normally talk to people, so this experience inspired me, this made me think how can I participate and help people. I decided to launch such an initiative with the help of Russian scientists who I knew like me. What helped me was that talking to them I was pretty sure that if we launched a kind of a big technical project, a big social initiative, if we work together, if we make our thinking global, and if we are able to launch a global network, then there is a very big chance we make our dreams come true. ... [The Avatar initiative] is the main technological project of the initiative which consists of four steps. One is human-like robot controlled by brain-computer interface. ... the second part is about producing life support system for the human brain. ... The third part is reverse engineering for the brain." The fourth step is to replace the biological brain with an artificial system that is more durable and extendable - which is a long way out, but something that has to be accomplished carefully and thoughtfully to be anything other than an expensive form of suicide that happens to leave behind a copy of the original you. Acceptable means include slowly replacing neurons one by one with nanomachinery that replicates their function and data storage whilst interfacing with the remaining brain tissue - but again, this sort of technology is a long way out from where we stand now, and there are many other challenges to be overcome along the way.