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Publisher's Summary

The bold futurist and bestselling author of The Singularity Is Nearer explores the limitless potential of reverse-engineering the human brain

Ray Kurzweil is arguably today’s most influential—and often controversial—futurist. In How to Create a Mind, Kurzweil presents a provocative exploration of the most important project in human-machine civilization—reverse engineering the brain to understand precisely how it works and using that knowledge to create even more intelligent machines.

Kurzweil discusses how the brain functions, how the mind emerges from the brain, and the implications of vastly increasing the powers of our intelligence in addressing the world’s problems. He thoughtfully examines emotional and moral intelligence and the origins of consciousness and envisions the radical possibilities of our merging with the intelligent technology we are creating.

Certain to be one of the most widely discussed and debated science books of the year, How to Create a Mind is sure to take its place alongside Kurzweil’s previous classics which include Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever and The Age of Spiritual Machines.

©2012 Ray Kurzweil (P)2022 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“Kurzweil's vision of our super-enhanced future is completely sane and calmly reasoned, and his book should nicely smooth the path for the earth's robot overlords, who, it turns out, will be us.”
—The New York Times 

“Kurzweil writes boldly and with a showman’s flair, expertly guiding the lay reader into deep thickets of neuroscience.” —Kate Tuttle, Boston Globe 

“This book is a breath of fresh air . . . . Kurzweil makes an argument for optimism.” —Laura Spinney, New Scientist 

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Returning it

I have been waiting a long time for Ray K.'s next book. I really enjoyed The Singularity is Near. So I was terribly disappointed by the lack of new information and, seemingly lack of effort, put into this title. It seemed very much like a money grab and a bit insulting to the reader of his prior books.

Most of the writing and examples were transparently written in the 2010 through 2012 time frame. This is a 2022 offering! Almost all (I think it is all, but I don't want to exaggerate) examples, quotes, and statistics cited, were from this time frame. This was a continual insult to ones ears as they were sprinkled throughout the book. At a minimum it speaks to lazy editing/updating of prior thinking processes.

The recycling of old material in a book well anticipated, an advertised, as an up-to-date look at his prior projections thoughts and writings made the whole thing very difficult to bear. It was clear this could have been published almost 10 years ago. For this particular genre of reading, the hubris of sending it out is mind-boggling. This in and of itself is why it's the first time I've ever returned an audible book. Normally, a simple dislike of a book could be blamed on myself - after all, I researched it in ordered it. In this case, I believe the blame falls to the writer and publisher.

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This is what I’ve waited for??!

There’s absolutely information and insights that provide value. When I purchased a book by Ray Kurzweil my expectations are elevated. The numerous quotes from Harry Potter to Sex In The City….ugh. His countless references to the company he started and sold is pointless. Bringing our Neo Cortex to the cloud and the implications of it, is in stark contrast to the approach of this book.