The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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How to make a smarter Einstein
Jeff Hawkins and Sandra Blakeslee
Times Books; $ 25

Computers can be trained to beat chess grandmasters, but can they ever be taught to think like human brains do' Jeff Hawkins, a technopreneur, has been obsessed with finding out the answer to this question for years. In this title, the designer of PalmPilot (the best-selling palm-held computer), comes up with a hypothesis while pondering over the answer.

According to him, scientists working in artificial intelligence and neural networks have so long focused too much on an input-output mechanism, rather than the original neurological system that connects brain cells.

The cerebral cortex ' the seat of intelligence in the brain ' has nearly 30 billion neurons, specialised cells which have thousands of electrical connections among themselves.

These connections allow the cortex to store and process information in a fundamentally different way to digital computers. So Hawkins suggests a new type of a computer (a smarter Einstein) building up a library of of experiences to analyse new situations.

This is a landmark publication. Read it to get a new view of intelligence.

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