We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
On Intelligence Audiobook

On Intelligence

Regular Price:$24.95
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

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 (1715 )
5 star
 (834)
4 star
 (532)
3 star
 (249)
2 star
 (69)
1 star
 (31)
Overall
4.3 (582 )
5 star
 (307)
4 star
 (185)
3 star
 (67)
2 star
 (15)
1 star
 (8)
Story
4.3 (582 )
5 star
 (296)
4 star
 (194)
3 star
 (70)
2 star
 (14)
1 star
 (8)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    David Stone New York City 07-11-05
    David Stone New York City 07-11-05 Member Since 2002

    Crane

    HELPFUL VOTES
    221
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    75
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    "Surprisingly Accessible"

    Although Hawkins is almost certainly wrong on certain point, such as his "blank slate" commitment concerning the brains with which we are born and almost annoyingly self-righteous when discussing "consciousness," about which he admits to not being expert but launchs energetically about anyway, the book was wonderfully ease to access. The clarity of explanation concerning what should have been an abstruse subject was a relief. I feel I know much more about the subject than I did before starting. It was well written and even better read by an excellent narrator. Thank you, Jeff!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Glenn E. Graham Pflugerville, TX USA 03-21-05
    Glenn E. Graham Pflugerville, TX USA 03-21-05 Member Since 2002

    Glenn Earl

    HELPFUL VOTES
    27
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    262
    12
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    "I see a pattern..."

    Mr. Hawkins will be the first to admit this is not a book to explain everything about intelligence but an important first step. He puts forward a rational explanation of how intelligence in man works in practical mechanical terms. It is a theory but he has much to back-up his conjectures. His theory gets the ball rolling for a frank discussion of why, how, and what we really doing in our mind when we think. He avoids general behavior and philosophical musing about the human mind (that we are all to often inundated with on books about intelligence). I enjoyed every bit of it. At the very least you'll enjoy he very different approach to this age old question.

    This book is a really great start to addressing the problem of how we humans think. Good job Mr. Hawkins.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    The Reader USA 03-14-06
    The Reader USA 03-14-06 Listener Since 2003

    Red

    HELPFUL VOTES
    50
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    46
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "insulting and pedantic"

    This is one of the worst books I have heard.

    Yes, there were some interesting ideas.

    But there were so many errors and faulty assumptions, that it made it hard to accept even his simplistic and obvious claims (and he made many of these).

    I resented his assertions that everyone but him, all scientists and AI (Artificial Intelligence) researchers in particular, just don't get it. I assume that some of this attitude comes from the fact that MIT rejected him. But many of his claims regarding what certain fields think about the brain are just wrong.

    For example, he mentions several times that AI researchers believe that a computer is just like the human brain. While some may talk metaphoricaly of the mind as computer, I have never heard the claim that the human brain works just like the hardware of a computer.

    (disclosure: My PhD is in AI)

    25 of 36 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim Fremont, NE, United States 11-24-05
    Tim Fremont, NE, United States 11-24-05 Member Since 2016

    Computer Programmer and Worship Leader. Have enjoyed reading since my mom got me hooked on Nancy Drew and Agatha Christie prior to my teen years. My brother got me hooked on audio books after I started having a longer commute to work. Love a variety of genres.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1166
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    146
    82
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    36
    0
    Overall
    "Scientifically fascinating, metaphysically sloppy"

    This is really a fascinating book when it comes to the author's theory of how the brain works. I was greatly surprised by his assertion that very few unified theories exist regarding how the brain produces or mainfests "intelligence". It will be interesting to see if the theories offered in this book will stand the test of time, but the observations made regarding pattern recognition seem very true to experience.

    There are times that it is hard to visualize the concepts regarding the various "levels" of the cerebral cortex, but the downloadable drawings help a bit.

