De Garis's early studies were on theoretical_physics, but he abandoned this field of research in favour of artificial_life and artificial_intelligence. He invented a new field of this science known as evolvable_hardware. This involves evolving neural net circuits directly in hardware at hardware speeds to build artificial brains.
His current project is to assemble thousands of these 'brains' into a larger artificial intelligence architecture to make a functioning AI. He predicts that one day these machines (he calls them 'artilects') will be far more intelligent than humans and even threaten to dominate the world.
"Humans should not stand in the way of a higher form of evolution. These machines are godlike. It is human destiny to create them." -Hugo de Garis, as quoted in New York Times Magazine of August 1, 1999, speaking of The Singularity.