Brain Activity Map Project to be funded in Obama budget

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.

Google’s Ray Kurzweil on Google’s role in the Future of Artificial Intelligence

Inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil is generally regarded as one of the world’s top engineers working on Artificial Intelligence, and he’s certainly the world’s top *evangelist* for AI, arguing that general AI, or thinking machines, will inevitably arise, and fairly soon, as another step down the evolutionary path of the human species.    His book  “The Singularity is Near”, is the key popular work addressing what many believe will become the biggest technological theme in history – the creation of an intelligent computer that is capable of human-like thought processes.

Bill Gates has called Ray Kurzweil the leading thinker in the area of artificial intelligence.

Google very recently hired Kurzweil as Director of Engineering, promising a marriage of his ideas with the company that is probably best suited to fund and deploy general AI applications.

Here, in an interview at Singularity Hub, Kurzweil discusses Google’s role in the advancement of AI:

Ray Kurzweil On Future of AI at Google:

http://singularityhub.com/2013/01/10/exclusive-interview-with-ray-kurzweil-on-future-ai-project-at-google/