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

Ray Kurzweil. Viking, $27.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-67-002529-9
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.).
Reviewed on: 10/22/2012
Release date: 11/13/2012
Show other formats
Book - 978-1-4692-1662-1
Book - 978-1-4692-0388-1
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-0-14-312404-7
Compact Disc - 978-1-4692-0389-8
Hardcover - 336 pages - 978-0-7156-4733-2
Open Ebook - 384 pages - 978-1-101-60110-5
Hardcover - 352 pages - 978-0-7156-4537-6
MP3 CD - 978-1-4915-1883-0
Compact Disc - 978-1-4692-0386-7
MP3 CD - 978-1-4692-0387-4
MP3 CD - 978-1-4692-0394-2
Compact Disc - 978-1-4692-0384-3
MP3 CD - 978-1-4692-0385-0
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.