“Learning How Brains Learn” — Podcast 9: Jeff Hawkins


On Episode 9 of the Connectome podcast, Ben is joined by Jeff Hawkins, a computer engineer and neuroscience geek who’s obsessed with understanding how the brain learns.

Jeff is the inventor of the Palm Pilot and the founder of Palm Computing – as well as another computing company called Handspring – but in addition to his computer skills, he’s also been fascinated by neuroscience since the late 70s. Today, his company Numenta designs a range of software known as Grok, which learns and thinks like a living brain.

Jeff’s superb book On Intelligence lays out his theory in detail, and he also runs over the basics in this podcast. If you’re interested in digging further, here’s a link to Numenta’s technical documentation of how their software works, and here’s a page with lots of videos of Jeff’s other media appearances.

As you’ll hear on this podcast, though, Jeff’s curiosity extends far beyond software engineering, and explores subjects from space exploration to computing’s future to the nature of intelligence itself. Listen in, and you may find that your own curiosity gets sparked, too.

Enjoy, and feel free to email us questions and suggestions for next time!

(Produced by Devin O’Neill)

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