I started making Bluebrain in 2009 after I saw Henry Markram give his TED talk promising to build a sentient simulation of the human brain on IBM supercomputers within 10 years. I proposed to Markram and his team to make a 10-year documentary tracking their endeavor, and they gave me access starting that year. Since then, I've visited them steadily once or twice a year, interviewing the same scientists over and over again, as they've had children, moved labs, faced harsh criticism of their work, and yes, gradually moved the goalposts of their original goal to more realistic and humble visions of what will be achieved in this ten year window.
These past seven years have also seen the explosion of Big Data global neuroscience, with mega-projects being launched in the U.S., China, and the E.U., where Markram led a winning bid to create the Human Brain Project. So as the years have gone on, I've expanded my film to cover not only the criticism of Markram's work but also the work of other groups around the world. The third clip features some of this material, touching on the launch of Obama's BRAIN Initiative, as well as the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle.