Regular price: $20.99

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Ray Kurzweil, the bold futurist and author of the New York Times best seller The Singularity Is Near, 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 much-anticipated How to Create a Mind, 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. Kurzweil shows how these insights will enable us to greatly extend the powers of our own mind and provides a road map for the creation of super-intelligence - 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.

How to Create a Mind is certain to be one of the most widely discussed and debated science books in many years - a touchstone for any consideration of the path of human progress.

©2012 Ray Kurzweil (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    573
  • 4 Stars
    269
  • 3 Stars
    93
  • 2 Stars
    22
  • 1 Stars
    14

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    520
  • 4 Stars
    237
  • 3 Stars
    65
  • 2 Stars
    13
  • 1 Stars
    9

Story

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    482
  • 4 Stars
    240
  • 3 Stars
    83
  • 2 Stars
    22
  • 1 Stars
    11
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

What a great book!

What a great read. I would definitely recommend this to anybody going into software engineering or wanting to go into robotics or artificial intelligence.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Amazing and thought-provoking

I read his previous book the singularity is near, and found it difficult to understand. This book I thought was much easier to understand, and for me, was a page turner. Every time his writing provoked a question, a few paragraphs later he would answer it.

This was extremely well written and flowed perfectly. Some people complained about his egotism, I say who cares. This man has studied and worked hard, as willing to pass on his knowledge and his theories. I will definitely be listening to this again. His future is scary, yet hopeful and definitely exciting.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

HUMAN OPTIMISM

The technological wizardry of Ray Kurzweil’s thoughts breed human optimism. At times, “How to Create a Mind” seems like self-aggrandizement for Kurzweil’s beliefs. Kurzweil believes artificial intelligence will expand the future of humankind.

On the one hand, listeners hope he is right; on the other, (paraphrasing Ted Bell) when artificial intelligence is applied to cyber warfare, it is a threat to everybody.

To Kurzweil, humanity’s future is rosy; not in the sense of their being a surcease of human pain and suffering, but in the sense of technological advance. He suggests technology will continue to expand at a geometric rate to improve human health, reduce societal degradation, and assure human survival. Kurzweil sees a singularity that melds artificial intelligence with human DNA. The combination, in Kurzweil’s opinion, provides a vehicle for humanity’s survival, exploration, and expansion.

So, “Don’t worry, be happy” as Bobby McFerrin said. Or as Leo Tolstoy said, “If you want to be happy, be.” As noted, Kurzweil’s thoughts breed human optimism.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Detailed 3-front approach

I quite liked how the mind was analyzed from a biochemical, algorithmic and metaphysical perspectives

The narration (performance) starts a little dull but don't give up, it then picks up.

If you are interested in Artificial intelligence and/or the human mind, this book belongs in your library.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Very interesting ...

There's no part of this book that does not make one think about thinking. Very interesting and thought provoking.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great until the boring rant at the end

I really enjoyed how the new brain reasearh has been applied in AI. I like the mixture of computer science and biology. But then he bores me to death about his tiff with Paul Allen. I think his explanation could be a seed for how textbooks can be done it Audible it is brilliant !! Nobody needs the rant, save that for a letter or blog post!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Monumental, transparent, translucent, transcendent

What did you love best about How to Create a Mind?

Kurzweil tackles one of the biggest scientific mysteries our our ages: How to build a synthetic mind. Instead of descending into mumbo jumbo, touchy feely nonsense, he sets forth a vision that makes a lot of sense, even to sophisticated practitioners. Sure, I think he over simplified the solution, but he gives enough specific hypothesis that one could spend decades fleshing out, refuting, refining his ideas. <br/>

What was one of the most memorable moments of How to Create a Mind?

All of it

What about Christopher Lane’s performance did you like?

Excellent, extremely pleasant to listen to his voice. Slightly arrogant which suits the material in the book.

Any additional comments?

Well, the only downside is that Lane mispronounced a few words... especially "von Neumann" repeatedly (saying "von New--man" which is simply not correct. This really bugged me. Clearly Kurzweil did not review the entire performance before giving his ok. <br/><br/>Otherwise his performance was great.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Robert
  • Concord, MA, United States
  • 02-19-13

Wonderful Audio Book!

Would you consider the audio edition of How to Create a Mind to be better than the print version?

I purchased a print copy of this book and read a few chapters and loved it, but was finding it difficult to make time to finish it. So I purchased the audio book and now can enjoy it driving to and from work. The topic is fascinating and the author explains everything very clearly in language that anyone can understand.<br/><br/>If you want to understand how the human mind works and how someone will create an artificial mind in the not-too-distant future, this is the book to read.

3 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Amazing

What was one of the most memorable moments of How to Create a Mind?

Want to learn why Siri is so accurate at natural speech recognition? You will be amazed at just how far our understanding of the brain has gone. We really are approaching a time where computers will become intelligent and learn just like humans. Wow!

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes. It is a very deep topic, but fascinating and I found I could not put it down.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A very sick mind

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

The author lives in a fantasy land. He thinks that he will be able to transfer his mind into a machine.

3 of 8 people found this review helpful