What precisely are those long-standing problems?
I ask because I actually know people who are starting to demonstrate the rudiments of intelligence using simulations of ~100,000 neurons.
If they're attempting the impossible, you should let them know not to waste their money.
autistic intelligence have been done for years with neural nets, the limitation is abstracting this basic equation estimation technique (which is all the neural construct really do.) and I guess the article describes a need way to overcome some obstacles.
IMHO the biggest challenge is really training data, you dont have enough of it, take a project like OpenCog, they've done simulations in secondlife, and this is problary the best route available for the moment. The best route would be to stuff the AI in an actual body, cause there is more training data in the real world than anywhere else.
I had a conversation with a high ranking officer a few years back who boldy calimed that their systems was 100% secure, nothing i could do.. When i explained my attack vector would be to phone in and pretend to be from support and ask him to stick in the usb-dongle (wich he had in his mail) and plug it into the secure line