Manuel Brenner, a particle physicist as well as a neuroscientist, thinks pattern recognition might be the answer:
But wait! We were going to build an artificial intelligence modeled on the human brain. But our project assumes, rather than proves, that the brain even works that way—and that all we need to know in order to produce an artificial intelligence is how the human brain works. Brenner admits as much: “So just stacking up pattern recognizers won’t suddenly bring about robots running around reasoning like humans.”
He then restates his faith that we can build artificial intelligences—without having made clear the basis for it, citing Ray Kurzweil: “(Kurzweil predicts machines passing the Turing test in 2029 and human-level AI in 2045).”
But… finally, in the last two sentences, he does make clear a basis for his faith: “Because after all nature came up with intelligence through the blind fancies of evolution. And it looks like we might come up with it as well soon.”
So, to be clear, the basis for Brenner’s confidence is not advances in computer science or neuroscience as such. The basis is that human intelligence originated by accident (“blind fancies”). He is entitled to that opinion but he hasn’t offered evidence for thinking that it is science.News, “A neuroscientist on why we can build human-like brains” at Mind Matters News
See also: The brain is not a computer and Big Data is not a Big Answer. These claims are mere tales from the AI apocalypse, as George Gilder tells it, in Gaming AI. A neuroscientist and an economics prof show that the claims arise from misunderstandings of how brains and computers work.
Has the Singularity been called off? Indefinitely postponed? If a human brain has as many connections as the whole internet, why SHOULD we merge with computers in a Singularity?