Don't Model the World - just Model the Mind.
It's a lot easier. With some poetic freedom, I'd like to claim:
- Model the World: ten billion lines of code
- Model the Brain: ten million lines of code
- Model the Mind: ten thousand lines of code
#1 is regular programming. We make computers perform actions in a context that matches the programmer's mental Model of some relevant parts of the world.
#2 is Neuroscience based Models of neurons, synapses and other biological structures and systems in brains.
#3 is Epistemology based "Models" of Learning, Understanding, Reasoning, Prediction, Abstraction, and other Holistic and Emergent phenomena.
Epistemology based Methods require a rather minimal infrastructure to support whatever operations these concepts require.
I put "Models" within irony quotes because they are strictly speaking meta-Models because they are used in meta-skills. They are not about skills, such as English or folding proteins, they are about how to acquire such skills:
By Learning from our mistakes.