Biological and Machine Intelligence (BAMI)

Biological and Machine Intelligence (BAMI) is a digital book authored by Numenta researchers and engineers in 2016. It was created to document our theoretical framework for both biological and machine intelligence. Since the creation of BAMI, both the framework and our terminology have evolved. Notably, HTM Theory has changed to The Thousand Brains Theory of Intelligence.

While BAMI is not a complete book, it covers many of the fundamental concepts of our theory and contains detailed algorithms as of 2016.  As we update this reference material in 2019, we note that the work documented in 2016 continues to be valid, but the theory has been substantially advanced. We have not yet written new BAMI chapters to describe the newer work, but instead include it here by referencing scientific papers that cover the new material. 

We welcome your feedback and comments and may make revisions on an occasional basis.

Citing the Book

This release of Biological and Machine Intelligence is not close to being complete, so the book is not formally “published”. However, we encourage you to cite this book in your own work by using one of these formats:

End Reference

Hawkins, J. et al. 2016-2020. Biological and Machine Intelligence. Release 0.4. Accessed at


@unpublished{Hawkins-et-al-2016-Book, title={Biological and Machine Intelligence (BAMI)}, author={Hawkins, J. and Ahmad, S. and Purdy, S. and Lavin, A.}, note={Initial online release 0.4}, url={}, year={2016} }

Note that some of the material in BAMI has been formally published; you can look at these papers to get the appropriate citations.