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How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed 1st Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 251 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0670025299
ISBN-10: 0670025291
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

As inventor, futurist, and noted author of several books on technology, Kurzweil has often pushed the boundaries of convention and stirred controversy with his visionary ideas. Guaranteed to trigger still more debate, his latest work expands on a theme first introduced in his best-seller, The Age of Intelligent Machines (1989); namely, a proposed project to reverse-engineer the human mind and use that information to build superintelligent computers to solve the world’s thorniest problems. Arguing against the prevailing notion that the brain is simply too complex to be replicated in machine form, either in hardware or software, Kurzweil points out how recent, groundbreaking scientific advances, from mapping the human genome to 3D molecular imaging, have resulted in exponential technological growth. On his way to demonstrating the inevitability of computer intelligence that outstrips its human creators, Kurzweil dissects such topics as the nature of consciousness and transcendent abilities like love and creativity, and seeks to rebut his potential critics. While his prose sometimes founders when analyzing abstract data, Kurzweil’s extrapolation of technology’s breathtaking potential remains provocative and inspiring. --Carl Hays


Kurzweil's vision of our super-enhanced future is completely sane and calmly reasoned, and his book should nicely smooth the path for the earth's robot overlords, who, it turns out, will be us.
~The New York Times
"Kurzweil writes boldly and with a showman’s flair, expertly guiding the lay reader into deep thickets of neuroscience."
~Kate Tuttle, Boston Globe
This book is a breath of fresh air.... Kurzweil makes an argument for optimism.
~Laura Spinney, New Scientist
"A fascinating exercise in futurology."
~Kirkus Reviews
"It is rare to find a book that offers unique and inspiring content on every page. How to Create a Mind achieves that and more. Ray has a way of tackling seemingly overwhelming challenges with an army of reason, in the end convincing the reader that it is within our reach to create nonbiological intelligence that will soar past our own. This is a visionary work that is also accessible and entertaining.
~Rafael Reif, president, MIT
"Kurzweil's new book on the mind is magnificent, timely, and solidly argued! His best so far!"
~Marvin Minsky, MIT Toshiba Professor of Media Arts and Sciences; cofounder of the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab; widely regarded as "the father of artificial intelligence"
"If you ever wondered about how your mind works, read this book. Kurzweil's insights reveal key secrets underlying human thought and our ability to recreate it. This is an eloquent and thought-provoking work."
~Dean Kamen, physicist; inventor of the first wearable insulin pump, the HomeChoice dialysis machine, and the IBOT mobility system; founder of FIRST; recipient of the National Medal of Technology
"One of the eminent AI pioneers, Ray Kurzweil, has created a new book to explain the true nature of intelligence, both biological and nonbiological. The book describes the human brain as a machine that can understand hierarchical concepts ranging from the form of a chair to the nature of humor. His important insights emphasize the key role of learning both in the brain and in AI. He provides a credible road map for achieving the goal of super-human intelligence, which will be necessary to solve the grand challenges of humanity.
~Raj Reddy, founding director, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University; recipient of the Turing Award from the Association for Computing Machinery
"Ray Kurzweil pioneered artificial intelligence systems that could read print in any type style, synthesize speech and music, and understand speech. These were the forerunners of the present revolution in machine learning that is creating intelligent computers that can beat humans in chess, win on Jeopardy!, and drive cars. His new book is a clear and compelling overview of the progress, especially in learning, that is enabling this revolution in the technologies of intelligence. It also offers important insights into a future in which we will begin solving what I believe is the greatest problem in science and technology today: the problem of how the brain works and of how it generates intelligence."
~Tomaso Poggio, Eugene McDermott Professor, MIT Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences; director, MIT Center for Biological and Computational Learning; former chair, MIT McGovern Institute for Brain Research; one of the most cited neuroscientists in the world

"This book is a Rosetta stone for the mystery of human thought. Even more remarkably, it is a blueprint for creating artificial consciousness that is as persuasive and emotional as our own. Kurzweil deals with the subject of consciousness better than anyone from Blackmore to Dennett. His persuasive thought experiment is of Einstein quality: It forces recognition of the truth."
~Martine Rothblatt, chairman and CEO, United Therapeutics; creator of Sirius XM Satellite Radio

"Kurzweil's book is a shining example of his prodigious ability to synthesize ideas from disparate domains and explain them to readers in simple, elegant language. Just as Chanute's Progress in Flying Machines ushered in the era of aviation over a century ago, this book is the harbinger of the coming revolution in artificial intelligence that will fulfill Kurzweil's own prophecies about it."
~Dileep George, AI scientist; pioneer of hierarchical models of the neocortex; cofounder of Numenta and Vicarious Systems

"Ray Kurzweil's understanding of the brain and artificial intelligence will dramatically impact every aspect of our lives, every industry on Earth, and how we think about our future. If you care about any of these, read this book!"
~Peter H. Diamandis, chairman and CEO, X PRIZE; executive chairman, Singularity University; author of the New York Times bestseller Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Viking; 1st edition (November 13, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670025291
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670025299
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (251 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,428 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon November 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase
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on November 14, 2012
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