Ray Kurzweil is arguably today’s most influential technological visionary. A pioneering inventor and theorist, he has explored for decades how artificial intelligence can enrich and expand human capabilities.
Now, in his new book How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed, he takes this exploration to the next step: 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, his own research and inventions in artificial intelligence, and compelling thought experiments, 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” (PR). An important and novel aspect of his conceptualization of the machinery of the mind is his idea of the human brain consisting of about 300 million PRs, each one of them being a sort of universal pattern recognition machine, that work together to build the hierarchy of concepts that constitutes the human mind.
In the video Singularity Hub’s Keith Kleiner interviews Ray Kurzweil about his book. In the interview Mr. Kurzweil explains in broad terms his theory of the architecture of the mind and, in the second part of the interview, he explores the philosophical and practical problems and opportunities that the creation of true artificial intelligences, artificial minds, will bring. He now considers his well known prediction of an artificial mind being able to pass the Turing Test by 2029 as” conservative”.