Jeff Hawkins built his career (and his fortune) as the inventor of the Palm Pilot and the Treo. In 2005, he co-founded the company Numenta to pursue his lifelong goal: understanding and modeling the human brain, so as to make artificial intelligence smarter. Hawkins believes that the essence of human intelligence is recognizing regular patterns-in sounds, or images, or ideas-and using them to predict the future. This understanding of the brain as a pattern-recognition machine means Numenta's technology could be used to make sense of other astoundingly complex data sets. Software developed by Numenta is already being used by a California energy company to monitor electric grids. In the future, Numenta's work could help us better understand weather patterns, financial markets, and ourselves.