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Jeff Hawkins, the high-tech success story behind PalmPilots and the Redwood Neuroscience Institute, does a lot of thinking about thinking. In On Intelligence Hawkins juxtaposes his two loves--computers and brains--to examine the real future of artificial intelligence. In doing so, he unites two fields of study that have been moving uneasily toward one another for at least two decades. Most people think that computers are getting smarter, and that maybe someday, they'll be as smart as we humans are. But Hawkins explains why the way we build computers today won't take us down that path. He shows, using nicely accessible examples, that our brains are memory-driven systems that use our five senses and our perception of time, space, and consciousness in a way that's totally unlike the relatively simple structures of even the most complex computer chip. Readers who gobbled up Ray Kurzweil's (The Age of Spiritual Machines and Steven Johnson's Mind Wide Open will find more intriguing food for thought here. Hawkins does a good job of outlining current brain research for a general audience, and his enthusiasm for brains is surprisingly contagious. --Therese Littleton
Hawkins designed the technical innovations that make handheld computers like the Palm Pilot ubiquitous. But he also has a lifelong passion for the mysteries of the brain, and he's convinced that artificial intelligence theorists are misguided in focusing on the limits of computational power rather than on the nature of human thought. He "pops the hood" of the neocortex and carefully articulates a theory of consciousness and intelligence that offers radical options for future researchers. "[T]he ability to make predictions about the future... is the crux of intelligence," he argues. The predictions are based on accumulated memories, and Hawkins suggests that humanoid robotics, the attempt to build robots with humanlike bodies, will create machines that are more expensive and impractical than machines reproducing genuinely human-level processes such as complex-pattern analysis, which can be applied to speech recognition, weather analysis and smart cars. Hawkins presents his ideas, with help from New York Times science writer Blakeslee, in chatty, easy-to-grasp language that still respects the brain's technical complexity. He fully anticipates—even welcomes—the controversy he may provoke within the scientific community and admits that he might be wrong, even as he offers a checklist of potential discoveries that could prove him right. His engaging speculations are sure to win fans of authors like Steven Johnson and Daniel Dennett.
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Horrible piece of marketing. Jeff Hawkins is the worst media maniac I've ever seen.
Only chapter that is worth anything is chapter 4.
Jeff Hawkins has probably dug deeper than anyone else on the topic of a common cortical model, and how to exploit that idea to build working systems. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Amazon Customer
helps you look at the world around you with a new appreciation of what is going on in our brainsPublished 2 months ago by Jon Davalos
Some key points that were nice, but 40-50% of the book is a bit of a rambling!Published 3 months ago by Raghu K. Ganti
A thoughtful review of "On Intelligence" was posted at Science2.0 at: [...]Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
There are of course some facts and ideas presented in his book which will be proven to be wrong or misguided. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Seung
Fascinating book that I would recommend to anyone with an interest in creativity, AI or brain function. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Zach Ivie