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How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed Formato Kindle

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Formato Kindle, 13 nov 2012
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Lunghezza: 346 pagine Word Wise: Abilitato Lingua: Inglese

Descrizione prodotto


Ray Kurzweil is the best person I know at predicting the future of artificial intelligence --Bill Gates

Kurzweil knows a lot about new technology and he knows how to make it sound fun. He is dazzling in his enthusiasm for things to come, and has a grasp of the exciting developments pulsing through the intersection of science and technology --Financial Times


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.

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  • Formato: Formato Kindle
  • Dimensioni file: 2777 KB
  • Lunghezza stampa: 346
  • Numeri di pagina fonte ISBN: 0143124048
  • Editore: Penguin Books (13 novembre 2012)
  • Venduto da: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Lingua: Inglese
  • ASIN: B007V65UUG
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  • Miglioramenti tipografici: Non abilitato
  • Media recensioni: 5.0 su 5 stelle 1 recensione cliente
  • Posizione nella classifica Bestseller di Amazon: #87.728 a pagamento nel Kindle Store (Visualizza i Top 100 a pagamento nella categoria Kindle Store)
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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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Le recensioni clienti più utili su (beta) HASH(0xa5787900) su 5 stelle 233 recensioni
249 di 260 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
HASH(0xb4ab920c) su 5 stelle Fascinating, Disappointing but Ultimately Enlightening 16 novembre 2012
Di Book Shark - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina rigida Acquisto verificato
How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed by Ray Kurzweil

"How to Create a Mind" is a very interesting book that presents the pattern recognition theory of mind (PRTM), which describes the basic algorithm of the neocortex (the region of the brain responsible for perception, memory, and critical thinking). It is the author's contention that the brain can be reverse engineered due to the power of its simplicity and such knowledge would allow us to create true artificial intelligence. The one and only, futurist, prize-winning scientist and author Ray Kurzweil takes the reader on a journey of the brain and the future of artificial intelligence. This enlightening 352-page book is composed of the following eleven chapters: 1. Thought Experiments on the World, 2. Thought Experiments on Thinking, 3. A Model of the Neocortex: The Pattern Recognition Theory of Mind, 4. The Biological Neocortex, 5. The Old Brain, 6. Transcendent Abilities, 7. The Biologically Inspired Digital Neocortex, 8. The Mind as Computer, 9. Thought Experiments on the Mind, 10. The Law of Accelerating Returns Applied to the Brain, and 11. Objections.

1. Well researched and well-written book. The author's uncanny ability to make very difficult subjects accessible to the masses.
2. A great topic in the "mind" of a great thinker.
3. Great use of charts and diagrams.
4. A wonderful job of describing how thinking works.
5. Thought-provoking questions and answers based on a combination of sound science and educated speculation.
6. The art of recreating brain processes in machines. "There is more parallel between brains and computers than may be apparent." Great stuff!
7. Great information on how memories truly work.
8. Hierarchies of units of functionality in natural systems.
9. How the neocortex must work. The Pattern Recognition Theory of Mind (PRTM). The main thesis of this book. The importance of redundancy. Plenty of details.
10. does a brain good. Legos will never be the same for me again.
11. The neocortex as a great metaphor machine. Projects underway to simulate the human brain such as Markram's Blue Brain Project.
12. Speech recognition and Markov models. Author provides a lot of excellent examples.
13. The four key concepts of the universality and feasibility of computation and its applicability to our thinking.
14. A fascinating look at split-brain patients. The "society of mind." The concept of free will, "We are apparently very eager to explain and rationalize our actions, even when we didn't actually make the decisions that led to them." Profound with many implications indeed.
15. The issue of identity.
16. The brain's ability to predict the future. The author's own predictive track record referenced.
17. The laws of accelerating returns (LOAR), where it applies and why we should train ourselves to think exponentially.
18. The author provides and analyzes objections to his thesis. In defense of his ideas. Going after Allen's "scientist's pessimism."
19. The evolution of our knowledge.
20. Great notes and links beautifully.

1. The book is uneven. That is, some chapters cover certain topics with depth while others suffer from lack of depth. Some of it is understandable as it relates to the limitations of what we currently know but I feel that the book could have been reformatted into smaller chapters or subchapters. The book bogs down a little in the middle sections of the book.
2. Technically I disagree with the notion that evolution always leads to more complexity. Yes on survival but not necessarily on complexity.
3. The author has a tendency to cross-market his products a tad much. It may come across as look at me...
4. A bit repetitive.
5. Sometimes leaves you with more questions than answers but that may not be a bad thing...
6. No formal separate bibliography.

In summary, overall I enjoyed this book. Regardless of your overall stance on the feasibility of artificial intelligence no one brings it like Ray Kurzweil. His enthusiasm and dedication is admirable. The author provides his basic thesis of how the brain works and a path to achieve true artificial intelligence and all that it implies. Fascinating in parts, bogs down in other sections but ultimately satisfying. I highly recommend it!

