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How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed Hardcover – Nov 13 2012
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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."
"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
About the Author
Ray Kurzweil is the author of The New York Times bestseller The Singularity Is Near and the national bestseller The Age of Spiritual Machines, among others. One of the leading inventors of our time, he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2002. He is the recipient of many honors, including the National Medal of Technology, the nation’s highest honor in technology. He lives in Boston.
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Top Customer Reviews
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 ›
These are among the dozens of passages that caught my eye:
o Riding on a Light Beam (Pages 18-24)
o A Hierarchy of Patterns (35-41)
o The Language of Thought (66-69)
o The Sensory Pathway (94-101)
o Creativity (113-117)
o Neural Nets (131-135)
o Evolutionary (Genetic) Algorithms (147-153)
o A Strategy for Creating a Mind (172-178)
o You Gotta Have Faith (209-215)
o Paul Allen's objections to Kurtzweil's PRTM theory (266-270)
Kurtzweil is convinced -- and, in my opinion, explains convincingly -- that "there are no images, videos, or sound recordings stored in the brain. Our memories are stored as sequences of patterns. Memories that are not accessed [and activated] time over time." Moreover, We can recognize a pattern even if only part of it is perceived (seen heard, felt) and even if it contains alterations.Read more ›
Kinda frightening because I now understand that the A.I. is unlikely to ever be limited (or limitable) by anything but the hierarchical pattern of the neocortex. Even if we create simulated amygdala and thalamus, any A.I. will likely bypass these immediately leaving us with the cold, unfeeling A.I. of the movies.
Read this with an understanding of Kurzweil's vision and you immediately realize that we have some very serious thinking to do about the future of humanity. This is not an idle speculation - if this book is a valid platform to work from it seems to imply that this scenario is very close indeed.
By the end you should be asking yourself if humanity SHOULD be clinging to our primitive monkey ways - or evolving by our own design (does that scare you? That's just the amygdala reacting to its imminent extinction).
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 ›
Most recent customer reviews
While many philosophers have attempted to explain the minds, Ray is attempting to hack/build minds. I believe the engineering process forced him to achieve tremendous insights. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Dr Zhang
A breath-taking read for anyone interested in AI. Now for the analytical dissection of the content's claims.This may take a long timePublished 23 months ago by James Aung Thin
Stop reading reviews and buy the book already! Although i normally don't jump on the "whats mainstream in science" bandwagon this book is well worth the hype.Published on Jan. 13 2014 by Lee Van Adel