Ray Kurzweil’s How to Create a Mind published

November 13, 2012

Ray Kurzweil’s new book — How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed* — was published today, Nov. 13, Viking has announced.

The book opened on Monday as #1 among all books on the Barnes & Noble bestseller list. It is now available from the book website or from all major booksellers, and available in all popular e-book formats.

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, Google Now, 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 Machines, The 10% Solution for a Healthy Life, The Age of Spiritual Machines, Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever, The 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.”

How to Create a Mind book website

Ray Kurzweil book tour

Ray Kurzweil and Time book critic Lev Grossman at 92Y in NYC Nov. 20

Ray Kurzweil at TEDx Silicon Alley in NYC Dec. 3

* Ray Kurzweil, How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed, Viking; November 13, 2012; ISBN: 9780670025299; 336 pages