We recently discussed how 3D printing can already produce organs (albeit not fit for human transplants yet). Interestingly, this is just one component of a whole domain of tech dedicated to extending human life: “immortality-as-a-service” or “IaaS”.
Estimated to reach a market value of US$64b by 2026, IaaS is yet to be accurately defined, currently falling between the healthcare and cloud industries. The term is also used in reference to both biological and digital immortality.
Biological immortality is pretty straightforward: scientists working on extending life through medical advancements, including 3D printing (as mentioned), gene therapy and nanotechnology. The field has generated a lot of investor interest in the recent years, leading to stand-alone companies like Unity Biotechnology ($UBX) and established tech companies like Google ($GOOGL) having enough funding to focus exclusively on the research. Studies have already gone far, with a certain biotech CEO setting an example. Bryan Johnson is 45 years old, but test results show that, biologically, he has a heart of a 37-year-old, skin of a 28-year-old and lungs of an 18-year-old. While impressive, his upkeep reportedly costs US$2m a year.
Digital immortality is, comparatively, the cheap option. Instead of dropping two mill a year on advanced self-care, you may soon be able to “upload your personality” into a computer. This would allow you to transcend mortality in a way, and continue to digitally keep your loved ones company. Despite this raising plenty of questions on existentialism, the concept is popular among Metaverse companies and research is forging ahead.
Would you rather see advancements in biological or digital immortality – or do you think eternal life is overrated anyway?
Stella is a markets analyst and writer with almost a decade of investing experience. With a Masters in Accounting from the University of Sydney, she specialises in financial statement analysis and financial modelling. Previously, she worked as an equity analyst at Australian finance start-up, Simply Wall St, where she took charge of the market insights newsletter sent out to over a million subscribers. At Stake, Stella has been key to producing the weekly Wrap articles and social media content.