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I have read many books regarding the question of what is human consciousness and how do our minds work. This book is one of the most comprehensive and interesting. Jeff thinks that our intelligence arises from being able to link our consciousness with previously stored memories and so be able to make predictions about the world. This idea makes a certain amount of sense; however, he has no idea, and nobody else does either, yet, how this happens. In fact, no one has been able to figure out how consciousness is created yet. Can an artificial intelligence be intelligent without being conscious? I should think that the answer is, yes, to a certain extent. Nevertheless, even if the software gave the appearance of consciousness, it would not really be conscious and thus, I think, its capacity for intelligence would be limited. Jeff's book is basically a call-out to really smart people everywhere to build an intelligent machine using his ideas. That's fine but, personally, I don't think that we will build an intelligent machine using just algorithms. I think we need to find out more about the physiology of the human brain and how it works. Then, just like in Star Trek, the intelligence will actually be created using human or some other creature's neurons. If we can figure out what the genetic program is for growing a brain, what is to stop us from growing whatever kind of brain we like? Anyway, if you don't know much about the research into intelligence, then this book would be a good starting point for you. 

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This theory completely encompasses the variety within the human mind. He offers us a framework that allows for the diversity of the way we think of ourselves. I believe if we are open enough to see the merit the Jeff Hawkins work, we will understand ourselves and others much more.
Having said that, he is the first to admit that there are undoubtedly errors within the theory, and I occasionally found myself thinking, "no, there's more to it than that". but as an overall theory it is spot on. He has come from good background texts, some of which are opposed to the idea of artificial intelligence, but the fact that he agrees with some of these contradictory texts just reinforces his theories and he brings together a number of viewpoints to provide a new coherent testable hypothesis.
Artificial Intelligence is on it's way, if this work is ignored it will only be a behavioural intelligence that lacks understanding but performs intelligent behaviour. With this work I think we will see machines that understand the nature of things the same way as our brain understands the nature of things and hopefully can be put to good use and in an ethical way.
 

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Excelent book

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