Reviews for A Thousand Brains

“A Thousand Brains is appropriate for non-experts who have little background in brain science or computer science. It’s filled with fascinating insights into the architecture of the brain and tantalizing clues about the future of intelligent machines. In the foreword, the legendary evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins says the book “will turn your mind into a maelstrom of … provocative ideas.” I agree.”Bill Gates (review from GatesNotes)

“Jeff Hawkins’s book is that rare beast: a new theory about one of the oldest mysteries, the mystery of intelligence. The book is thoughtful and original, erudite and visionary. A must-read for anymore interested in how the next breakthroughs in artificial intelligence will emerge from the recent (and not so recent) discoveries in neuroscience.” – Anthony ZadorProfessor of Neuroscience, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

“A Thousand Brains eloquently expresses the ultimate goal of thousands of scientists: to understand the mechanics of the human mind. Jeff Hawkins uses wonderfully clear and fast-moving prose to give an accessible overview of a theory of human intelligence that is likely to be very influential in the future.”Mike Hasselmo, Director of Boston University Center for Systems Neuroscience

“Neuroscience has been exploring the wilderness of the brain for well over a century. Now, Jeff Hawkins has found a map to the theory of how the brain works. In A Thousand Brains, Hawkins takes on the really hard questions – the ones most neuroscientists don’t even dare ask. Why is our perception of the world so stable, predictable, and accessible, even though our representations of the world are so scattered, and jumbled, jumping around in the brain as we journey through the world? Where does all our knowledge about the world hide? How does the brain find and access it so effortlessly? What is the difference in the brain between when we actually see something and when we think about it? Why are we so easily fooled into believing stories that are completely false? Jeff shows that the answers lie in the model of the world that our brain builds. He explains how the neocortex, the most evolved part of the brain, builds its own personalized, colorized and fanciful copy of the world. If it were not for this model, that we build ourselves, we would not even know that we exist, or that anyone exists or that the universe exists. The neocortex does not care what model it builds, it works with the materials we feed it. It’s like the Imaginarium of doctor Parnassus. When it gets it right, you are twenty thousand feet in the air and see the world as it is. When it gets it wrong you go down a rabbit hole into Alice’s wonderland. The fundamental existential threat that humanity faces is the disintegration of reality, facts, and truth into conspiracies, fiction and delusions, leaving us mumbling incoherently about a world that is fast receding into a fog, unable to move, even to save ourselves. But the end of Jeff Hawkins book gives us hope. Once we know how easily the neocortex is fooled, we can see our way out of the mist. That is one more reason why it is so important for everyone to read this remarkable book.”Henry Markram, Professor at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Director of Blue Brain Project

“Intriguing…. Insightful stuff for readers immersed in the labyrinthine world of neuroscience.”Kirkus (starred review)

“Hawkins, inventor of the PalmPilot, explicates his theories of how the brain works in this revelatory survey of human intelligence… The complex concepts are presented as simply as possible, but they aren’t dumbed down and demand focus. Readers who persist will find Hawkins’s study is full of thought-provoking arguments.” – Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A Thousand Brains takes us on a journey from the evolution of our brain to the extinction of our species. Along the way Hawkins beautifully describes neuroanatomy and landmark discoveries in neuroscience… With this and other ideas Hawkins keeps the reader constantly engaged.” – Tali Sharot (review from the New York Times)

“Jeff Hawkins has a new theory of the brain. It is interesting and persuasive. But to me, the most interesting observation in the book is not about brains – it’s about how an intelligent species could make its presence known across the vast distances of space.”Calum Chace (review from Forbes)

“Jeff Hawkins’ ‘A Thousand Brains Theory’ is a very worthy follow on to his seminal book “On Intelligence’ from 2004. I have a long standing professional interest in the subject of general Intelligence because of my work at IBM Research in California. ( It was Jeff’s first book which triggered my interest in the subject of intelligence. ) These two books are must-reads for anyone who is interested in how one could create truly intelligent machines … the books are very clearly written, real page turners – fun to read!”Winfried Wilcke (review from Amazon)

“[I]f you like books, and I imagine you do, this is arguably the most important book written since Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species”… I hope you’re starting to see why this book is so important, and why the Thousand Brains theory is so powerful in its explanatory capacity. These outstanding puzzle pieces just seem to fall into place … Read this book. Your grandchildren will be learning it as brain gospel.” Philbro (review from Goodreads)

I found this book thought-provoking and well worth reading.Steve Byrnes (review from AI Alignment Forum)

” … a masterpiece … It feels to me that Jeff’s theory and work (alongside all his talented team) could hold inside very interesting and useful stepping stones that could bring us closer to AGI.” Javier Ideami (review from Towards Data Science)