I’m reading a great book that’s got me very excited. It’s called On Intelligence, and it’s by the guy who invented the Palm Pilot and the Treo, Jeff Hawkins. I got my copy as an advance readers’ galley from the big BEA book show last summer, and I’m finally getting around to reading it. You can get yours from Amazon — just click the little cover over there.
It’s ostensibly a book about human and machine intelligence and how they work or could work, but it’s also a great little philosophy lesson. His basic premise is that intelligence and understanding are created when you have a system that can anticipate patterns by recognizing them and coding them hierarchically as invariant models. It explains a lot of complex stuff pretty elegantly, in that Occam’s Razor sense, and it makes a lot more sense in 100 pages than 100 words, so if you care anything about how the brain works, or the history of AI, just go get the book and read it.