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How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed Hardcover – Nov 13 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Adult; 1st Edition edition (Nov. 13 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670025291
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670025299
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 2.9 x 24.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 590 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #15,049 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

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
 

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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Bojan Tunguz TOP 50 REVIEWER on April 19 2013
Format: Hardcover
Ever since I read “Singularity is Near” I’ve been fascinated by Ray Kurzweil – his wirings, ideas, a predictions. He’s not been afraid to go on the limb and make some brave and seemingly outlandish forecasts about the upcoming technological advances and their oversize impact on people and society. One of the main reasons why I always found his predictions credible is that they can, in a nutshell, be reduced to just a couple of seemingly simple observations: 1. Information-technological advances are happening exponentially, and 2. Information technology in particular is driving all the other technological and societal changes. The rest, to put it rather crudely, are the details.

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.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on Nov. 17 2012
Format: Hardcover
The title of my review is based on this passage in the Introduction, one in which Ray Kurzweil discusses recent neuroscience research that will, eventually, reveal the secret of human thought: "In this book, I present a thesis I call the pattern recognition theory of mind (PRTM), which, I argue, describes the basic algorithm of the neocortex (the region of the brain responsible for perception, memory, and critical thinking)...I describe how recent neuroscience research, as well as our own thought experiments, leads to the inescapable conclusion that this method is used consistently across the neocortex. The implication of the PRTM combined with the LOAR [i.e. the law of accelerating returns] is that we will be able to engineer these principles to vastly extend the powers of our own intelligence."

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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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. I truly enjoyed this book.
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By James Aung Thin on March 12 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A breath-taking read for anyone interested in AI. Now for the analytical dissection of the content's claims.This may take a long time
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