The Brain Activity Map Project is a major effort to map *every neuron” in the human brain, and may represent a significant advance towards conscious machine intelligence sometimes called “Strong General Artificial Intelligence” or “Strong AI”. The Brain Activity Map is expected to get Obama administration funding to the tune of approximately 3 billion over the next decade.
The project has some similarities to Europe’s new “Human Brain Project” effort, a well funded extension of Henry Markram’s “Blue Brain Project” which seeks to create a working model of the human brain in the next decade.
At these funding levels technological optimists can hope for even more dramatic progress towards the technological singularity, the point at which machine intelligence far surpasses that of humans. Futurist and engineer Ray Kurzweil has written extensively about the coming technological singularity, and his recent appointment as Google’s director of engineering suggests that the private sector will also be funding machine consciousness projects at unprecedented levels.
Countdown to the SINGULARITY?
Technology report has been focused on this topic for some time, and it’s now fair to say that funding levels are starting to match the enormous potential of machine intelligence to revolutionize virtually every aspect of human existence. Although some pessimists fear the worst, we think it’s very likely that superintelligences will either ignore us or help humankind solve the many problems we face. The likelihood of a hostile superintelligence or “unfriendly AI” seems low.