What People Are Saying About A Thousand Brains

“Jeff Hawkins’s book is that rare beast: a new theory about one of the oldest mysteries, the mystery of intelligence. The book is thoughtful and original, erudite and visionary. A must-read for anymore interested in how the next breakthroughs in artificial intelligence will emerge from the recent (and not so recent) discoveries in neuroscience.” – Anthony ZadorProfessor of Neuroscience, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

“A Thousand Brains eloquently expresses the ultimate goal of thousands of scientists: to understand the mechanics of the human mind. Jeff Hawkins uses wonderfully clear and fast-moving prose to give an accessible overview of a theory of human intelligence that is likely to be very influential in the future.”Mike Hasselmo, Director of Boston University Center for Systems Neuroscience

“Neuroscience has been exploring the wilderness of the brain for well over a century. Now, Jeff Hawkins has found a map to the theory of how the brain works. In A Thousand Brains, Hawkins takes on the really hard questions – the ones most neuroscientists don’t even dare ask. Why is our perception of the world so stable, predictable, and accessible, even though our representations of the world are so scattered, and jumbled, jumping around in the brain as we journey through the world? Where does all our knowledge about the world hide? How does the brain find and access it so effortlessly? What is the difference in the brain between when we actually see something and when we think about it? Why are we so easily fooled into believing stories that are completely false? Jeff shows that the answers lie in the model of the world that our brain builds. He explains how the neocortex, the most evolved part of the brain, builds its own personalized, colorized and fanciful copy of the world. If it were not for this model, that we build ourselves, we would not even know that we exist, or that anyone exists or that the universe exists. The neocortex does not care what model it builds, it works with the materials we feed it. It’s like the Imaginarium of doctor Parnassus. When it gets it right, you are twenty thousand feet in the air and see the world as it is. When it gets it wrong you go down a rabbit hole into Alice’s wonderland. The fundamental existential threat that humanity faces is the disintegration of reality, facts, and truth into conspiracies, fiction and delusions, leaving us mumbling incoherently about a world that is fast receding into a fog, unable to move, even to save ourselves. But the end of Jeff Hawkins book gives us hope. Once we know how easily the neocortex is fooled, we can see our way out of the mist. That is one more reason why it is so important for everyone to read this remarkable book.”Henry Markram, Professor at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Director of Blue Brain Project

“Intriguing…. Insightful stuff for readers immersed in the labyrinthine world of neuroscience.”Kirkus (starred review)

“Hawkins, inventor of the PalmPilot, explicates his theories of how the brain works in this revelatory survey of human intelligence… The complex concepts are presented as simply as possible, but they aren’t dumbed down and demand focus. Readers who persist will find Hawkins’s study is full of thought-provoking arguments.” – Publishers Weekly (starred review)