On Intelligence

Front Cover
Macmillan, Apr 1, 2007 - Computers - 272 pages
231 Reviews

From the inventor of the PalmPilot comes a new and compelling theory of intelligence, brain function, and the future of intelligent machines

Jeff Hawkins, the man who created the PalmPilot, Treo smart phone, and other handheld devices, has reshaped our relationship to computers. Now he stands ready to revolutionize both neuroscience and computing in one stroke, with a new understanding of intelligence itself.

Hawkins develops a powerful theory of how the human brain works, explaining why computers are not intelligent and how, based on this new theory, we can finally build intelligent machines.

The brain is not a computer, but a memory system that stores experiences in a way that reflects the true structure of the world, remembering sequences of events and their nested relationships and making predictions based on those memories. It is this memory-prediction system that forms the basis of intelligence, perception, creativity, and even consciousness.

In an engaging style that will captivate audiences from the merely curious to the professional scientist, Hawkins shows how a clear understanding of how the brain works will make it possible for us to build intelligent machines, in silicon, that will exceed our human ability in surprising ways.

Written with acclaimed science writer Sandra Blakeslee, On Intelligence promises to completely transfigure the possibilities of the technology age. It is a landmark book in its scope and clarity.


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Fantastic introduction to the cortex. - Goodreads
Kinda gets too dreamy near the ending. - Goodreads
This book gives you insights about how the brain works. - Goodreads

Review: On Intelligence

User Review  - Petter Wolff - Goodreads

Yeah, this is gonna be a 5. Though with caveats - I started on chapter 5 and read the rest of the book from there (I figured I could do without the background stuff). And I did not bother too much ... Read full review

Review: On Intelligence

User Review  - David Wen - Goodreads

Good exploration of how a brain works and what still needs to be done to simulate a functional brain. Some concepts were fairly complex but overall an approachable book to the subject. Read full review



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Page 6 - Everything you know and have learned is stored in this model. The brain uses this memory-based model to make continuous predictions of future events. It is the ability to make predictions about the future that is the crux of intelligence.

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About the author (2007)

Jeff Hawkins is one of the most successful and highly regarded computer architects and entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. He founded Palm Computing and Handspring, and created the Redwood Neuroscience Institute to promote research on memory and cognition. Also a member of the scientific board of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories, he lives in northern California.

Sandra Blakeslee has been writing about science and medicine for The New York Times for more than thirty years and is the co-author of Phantoms in the Brain by V. S. Ramachandran and of Judith Wallerstein's bestselling books on psychology and marriage. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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