My interest in artificial intelligence started young. It was pretty easy when your early exposure to science fiction was Data (an android character on Star Trek) and reading the complete fiction of Asimov (who actually coined the word robot).
As the years have passed, the interest first led me to computer science (and an Artificial Intelligence course in college) and later to study in depth Cognition and Neuroscience. I now have a cohesive theory for the nature of the cerebral cortex. Once published, I believe it will provide a significant step towards realizing AI.
Unfortunately, my theory explains certain features of cognition without directly tackling challenges of motivation. I hope to find more significant research in this space and believe that we could see human-like cognitive behavior (including the kind of abstract reasoning that currently distinguishes us from human-imitating supercomputers) out of a machine well withing my lifetime.