    My biggest criticism of the book is not scientific, but the author's logical inconsistencies when dealing with metaphysics. The author makes it clear that he believes our "minds" and "selves" are nothing more that the functioning of the brain (ie. no "soul" or anything beyond the physical). He makes it clear that he believes that our beliefs about morality are shaped by the "patterns" we grow up with - and that these "biases" can be very counterproductive. He also states that romantic "love" is really nothing more that a complex chemical process that starts in the brain and moves throughout the body.

    If the author had stopped there, I would do no more than respectively disagree. However, mere pages later the author states that it is important that we teach our children the "right" values and morals and that we espouse healthy loving relationships in our families. This author is far too smart to be unaware that if what he says is true in the prevous pages, both of these admonitions have no real meaning and are actually at odds with what he just stated.

    Overall - fascinating stuff to think about, but realize that the author has a naturalistic bias that he applies consistently when dealing with science, but inconsistenly when addressing the logical conclusions of his scientific beliefs.

    BTW - The author's preface was great - he would have made a GREAT reader for the book!!

    16 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Reviewer786 01-20-14
    Reviewer786 01-20-14

    I enjoy reading fantasy, science fiction, and horror the most. To improve, I read about language, psychology, spirituality, and art. I read about computer science and business for professional reasons.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    51
    36
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great source of unique and high quality data."

    On Intelligence is written in a very explanatory and interesting way. The examples and problems are the sort that make you think in a deep way, and are great thought exercises.

    The topics covered range from psychology to neuroscience to artificial intelligence. I found a lot of the information new, a lot built on previous knowledge, and a lot was the authors unique perspective. The unique perspective was based on scientific reasoning and superb analysis.

    I did find myself lost at times in some of the details. My suspicion is that because I didn't view the figures before or while listening to the audio version, I was missing a lot of data. I'll probably listen to this book again in the future after studying further and checking out the figures that are used as examples.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charlie Vancouver, WA, United States 10-25-11
    Charlie Vancouver, WA, United States 10-25-11 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    27
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Thrilling Understanding"

    This book was a very exciting listen. On Intelligence was able to explain to me how the brain, neo-cortex in particular, really works. Additionally they, along with Stefan Rudnicki, made this explanation both accessible and pleasurable. I am very impressed and, in my opinion, this is a groundbreaking work and a must read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rodolphe valdor, Quebec, Canada 01-13-11
    Rodolphe valdor, Quebec, Canada 01-13-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    61
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    244
    55
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    5
    Overall
    "so very interesting !"

    Candy for the mind ! very bright guy. I hope his theory is right.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    AKsmitty 02-03-09
    AKsmitty 02-03-09 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    52
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    43
    14
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Intelligence- In Plain English"

    In 2005 I had a stroke. That event left me with loss of vision in the left hemisphere and a few cognitive concerns. This audio book while not the Stroke Survivors handbook provided me nourishing insights to the brain's structure and core intelligence. Both well written and read the information goes beyond our perception of intelligent robots and the quest for artificial intelligent (AI) software. Plus, you don't have to be a neuro jock or programmer to appreciate the principles conveyed. I'm reasonably certain anyone with an interest of the Scarecrow will find this book helpful and delightful. Enjoy the book. It provides many moments that will cause you to ponder and say uh hah.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Todd B. Norris 10-09-08 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    43
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Your head will explode from the Information Dump"

    This was a great book. There are a couple of tables that were explained but obviously could not be included in the audio version. I do have to inform listeners of this book you may have to listen to it more then once to understand everything, but it is not so over the top that it is impossible to grasp, but it is a little deep. Just a warning if you want a light read this is not it, but if you want to change your understanding of the way that the mind works, this is THE book for you.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Lakeville, MN, USA 07-07-08
    Robert Lakeville, MN, USA 07-07-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    46
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "Interesting, just a little dry in places"

    The information presented was interesting and did make me look at what intelligence is in a different way. Overall this audiobook was written for the layperson, but I found the information dry in places. Having said that, I have to say that I don't regret having bought this audiobook. It is worth the time invested in listening to it.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.