How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed Hardcover – 13 Nov 2012
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Ray Kurzweil is the best person I know at predicting the future of artificial intelligence --Bill Gates
Kurzweil knows a lot about new technology and he knows how to make it sound fun. He is dazzling in his enthusiasm for things to come, and has a grasp of the exciting developments pulsing through the intersection of science and technology --Financial Times --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.
About the Author
Ray Kurzweil is the world-renowned inventor, thinker and futurist. A recipient of the National Medal of Technology and 12 honorary doctorates, he is the author of six books, and has been described by the Wall Street Journal as the restless genius. His bestselling book The Singularity is Near is also published by Duckworth. --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
As a software engineer working on pattern recognition systems I bought this book as soon as it was available, the book gave me a lot of ideas and I'm very happy I bought it. The central thesis seems to be the same as Jeff Hawkins' On Intelligence - obviously a big influence for Kurzweil - but with a focus on developments since On Intelligence was published.
Kurzweil got employed at Google very shortly after publishing this book so he could lead a team to create the mind that he's described. He's said in interviews that he left some details out of the book because he didn't want to give too much away.
Overall a good read that will provoke a lot of constructive thought, but don't expect for anyone to actually build a mind based on just this book.
In "How to Create a Mind" Kurzweil zeroes in on just one scientific/technological project - creating a functioning replica of the human mind. He uses certain insights from information technology and neurology to propose his own idea of what human mind (and by extension human intelligence) are all about, and to propose how to go about emulating it "in silico." Here too Kurzweil reduces a seemingly intractable problem that the humanity has grappled with for millennia to just a couple of overarching insights. In his view the essence of virtually all cognitive processes can be reduced to the scientific paradigm of "pattern recognition" - an ability of computational agent to identify and classify patterns. And the information theoretical and engineering tool for emulating the kind of pattern recognition that goes on in a mind is the mathematical technique called "hierarchical hidden Markov chains" (HHMS). What gives Kurzweil confidence about this insight and this kind of approach are the successes that he has had in starting and marketing companies which used HHMS for speech and character recognition.Read more ›
When IBM's Deep Blue defeated humanity's greatest chess player Garry Kasparov in 1997 it marked a major turning point in the progress of artificial intelligence (AI). A still more impressive turning point in AI was achieved in 2011 when another creation of IBM named Watson defeated Jeopardy! phenoms Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter at their own game. As time marches on and technology advances we can easily envision still more impressive feats coming out of AI. And yet when it comes to the prospect of a computer ever actually matching human intelligence in all of its complexity and intricacy, we may find ourselves skeptical that this could ever be fully achieved. There seems to be a fundamental difference between the way a human mind works and the way even the most sophisticated machine works--a qualitative difference that could never be breached. Famous inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil begs to differ.
To begin with--despite the richness and complexity of human thought--Kurzweil argues that the underlying principles and neuro-networks that are responsible for higher-order thinking are actually relatively simple, and in fact fully replicable. Indeed, for Kurzweil, our most sophisticated AI machines are already beginning to employ the same principles and are mimicking the same neuro-structures that are present in the human brain.
Beginning with the brain, Kurzweil argues that recent advances in neuroscience indicate that the neocortex (whence our higher-level thinking comes) operates according to a sophisticated (though relatively straightforward) pattern recognition scheme.Read more ›
The psychedelic philosopher, Robert Anton Wilson, once joked that a disciple is an s looking for a b to attach itself to! We can learn much from b's and disciples, like myself, and so without further ado, let us examine many b's and hols from the last few decades; to taste our present singularity religion.
Let us use a few examples of b's and s'holes from the archives of history to see how this singularity got started (this is more Terence McKenna's version, but both McKenna and Kurzweil overlap in many ways). In the 1950's, a stiff academic called Richard Alpert, wasting his life away at Harvard University by running rats around a maze, discovered a magical potion that lifted a strip off of the great veil. He told his colleagues, one being Dr Timothy Leary, mentioned above, and off they went to found a new cultural revolt; the LSD revolt. Dr Leary's vehicle of preference was chemical LSD, off course, because of the mind expanding quality of the drug. Indeed, chemical LSD would expand Tim's mind, like a big balloon, to see over the game. The game being the military industrial complex and monkey politics that millions from that youthful generation realised was a con. Instead of war, this generation tuned into cosmic consciousness, free love and hot pants. So what was all that about?
Fast forward 30 odd years, to the late 1990's, and the LSD revolt gave birth to electronic LSD, that is, cyberspace.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A well argued and convincing argument for the future of our species as post-humans. Even if Kurzweil turns out to be overly optimistic on timings the implications of his work are... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Marcus Clements
Kurzweil is a mastermind in transforming a layman's mind into one of a specialist in the duration of one book. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Fabian H.
The subtitle "The secret of human thought revealed" promises quite a lot, however, don't expect any secrets revealed. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Mike Hill
Re syntels: smarts do not equate to volition per se, benign or malign; if we are not germane, syntels may just be indifferent.Published 16 months ago by Don Bronkema
I have tried out a few pages here and there boith beginnign and in deep. For me is a waste of time and represents wooly thinking. Read morePublished 20 months ago by John Turnbull
Reveals all the basic things in life that we take for granted. One of the best books I have ever read in my life.Published on 4 May 2014 by Oosman
A very clear and complete description of how brain works and in what sense technology will enable its emulation. Read morePublished on 24 Feb. 2014 by Luis Nero Alves
Loved this book, it has focused me and moved me forward when I thought there was no where else to go.Published on 15 Oct. 2013 by M. Cooper