Ray Kurzweil’s How to Create a Mind to be published Nov. 13

September 21, 2012

Ray Kurzweil’s next book — How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed* — will be published Nov. 13, Viking announced today. It can now be pre-ordered.

In the book, Kurzweil explores the most important science project since the human genome: reverse-engineering the brain to understand precisely how it works, then applying that knowledge to create vastly intelligent machines.

Drawing on the most recent neuroscience research, compelling thought experiments, and his own research and inventions in artificial intelligence, he describes his new theory of how the neocortex (the thinking part of the brain) works: as a self-organizing hierarchical system of pattern recognizers.

A roadmap to superintelligence

Kurzweil shows how these insights will enable us to vastly extend the powers of our own mind, and provides a roadmap for the ultimate creation of superintelligence — humankind’s most exciting next venture.

“We are now at the dawn of an era of radical possibilities in which merging with our technology will enable us to effectively address the world’s grand challenges,” he says. “We are already seeing artificial intelligence go mainstream with the recent innovations of IBM’s Watson, the iPhone’s Siri, and Google’s self-driving cars.

“The inevitable next step is that our brains will soon be merged with the intelligent technology we are creating. By around the 2030s, nanobots in our bloodstream and brains will keep us healthier and smarter, most of our thinking will be in the cloud — unhindered by the natural limits of our biological brain and easy to back up like a hard drive, and we will vastly speed up the learning process.”

How to Create a Mind is Ray Kurzweil’s seventh book, joining The Age of Intelligent MachinesThe 10% Solution for a Healthy Life, The Age of Spiritual Machines, Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live ForeverThe Singularity Is Near, and Transcend: Nine Steps to Living Well Forever.

“One of the eminent AI pioneers, Ray Kurzweil, has created a new book to explain the true nature of intelligence, both biological and non-biological,” said AI pioneer Raj Reddy. ”The book describes the human brain as a machine that can understand hierarchical concepts ranging from the form of a chair to the nature of humor. His important insights emphasize the key role of learning both in the brain and AI. He provides a credible roadmap for achieving the goal of superhuman intelligence, which will be necessary to solve the grand challenges of humanity.”

Pre-ordering How to Create a Mind

How to Create a Mind can be pre-ordered on the book’s website, effective today. Pre-order benefits include: 34% off the retail cover price, inscribed bookplate (sticker) by Ray Kurzweil, How to Create A Mind t-shirt, free video streaming of the Transcendent Man: the Life and Ideas of Ray Kurzweil movie, a $1200 gift certificate toward attendance at Singularity University’s 7-day Executive Program at the NASA Ames Campus in 2013, and automatic entry to win a seat at this Executive Program (raffle drawing will take place on November 13th and the winner will be notified via email).

* Viking; November 13, 2012; ISBN: 9780670025299; 336 Pages; $27.95