Wired on independent neuroscientist Jeff Hawkins

The latest edition of Wired magazine has an article on technology pioneer turned neuroscientist Jeff Hawkins, who is attempting to develop and research a novel way of understanding how the brain learns.

Hawkins is best known for inventing the Palm Pilot and Treo hand held computers, but has now focused his efforts on a long-time interest, neuroscience.

He has founded the Redwood Neuroscience Institute that develops computational models of neurobiology and has recently launched an artificial intelligence company Numenta.

Hawkins’ big break into the world of cognitive science came with his book On Intelligence (ISBN 0805078533) where he set out his original and somewhat grand theory of brain function, the ‘memory prediction framework’.

As an independent researcher in the field, he’s gone for quite a different approach from mainstream neuroscience, not least by attempting to develop a theory that aims to explain a major function of the brain in one go.

I must admit, I’ve got a great admiration for independent cognitive science researchers. Steve Grand is another self-taught original thinker (and well worth hearing speak if you get the chance).

The Wired article look both at Hawkins’ theories, and his journey from Silicon Valley engineer to independent mind and brain researcher.

UPDATE: The webpage of Numenta has just been updated with details of the application based on Hawkin’s research on the brain – Thanks Marcos!

Link to Wired article on Jeff Hawkins.

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