Further suggestions: "Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior" by Leonard Mlodinow, "The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies---How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths" by Michael Shermer, "The Scientific American Brave New Brain: How Neuroscience, Brain-Machine Interfaces, Neuroimaging, Psychopharmacology, Epigenetics, the Internet, and ... and Enhancing the Future of Mental Power" by Judith Horstman, "The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature" by Steven Pinker, "Who's in Charge?: Free Will and the Science of the Brain" and "Human: The Science Behind What Makes Us Unique", by Michael S. Gazzaniga, "Hardwired Behavior: What Neuroscience Reveals about Morality 1st Edition by Tancredi, Laurence published by Cambridge University Press Paperback" by Laurence Tancredi, "Braintrust: What Neuroscience Tells Us about Morality" by Patricia S. Churchland, "The Myth of Free Will" by Cris Evatt, "SuperSense" by Bruce M. Hood and "The Brain and the Meaning of Life" by Paul Thagard.
137 di 148 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
HASH(0xa55f0894) su 5 stelle The Cortex Spins its Tales with Hidden Markov Models 14 novembre 2012
Di Bob Blum - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina rigida Acquisto verificato
Like a news commentator explaining a bad day on Wall Street,
the cortex has an explanation for everything -
it generates our subjective universe. To paraphrase George Box,
all our brain's models of the world are wrong,
but some are useful, generative, and simple (but not too simple).

In How to Create a Mind acclaimed inventor Ray Kurzweil
puts forth a model of how the brain works:
the pattern recognition theory of mind (PRTM).
The brain successively interiorizes the world as a set of patterns.

Kurzweil's framework uses hierarchical hidden Markov models (HHMMs)
as its main stock in trade. HHMMs add to the PRTM model the notion
that those patterns are arranged into a hierarchy of nodes,
where each node is an ordered sequence of probabilistically matched lower nodes.

So, the key question for me is this: are HHMMs
really the key to understanding and building a mind?

Ray has been on this track since the sixties,
when he and I were classmates at MIT. In a spectacular
career spanning decades, Ray invented systems for OmniPage OCR,
text to speech (famously for Stevie Wonder), and
automated speech recognition as in Dragon Naturally Speaking.
Nuance bought Ray's precursor company.

All automatic speech recognition nowadays is done using HHMMs,
and the results are astounding. For example, see Microsoft Research
Chief Rick Rashid's YouTube "Speech Recognition Breakthrough."
A computer transcription of Rick's talk appears in
real time and is quite accurate.

The amazing success of HHMMs in handling speech and language is
a story that needs to be understood by AI aficionados, and
Kurzweil presents this topic in a beautifully comprehensible exposition.

Kurzweil elaborates a story here that 1) the cortex is
the key to thought; 2) it is hierarchically organized into
300 million pattern recognizers; 3) each pattern recognizer
consists of a 100 neurons in a vertical minicolumn, and
4) those pattern recognizers communicate with one another
via a Manhattan-like grid (similar to an FPGA) -
end of story for the neocortex.

This is a story similar to the one told by entrepreneur Jeff Hawkins in
On Intelligence, and one that Hawkins, his former associate Dileep George
(now at Vicarious), and Kurzweil himself are trying to capitalize on
in cortex-engineering startups. I eagerly follow their results.

So, HHMMs work well and are a required part of a computational
neuroscience curriculum, but ARE THEY THE MASTER KEY that will unlock
the doors not only to a full understanding of the mind
but also to a future of superintelligent AIs? How to Create a Mind
is a good story but IS IT FICTION or nonfiction?

While HHMMs are required reading for automatic speech recognition,
they DO NOT DO all the brain's heavy-lifting. Rather, the brain employs
MANY mechanisms (which robots that aspire to humanity
may need to incorporate or emulate.)

Five stars for HHMM exposition. Subtract one star for giving short shrift
to the following pivotal neuroscience principles: 1) attentional mechanisms,
2) brain-wide dynamical networks, 3) gamma oscillations and inhibitory networks
and also 5) the role of insula and brain stem in emotion, 6) reward based learning
including the essential role of basal ganglia and midbrain,
and 7) hippocampus and memory.

Despite its corticocentric focus, Kurzweil's impressive engineering
successes make this an important story; furthermore, it is engagingly told.
I cover neuroscience and AI at . Below are two recent 'DO NOT MISS'
FIVE STAR stories.)

Addendum: 30 Nov 2012 - Today's issue of SCIENCE (and Ray K's newsletter)
features a story about a new 2.5M spiking neuron model (SPAUN) that
performs 8 tasks and outputs to a physically modeled arm.
See the videos at NENGO > Videos > Collection of Spaun.
That is the state of the art!

