The basic issue with how quickly a scientifically adequate account of human intelligence can be developed. We call this issue the complexity brake. As we go deeper and deeper in our understanding of natural systems, we typically find that we require more and more specialized knowledge to characterize them, and we are forced to continuously expand our scientific theories in more and more complex ways. Understanding the detailed mechanisms of human cognition is a task that is subject to this complexity brake.
Paul Allen has funded detailed brain mapping projects. He also funded Virgin Galactic (suborbital space tourism).
If the singularity is going to occur on anything like Kurzweil's timeline, though, then we absolutely require a massive acceleration of our scientific progress in understanding every facet of the human brain.
2045 may be too early for far greater than human level AGI or brain emulation which is to trigger a Singularity.
However, other massive technological productivity boosters should kick in to trigger something a Technological explosion of capability.
Surprising possibilities in energy breakthroughs seem likely to happen between 2012-2030.
Space access could be radically changed by a reusable Spacex rocket. This will be followed by solar electric sails and nuclear fusion for space propulsion.
Massive computer hardware boosts will come from memristors, optical computing, onchip photonics, breakthroughs with quantum computers.
I still think molecular nanotechnology will happen in 2025-2040.
Advanced additive manufacturing and molecular nanotechnology will create very interesting capabilities.
I anticipate the world to have a few radical changes by 2035.
Significant enhancements to the tools and productivity boosters to increase the rate of scientific and technological improvement will change the situation.
I would lay my Singularity odds at
10% by 2045
50% by 2065
90% by 2075
99% by 2080
I am expecting significant life extension improvements to start kicking in by 2035. So I am expecting to live to see the result of the prediction out through 2080.