Monday, June 30, 2008

Computing Beyond Turing: Jeff Hawkins Talk at UCSD

As you may or may not know, I'm a big fan of Jeff Hawkins, entrepreneur, engineer, and cognitive theorist. You really should read his book On Intelligence, if you haven't already. It's changed the way I think about cognition and has been a driving force for the direction of my dissertation.

There are some older talks out on the web of Hawkins explaining the theory that's driving the technology he's now working on, but here's a fairly recent video of a talk he gave at UCSD this year:

He does review the theory, but he also gives a demo of the NuPIC software and describes some of the recent additions they've made in the past year. It's about 1:15.

One of the things that's funny is that the title of the talk is "Computing Beyond Turing", and Hawkins spends some time talking about Turing and the Universal Turing Machine. When a questioner points out at the end of the talk that he didn't really talk about computing beyond Turing, he admits it, so it's really not a good title for the talk. The hierarchical computation Hawkins is talking about is still carried out on a Turing machine. If anything, it's a subset of Turing computation.

Still, it's an interesting and worthwhile talk if you care to invest the time in it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Derek, I think Jeff Hawkins is a fine thinker. I am more interested in the title though. I think there is a necessity for going beyond Turing, otherwise we do not have a logic powerful enough for everything we pretend to do with computers (I am thinking in Göedel's Theorem). Well, this is just an impression I am working with...

Nice blog,