The World is a Song: How Music Led to a Theory of Human Intelligence

  • Why do we recognize a melody as being the same, no matter what key it is played in?
  • How does the brain use memories of past musical experiences to predict how a previously unheard piece of music might unfold?
  • Why are we are surprised, often but not always pleasantly so, when a song does not fit our brain's predictions?

Jeff Hawkins, creator of the PalmPilot, the Treo smart phone, and other handheld devices, will present, "The World is a Song: How Music Led to a Theory of Human Intelligence," based on his latest book On Intelligence. This free lecture and book signing will be held Thursday, February 10 at 6pm in the Paul Hall Auditorium at The Juilliard School (60 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY). Limited seating is available; for reservations or information, call 516-367-6822.

hawkins jeff

Mr. Hawkins is a both a computer scientist and a neuroscientist, and has used our ability to recognize melodies to help reveal how the brain works. Hawkins argues that a memory-based predictive system forms the basis of human perception, cognition, creativity, and consciousness, and believes the computational style of the human brain is a robust and powerful model for current and future generations of software engineers to follow. In the February 10 Juilliard School lecture, Hawkins will describe these ideas and how music played a role in their development.

About On Intelligence
Hawkins is Executive Director & Chairman of the Redwood Neuroscience Institute and Chief Technology Officer of palmOne, Inc. The creator of the PalmPilot, the Treo smart phone and other handheld devices, Hawkins has reshaped our relationship with computers.  Now, as described in On Intelligence, Hawkins stands ready to unify neuroscience and computing through a new understanding of human intelligence. With co-author Sandra Blakeslee, Hawkins presents a compelling theory of human brain function, explains why traditional computers are not intelligent, and suggests how we might go about building truly intelligent machines based on the properties of human cognition. In an engaging style that will captivate curious lay-readers and professional scientists alike, Blakeslee and Hawkins describe how lessons from the study of human intelligence promise to transform the future of technology, possibly in surprising ways.

Hawkins also serves on the board of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, a private, non-profit basic research and educational institution. Under the leadership of Dr. Bruce Stillman, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the Royal Society (London), more than 300 scientists conduct groundbreaking research in cancer, neurobiology, plant genetics and bioinformatics at the 115-year old Long Island institution.