How my predictions are fairing at KurzweilAI.net).
Kurzweil's model of the neocortex described in detail in this book, The Pattern Recognition Theory of Mind, may be sufficient to build a Artificial Intelligence. This computer mind system may be capable of demonstrating the emergent property of intelligence. And then by extension the emergent property of consciousness.
The sections on hidden Markov models, hierarchical architecture, and evolutionary genetic algorithms are worth reading if your into software design. If you wonder why Apple released Siri before it was perfect, this book will give you the reason. Kurzweil and company are the innovators of speech recognition.
Apple Had No Choice But To Release Siri As An Imperfect Product by Seth Fiegerman (2012)
"The reason I became interested in trying to predict certain aspects of technology is that I realized about thirty years ago that the key to becoming successful as an inventor (a profession I adopted when I was five years old) was timing. Most inventions and inventors fail not because the gadgets themselves don't work, but because their timing is wrong, appearing either before all of the enabling factors are in place or too late, having missed the window of opportunity.
Being an engineer, about three decades ago I started to gather data on measures of technology in different areas. When I began this effort, I did not expect that it would present a clear picture, but I did hope that it would provide some guidance and enable me to make educated guesses. My goal was -- and still is -- to time my own technology efforts so that they will be appropriate for the world that exist when I complete a project -- which I realized would be very different from the world that existed when I started."
-- Ray Kurzweil
Kurzweil is now a fellow at Google working on building a mind. Did he time this project start at Google for the world that will exist in 2020?
Ray Kurzweil Plans to Create a Mind at Google—and Have It Serve You by Will Knight
Ray Kurzweil TED talk on How Technology will Transform Us.