Addendum: Jan 2013: Want to know where the brain stores meaning? (YOU DO!)
See Alex Huth's 5 min YouTube from Jack Gallant's lab. Search:
Alex Huth, gallantlabucb "Perceptual Object and Action Maps in the Human Brain."
109 di 124 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
HASH(0xa55f0ab0) su 5 stelle The Path to True Artificial Intelligence 14 novembre 2012
Di Bookworm9765 - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina rigida Acquisto verificato
In "How To Create a Mind," Ray Kurzweil offers a fascinating and readable overview of his theory of how the human brain works, as well as a road map for the future of artificial intelligence.

Kurzweil makes a compelling argument that choosing the proper scale is critical when approaching the problem of how the brain works. Many skeptics believe that we are no where near understanding or simulating the human brain because of its overwhelming complexity. However, Kurzweil suggests that a complete understanding of the micro-level details (such as individual neurons or even biochemistry) is really not necessary. Instead, the brain can be understood and simulated at a higher level. The book gives many examples in other fields of science and engineering where such a high level approach has produced tremendous progress.

The core of Kurzweil's theory is that the brain is made up of pattern processing units comprised of around 100 neurons, and he suggests that the brain can be understood and simulated primarily by looking at how these lego-like building blocks are interconnected.

The book includes accounts of some of the most important research current research in both brain science and AI, especially the "Blue Brain Project" (that is working on a whole brain simulation), and also the work on IBM's Watson (Jeopardy! champion) computer.

Kurzweil continues to assert that we will have human-level AI by around 2029. A typical human brain contains about 300 million pattern processing units, but Kurzeil thinks that AIs of the future might have billions, meaning that machine intelligence would far exceed the capabilities of the human mind.

Ray Kurzweil is clearly an optimist both in terms of the progress he foresees and its potential impact on humanity. If he is even partly right in his predictions then the implications could be staggering. Machines that are as smart, or even smarter, than people could completely transform society, the economy and the job market.
58 di 64 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
HASH(0xa55f09c0) su 5 stelle Old news in a new package 2 giugno 2013
Di David W. Nicholas - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina rigida Acquisto verificato
Ray Kurzweil writes as an authority on AI (artificial intelligence). As a practitioner in that field myself, I am not impressed by his expertise. He knows one or two subfields of AI well and is a talented inventor, but his vision of the future of AI simply doesn't hold water.

An informed layman who has never read an AI textbook (or history, such as Nils Nilsson's or Pamela McCorduck's) and knows nothing about cognitive neuroscience (see recent books by Michael Gazzaniga and V. S. Ramachandran) may find this book impressive. It is a place where a great deal of mediocre information is contained between two covers. However, I don't think Kurzweil knows enough about human learning (a large and complex field) and human intelligence (ditto) to get a solid handle on what tasks machine learning and machine intelligence must be able to perform and in what order their respective subtasks will probably be mastered.

There are gifted multidisciplinary thinkers in AI and cognitive science who have proved their ability to run rings around Kurzweil, and none of them purports to be a "futurist." Ever since Herbert A. Simon predicted (in 1957) that in a decade the strongest chess player in the world would be a machine (it was four decades before IBM's DEEP BLUE beat World Chess Champion Gary Kasparov in tournament play in May, 1997), serious AI researchers have been very cautious in making predictions about the not-so-near future.

There is an established literature on mind design and Kurzweil has contributed very little to it. This book does not summarize that literature or move it forward. I sincerely doubt it will be remembered five years from now. There are too many good people, from Steven Pinker (who explains the mind for those who aren't experts in it) and John Robert Anderson (one of the experts) to Daniel Dennett and Patricia Churchland (the latter two being examples of a brave new philosophy of mind), who have made contributions to how minds can realistically be designed for us to waste our time with the mediocre thoughts of "futurists" and others who aren't telling us a believable story about how they will be built.

We already know a great deal more about mind design and implementation than Ray Kurzweil does, a field I was working in more than 30 years ago. To be blunt, Kurzweil isn't plugged into enough of the right sources of information.
58 di 70 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
HASH(0xa55d3060) su 5 stelle Overselling and self-promotion 18 dicembre 2012
Di Amazon Customer - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina rigida
This would be a pretty good book if it would be half as long and the author would have taken a more objective (and therefore modest) view point.

Ray Kurzweil claims that he has a very good grasp of the working of the brain. While his statements are rooted in true scientific facts, he does not seem to provide any new or substantial insights to the topic. Especially, he falls short on his main promise: explaining how to build a generic AI mind.

This is far from surprising: if he had some unique insights, he would be better off capitalizing on it rather than just giving it away.

Still, the book is entertaining and worth reading, but his shameless self-promotion and overstating his own contributions to the area while hardly giving any credit to anyone else leaves a very bad aftertaste.