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November 30, 2012

Jeff Hawkins Discusses Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence
Jeff Hawkins, founder of Palm and Handspring has focused his attention, since those businesses on computational neuroscience and the brain.  He has used this knowledge for his new startup, Numenta which has just unveiled its platform product, Grok.
In a video below, University of California Television's Conversations With History host Harry Kreisler talks with Jeff Hawkins, founder of both Palm Computing and Handspring and creator of the Redwood Neuroscience Institute, to promote research on memory and cognition. Hawkins traces his intellectual journey focusing on his lifelong passion to develop a theory of the brain.

Hawkins explicates the brain's operating principles and explores the implications of human intelligence for engineering intelligent machines, the goal of his new company Numenta.

The company was created to develop the theories Hawkins put forth in the book, On Intelligence

Numenta has recently rolled-out a platform product called Grok.

Grok is a cloud-based service that finds complex patterns in data streams and generates actionable predictions in real time. According to Numenta, "You stream data into Grok; it returns a stream of predictions that can drive decisions and actions."

Grok has a set of encoders that automatically turn data fields into long bit strings called “sparse distributed representations,” or SDRs. Using SDRs allows Grok to accept almost any type of data and to generalize by semantic similarity, making Grok more tolerant of variations found in real-world data, and making online model building possible.

The concept of SDRs comes from neuroscience; it is the kind of encoding found in brains.  It has been noted that Ray Kurzweil's new book, How to Create a Mind draws heavily from Hawkin's concepts as well.

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