Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen wants to know how the human brain works and he’s spending big bucks to find out.
Allen announced a $300 million donation to his research facility, the Allen Institute for Brain Science, bringing the total he’s got invested to $500 million.
The institute is on a quest to figure out exactly how the brain works and how to fix it when it doesn’t. The additional millions will fund 10 years of research that will answer such questions as …
- How does the brain store, encode and process information?
- What are the cellular building blocks that underlie all brain function, and are often targets of disease?
- How do those cells develop, and then create the circuits that drive behaviour, thought and brain dysfunction?
Allen has personal reasons for the institute. His mother suffered from Alzheimer’s, Forbes reports. He also believes that studying the brain will one day reveal “the essence of what makes us human,” he told Forbes.
If we can understand that, then maybe one day we can replicate it and build human-like artificial intelligence.
Want to help humanity find our mind? The institute plans to hire 350 people over the next four years.