A New Company to Focus on Artificial Intelligence
Published: March 24, 2005
AN FRANCISCO, March 23 - The technologist and the marketing executive who co-founded Palm Computing in 1992 are starting a new company that plans to license software technologies based on a novel theory of how the mind works.
Jeff Hawkins and Donna Dubinsky will remain involved with what is now called PalmOne, but on Thursday they plan to announce the creation of Numenta, a technology development firm that will conduct research in an effort to extend Mr. Hawkins's theories. Those ideas were initially sketched out last year in his book "On Intelligence: How a New Understanding of the Brain Will Lead to the Creation of Truly Intelligent Machines," co-written with Sandra Blakeslee, who also writes for The New York Times.
Dileep George, a Stanford University graduate student who has worked with Mr. Hawkins in translating his theory into software, is joining the firm as a co-founder.
Mr. Hawkins has long been interested in research in the field of intelligence, and in 2002 he founded the Redwood Neuroscience Institute. He now spends part of his time there while continuing to serve as chief technology officer of PalmOne.
Artificial intelligence, which first attracted computer scientists in the 1960's, was commercialized in the 1970's and 1980's in products like software that mimicked the thought process of a human expert in a particular field. But the initial excitement about machines that could see, hear and reason gave way to disappointment in the mid-1980's, when artificial intelligence technology became widely viewed as a failure in the real world.
In recent years, vision and listening systems have made steady progress, and Mr. Hawkins said that while he was uncomfortable with the term artificial intelligence, he believed that a renaissance in intelligent systems was possible.
Full Text at the New York Times