Customer Review

106 of 119 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Path to True Artificial Intelligence, November 13, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed (Hardcover)
In "How To Create a Mind," Ray Kurzweil offers a fascinating and readable overview of his theory of how the human brain works, as well as a road map for the future of artificial intelligence.

Kurzweil makes a compelling argument that choosing the proper scale is critical when approaching the problem of how the brain works. Many skeptics believe that we are no where near understanding or simulating the human brain because of its overwhelming complexity. However, Kurzweil suggests that a complete understanding of the micro-level details (such as individual neurons or even biochemistry) is really not necessary. Instead, the brain can be understood and simulated at a higher level. The book gives many examples in other fields of science and engineering where such a high level approach has produced tremendous progress.

The core of Kurzweil's theory is that the brain is made up of pattern processing units comprised of around 100 neurons, and he suggests that the brain can be understood and simulated primarily by looking at how these lego-like building blocks are interconnected.

The book includes accounts of some of the most important research current research in both brain science and AI, especially the "Blue Brain Project" (that is working on a whole brain simulation), and also the work on IBM's Watson (Jeopardy! champion) computer.

Kurzweil continues to assert that we will have human-level AI by around 2029. A typical human brain contains about 300 million pattern processing units, but Kurzeil thinks that AIs of the future might have billions, meaning that machine intelligence would far exceed the capabilities of the human mind.

Ray Kurzweil is clearly an optimist both in terms of the progress he foresees and its potential impact on humanity. If he is even partly right in his predictions then the implications could be staggering. Machines that are as smart, or even smarter, than people could completely transform society, the economy and the job market.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 

Comments

Tracked by 1 customer

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 14, 2012 3:04:48 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 29, 2012 2:29:49 PM PST
Great review! Thanks for posting. Just wanted to let you know that an excellent executive summary of this book is available at newbooksinbrief.com

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2012 2:58:58 PM PST
Mishka says:
A lot of insight on this problem is in Doug Hofstadter's "I am a strange loop" written 5 years ago.

Posted on Nov 25, 2012 8:26:50 AM PST
to understand Watson, read http://www.aaai.org/Magazine/Watson/watson.php.

Posted on Dec 30, 2012 7:55:01 PM PST
Qwester says:
Kurzweil and the reviewers, in general, suffer the limitations of a group of blind men exploring an elephant. Kurzweil impudently equates EI to mind and/or brain and implies some understanding of either mind or brain that exceeds the most purile example of either. Brain is the least complicated neurological system of the animal while mind is the most complicated human application of brain expressing the highest processes of the poet and artist and for which we have not even a lexicon let alone an understanding.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›