I'll assume that mousetrap is a metaphor.
Fowarding the progress of the human race through science!
That, or making damn fun games has always been my dream.
So it would either be funding human-like AI research or adopting small/start-up game companies that amuse me.
Re: If I were a rich (wo)man...
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Making a smart computer is easy, making a smart computer that doesn't want to cleanse the earth of humanity is the hard part. Bedsides, if I wanted to do space, I'd just buy NASA. The government doesn't seem to want it much anyway.
AFAIK, the only documented way to make a smart computer has a production time of nine months of trouble. The programming is a pain that literally takes work years for each.
I have never heard anyone call that process easy.
if I wanted to do space, I'd just buy NASA
You might want to check track records for delivery times and cost overruns before doing that.
I think you will have a hard time finding any organization that has missed cost estimates as much as NASA did for launch to orbit, literally orders of magnitude (they promised hundreds of dollars/lbs for the shuttle, think it is about 10,000... :-( )