"Immortal Life": Stanley Bing's new novel explores tech's obsession with living longer

The real-life quest for eternal life by some of tech's biggest moguls is what inspired the new novel, "Immortal Life: A Soon To Be True Story." In it, author Stanley Bing (the pen name of CBS executive Gil Schwartz) imagines a future where humans evolve in digital form -- a scary prospect for some. 

People like Amazon's Jeff Bezos and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel are donating millions to explore the science and tools to keep life going and inspired the world in which Bing sets his story. 

"It involves people who have a lot of money and they're in business and they have never failed at anything, these Silicon Valley types," Bing told "CBS This Morning." 


In the book, these people are looking into the idea of essentially "copying your brain."

"If you think of the brain as a computer, you can back up your brain. You put it in a storage unit and then if you can create a new housing for it, then you've got a new body. And this could be done infinitely," Bing said.

The author didn't just draw inspiration from Silicon Valley, but also from his own desire to stick around. 

"I'm not as young as I used to be and I would like to live forever. And I think a lot of people when they get to the age — you could be 40 and suddenly realize, 'Wow, you know what? It would be really nice to extend my life and be around in 100 years,'" he said.

"Immortal Life" explores transferring consciousness, which would be stored in "the cloud," from a dying body to a brand new one.

"Then the question is, how do you get the new body? And we're right now printing, you know, organs, kidneys are being printed. They're not working yet, but if you move the world 20 years, 25 years into the future, it's easy to see how you might be able to create life by printing it," he said.  

While the possibility of immortality may be exciting to some, others find the prospect altogether terrifying. Bing is more than OK with that.

"I like the fact that it's scary," he said. "I think some of the best entertainment that we have, especially ones thinking about you know, how the world is going, they should be a little scary."

Yet Bing doesn't see technology itself as the culprit. It's the reason — or lack thereof — behind some innovations that become a slippery slope towards unintended consequences. 

"The problems happen when people do tech because they can. In other words, they made bombs because it was so interesting to figure out how do you do that. Nuclear power plants, you know, 'Wow we could do that. Let's try to do that.' Now the tech guys are doing a lot of stuff like, for me, self-driving cars. They'll be able to do it but do people want it?"

While Bing may be open to extending his life, he'd definitely like to remain in the driver's seat.   

"Immortal Life: A Soon To Be True Story" is published by Simon & Schuster, a division of CBS.