Vice President, Rational Continuous Engineering Solutions
IBM Software Group
We have all been anticipating the approach of The Singularity, when machine intelligence becomes sufficiently advanced that we can upload our consciousness into a machine. It is believed that this moment will almost instantly change the course of human evolution. This moment was hypothesized by Ray Kurzweil and the idea has been in the popular culture for decades.
Recently, Universities in Sheffield and Sussex announced their plans to not only create a computer simulation of a honey bee, but to also upload this 'brain' into a working, flying robot. The purpose of this is not necessarily to expedite the singularity (unfortunately - since that would be amazing) but to help offset the losses of bees and their effects on the environment. I am not sure which is more frightening, a world where we live and exist without bodies in a boundless computing cloud, or a world where robotic bees fly all around us trying to spread plant life.
This project is known as The Green Brain and is funded for £1 million by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council with additional donations from NVidia. There are other anticipated uses for this technology including search and rescue. The future will be interesting!