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On Intelligence Audiobook

On Intelligence

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Audible Editor Reviews

The same man who created the Palm Pilot and other handheld devices criticizes contemporary technology for not learning more lessons from the greatest computer of all -- the human brain. Not stopping there, Jeff Hawkins and Sandra Blakeslee go on to tackle the head-scratching subject of how our brains really work, and if artificial intelligence can ever truly catch up. But what really sets this listen apart is the passion with which the authors address the big questions about our brains.

After a solid intro from Hawkins, Stefan Rudnicki takes over the narrating reins. The effect is an audio program with a compelling ability to anticipate the question taking form in your own brain as you listen, then answer it with clarity and sincerity. That's a feat worthy of admiration.

Publisher's Summary

Jeff Hawkins, the man who created the PalmPilot, Treo smart phone, and other handheld devices, has reshaped our relationship to computers. Now he stands ready to revolutionize both neuroscience and computing in one stroke, with a new understanding of intelligence itself.

Hawkins develops a powerful theory of how the human brain works, explaining why computers are not intelligent and how, based on this new theory, we can finally build intelligent machines.

The brain is not a computer, but a memory system that stores experiences in a way that reflects the true structure of the world, remembering sequences of events and their nested relationships and making predictions based on those memories. It is this memory-prediction system that forms the basis of intelligence, perception, creativity, and even consciousness.

In an engaging style that will captivate audiences from the merely curious to the professional scientist, Hawkins shows how a clear understanding of how the brain works will make it possible for us to build intelligent machines, in silicon, that will exceed our human ability in surprising ways.

Written with acclaimed science writer Sandra Blakeslee, On Intelligence promises to completely transfigure the possibilities of the technology age. It is a landmark book in its scope and clarity.

Download the accompanying booklet of brain function illustrations, examples, and tests.

©2004 Jeff Hawkins and Sandra Blakeslee; (P)2005 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"[Hawkins's] argument is complex but comprehensible, and his curiosity will intrigue anyone interested in the lessons neurobiology may hold for AI." (Booklist)
"[Hawkins] fully anticipates, even welcomes, the controversy he may provoke within the scientific community and admits that he might be wrong, even as he offers a checklist of potential discoveries that could prove him right. His engaging speculations are sure to win fans." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (1696 )
5 star
 (819)
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.3 (567 )
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3 star
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1 star
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Story
4.3 (567 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Robert H Piper 08-05-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    3
    1
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    "Interesting difficult concepts, explained clearly"

    Very impressed with book, Jeff's Ideas and the clarity of explanation. Looking for more in the future on this topic, hopefully from this author. Well worth the money.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff 04-07-09
    Jeff 04-07-09

    Jeff

    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
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    153
    12
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    "Must Read"

    This book is filled with interesting ideas.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott A. Hawk 08-22-08 Listener Since 2008
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    38
    2
    Overall
    "An amazing trip"

    This book offers a fascinating look into the workings of the human mind. Jeff does a great job making the heavy-duty science easy to understand. You'll find yourself talking to other people about what you learn since it's so intuitive to how we operate.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael East Peoria, IL, United States 03-24-08
    Michael East Peoria, IL, United States 03-24-08 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    364
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    77
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    9
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    Overall
    "Yeah....."

    Man if you can possibly keep up with the descriptions of what nerves do what and how and where then you are obviously more intelligent than I am. This isn't saying much though. Myself I had a hard time. I think that I need to buy this book and see the pictures that were so eloquently described.

    The bottom line to the book is that we don't have a clue as to how the brain works, and to design a computer that would be able to properly analyze how a frontal cortex does what it does nerve by nerve you would need to build a brain.

    Aha the great paradox, strikes again. Good luck.

    I rated this at four stars because Stefan Rudnicki is so cool.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Burlington, MA, USA 08-26-07
    David Burlington, MA, USA 08-26-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    3
    1
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    "Interesting but repetitive"

    I found that the book introduces an interesting framework for intelligence and how our brain processes information. There are many concepts and novel approaches to understand this processing power and how it can work at the required speeds to perceive the ever changing environment.
    What I found a bit disturbing was the certainty that in many cases the author embed in his statements, in a field that there is much to be confirmed and asserted, this level of certainty is risky to say the least.
    The book would have benefited very much by being shorter, maybe half of the book. At times it becomes boring because it tends to repeat many times the same concepts and ideas.
    An alternative would have been to divide the book in two, one a general overview of the ideas with examples and then a more formal book where the author provides the conciseness and support needed to more formally support the framework.
    Overall the concepts do provide a very interesting framework.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    04-22-07
    04-22-07 Listener Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
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    45
    4
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    Overall
    "Intriguing!"

    As always the workings of the mind are facinating!
    This book was explained in a very 'easy listen' for the subject matter.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew Miami, FL, USA 01-25-06
    Matthew Miami, FL, USA 01-25-06 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    63
    3
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    "Nothing Short of Revolutionary!"

    Read it. Think about it. Read it again. Although there will be parts of this book that we layman will find hard to grasp, they aren't essentially to appreciating Hawkins' theories. Really quite a striking and potentially important explanation of the structure of intelligence.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Los Altos, CA, USA 01-22-06
    Robert Los Altos, CA, USA 01-22-06 Member Since 2009
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    "Fascinating"

    A terrific book. Quite engrossing. Only a few parts were tough to listen to. Definitely download and refer to the figures during the "technical" portion of the book. The book outlined great ideas, but didn't really dive down into the details of implementation. Nonetheless it is a great introduction to a new integrated computation framework.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Glenn A. Miller Pittsburgh 08-18-05
    Glenn A. Miller Pittsburgh 08-18-05 Member Since 2016

    Programmer/Architect

    HELPFUL VOTES
    53
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    84
    10
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    Overall
    "Ode to an Ego"

    The first 6 chapters are interesting enough but the last few spend their time reinforcing existing paradigms of computer intelligence.

    Look, Jeff. To create a brain, it will take a brain -- not a bunch of sensors who happen to excel at the mysterious "algorithm" you are so sold on. There is more to intelligence than simple data access through highly stylized pathways. That theory merely posits a better AI.

    To imitate life, a machine would have to conjur a picture out of memory on its own for no particular reason but to ponder.

    5 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike 06-24-05
    Mike 06-24-05 Member Since 2016

    Tell us about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    138
    ratings
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    387
    54
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    16
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    Overall
    "Incredible"

    Hawkins satisfied my deepest curiosity about how the brain actually does its job!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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