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How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealedby Ray Kurzweil
Synopses & Reviews
The bold futurist and bestselling author explores the limitless potential of reverse-engineering the human brain.
Ray Kurzweil is arguably today’s most influential — and often controversial — futurist. In How to Create a Mind, Kurzweil presents a provocative exploration of the most important project in human-machine civilization — reverse engineering the brain to understand precisely how it works and using that knowledge to create even more intelligent machines.
Kurzweil discusses how the brain functions, how the mind emerges from the brain, and the implications of vastly increasing the powers of our intelligence in addressing the world’s problems. He thoughtfully examines emotional and moral intelligence and the origins of consciousness and envisions the radical possibilities of our merging with the intelligent technology we are creating.
Certain to be one of the most widely discussed and debated science books of the year, How to Create a Mind is sure to take its place alongside Kurzweil’s previous classics which include Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever and The Age of Spiritual Machines.
"Bringing together contemporary theories and research in cognitive neuroscience and artificial intelligence, Kurzweil (The Singularity is Near) provides insight into how the human brain functions, while speculating on the possibilities and philosophical implications of creating a nonbiological mind. Underlying this analysis is the Pattern Recognition Theory of Mind, a process in the neocortex, the seat of higher brain functions such as perception, memory, and language and, by extension, consciousness. Kurzweil underscores that any meaningful progress in artificial intelligence is indebted to an understanding of these processes and re-engineering them in nonbiological artificial forms such as Watson, the computer that defeated two of Jeopardy's best players. Like Watson, he says, our brain contains no hidden secrets — it functions by hierarchical statistical analysis, that is, computing. While his descriptions of the human cognitive apparatus and current frontiers of creating a non-biological brain are illuminating, Kurzweil's speculations that eventually 'most of our thinking will be in the cloud' and 'we will merge with the intelligent technology we are creating,' seem so uncritically optimistic about the possibilities of our technologies, as to become mystifying. Agent: Loretta Barrett, Loretta Barrett Books. (Nov.)." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"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
The bestselling author of The Singularity Is Near explores the limitless potential of reverse-engineering the human brain.
Ray Kurzweil is arguably today's most influential futurist. In How to Create a Mind, he presents a provocative exploration of the most important project in the human-machine civilization: reverse-engineering the brain to understand precisely how it functions and using that knowledge to create even more intelligent machines. Kurzweil discusses how the brain works, how the mind emerges, brain-computer interfaces, and the implications of vastly increasing the powers of our intelligence to address the worlds problems. Certain to be one of the most widely discussed and debated science books of the year, How to Create a Mind is sure to take its place alongside Kurzweil's previous classics.
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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