Jeff Hawkins speaks this week at Berkeley

Rob Haitani • Marketing

This week Jeff Hawkins will present two talks in the prestigious Berkeley Hitchcock Lectures series.

Past lecturers include Niels Bohr, Edwin Hubble, Stephen Hawking, Richard Dawkins, and Noam Chomsky. We’re proud of the recognition that Jeff’s work has received in the academic community.

The first lecture, on Tuesday October 2, is called “Intelligence and the Brain: Recent Advances in Understanding How the Brain Works.” Jeff will present the big picture of what we know so far, and then describe recent progress in a core issue: why neurons are arranged as they are in the neocortex, how this arrangement builds models of the world, and how these models make predictions and generate actions.

On Wednesday October 3, Jeff will present his second lecture, “Intelligence and Machines: Creating Intelligent Machines by Modeling the Brain.” In this talk, Jeff tackles the question of whether intelligent machines are possible. (Spoiler alert: his answer is yes.) Jeff will argue that we can’t treat the
brain like a black box; the only way to build meaningful machine intelligence is to understand how the brain works, and build technology based on those principles. He will present his vision of how this technology will develop, and you may be surprised by what he has to say.

On a personal note, I have been watching Jeff make presentations about his brain research since the early 90s, when I worked at Palm. Jeff used to give “brown bag” talks for the company at lunch called “Brains 101,” describing his theories as they developed. At that time, I didn’t know an axon from a hole in the ground, but his passion was as obvious as it was contagious. If you have the chance to see Jeff speak live, I’d highly recommend it!

The lectures are open to the public, both starting at 4:10 pm at the International House Auditorium, 2299 Piedmont Avenue, Berkeley. More information can be found at the Berkeley Graduate Council Lectures website. If you can’t make it, we will post links to the videos of the lectures.

Rob Haitani • Marketing

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