Why Greatness Cannot Be Planned: The Myth of the Objective

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Why does modern life revolve around objectives? From how science is funded, to improving how children are educated -- and nearly everything in-between -- our society has become obsessed with a seductive illusion: that greatness results from doggedly measuring improvement in the relentless pursuit of an ambitious goal. In Why Greatness Cannot Be Planned, Stanley and Lehman begin with a surprising scientific discovery in artificial intelligence that leads ultimately to the conclusion that the objective obsession has gone too far. They make the case that great achievement can't be bottled up into mechanical metrics; that innovation is not driven by narrowly focused heroic effort; and that we would be wiser (and the outcomes better) if instead we whole-heartedly embraced serendipitous discovery and playful creativity.

Controversial at its heart, yet refreshingly provocative, this book challenges readers to consider life without a destination and discovery without a compass.

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About the author

Kenneth O. Stanley and coauthor Joel Lehman are both experienced artificial intelligence researchers whose scientific discoveries led to the insights in "Why Greatness Cannot Be Planned." Stanley, an associate professor at the University of Central Florida, has published over 80 peer-reviewed articles (10 of which have won best paper awards) and is regularly invited to speak at venues across the world. Lehman is currently a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Texas at Austin. In August 2015 he begins as an assistant professor at the IT University of Copenhagen.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Springer
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Published on
May 5, 2015
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Pages
141
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ISBN
9783319155241
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Language
English
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Genres
Computers / Information Technology
Computers / Intelligence (AI) & Semantics
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Reading information

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63 3. 2 Function Level Adaptation 64 3. 3 Parameter Level Adaptation. 67 3. 4 Structure Level Adaptation 70 3. 4. 1 Neuron Generation . 70 3. 4. 2 Neuron Annihilation 72 3. 5 Implementation . . . . . 74 3. 6 An Illustrative Example 77 3. 7 Summary . . . . . . . . 79 4 Competitive Signal Clustering Networks 93 4. 1 Introduction. . 93 4. 2 Basic Structure 94 4. 3 Function Level Adaptation 96 4. 4 Parameter Level Adaptation . 101 4. 5 Structure Level Adaptation 104 4. 5. 1 Neuron Generation Process 107 4. 5. 2 Neuron Annihilation and Coalition Process 114 4. 5. 3 Structural Relation Adjustment. 116 4. 6 Implementation . . 119 4. 7 Simulation Results 122 4. 8 Summary . . . . . 134 5 Application Example: An Adaptive Neural Network Source Coder 135 5. 1 Introduction. . . . . . . . . . 135 5. 2 Vector Quantization Problem 136 5. 3 VQ Using Neural Network Paradigms 139 Vlll 5. 3. 1 Basic Properties . 140 5. 3. 2 Fast Codebook Search Procedure 141 5. 3. 3 Path Coding Method. . . . . . . 143 5. 3. 4 Performance Comparison . . . . 144 5. 3. 5 Adaptive SPAN Coder/Decoder 147 5. 4 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 152 6 Conclusions 155 6. 1 Contributions 155 6. 2 Recommendations 157 A Mathematical Background 159 A. 1 Kolmogorov's Theorem . 160 A. 2 Networks with One Hidden Layer are Sufficient 161 B Fluctuated Distortion Measure 163 B. 1 Measure Construction . 163 B. 2 The Relation Between Fluctuation and Error 166 C SPAN Convergence Theory 171 C. 1 Asymptotic Value of Wi 172 C. 2 Energy Function . .
Blondie24 tells the story of a computer that taught itself to play checkers far better than its creators ever could by using a program that emulated the basic principles of Darwinian evolution--random variation and natural selection-- to discover on its own how to excel at the game. Unlike Deep Blue, the celebrated chess machine that beat Garry Kasparov, the former world champion chess player, this evolutionary program didn't have access to strategies employed by human grand masters, or to databases of moves for the endgame moves, or to other human expertise about the game of chekers. With only the most rudimentary information programmed into its "brain," Blondie24 (the program's Internet username) created its own means of evaluating the complex, changing patterns of pieces that make up a checkers game by evolving artificial neural networks---mathematical models that loosely describe how a brain works. It's fitting that Blondie24 should appear in 2001, the year when we remember Arthur C. Clarke's prediction that one day we would succeed in creating a thinking machine. In this compelling narrative, David Fogel, author and co-creator of Blondie24, describes in convincing detail how evolutionary computation may help to bring us closer to Clarke's vision of HAL. Along the way, he gives readers an inside look into the fascinating history of AI and poses provocative questions about its future.Brings one of the most exciting areas of AI research to life by following the story of Blondie24's development in the lab through her evolution into an expert-rated checkers player, based on her impressive success in Internet competition.Explains the foundations of evolutionary computation, simply and clearly.Presents complex material in an engaging style for readers with no background in computer science or artificial intelligence.Examines foundational issues surrounding the creation of a thinking machine.Debates whether the famous Turing Test really tests for intelligence.Challenges deeply entrenched myths about the successes and implication of some well-known AI experiments.Shows Blondie's moves with checkerboard diagrams that readers can easily follow.
Markus Krajewski is emerging as a leading scholar in the field of media archaeology, which seeks to trace cultural history through the media networks that enable and structure it. In World Projects he opens a new portal into the history of globalization by examining several large-scale projects that, at the beginning of the twentieth century, shared a grand yet unachievable goal: bringing order to the world.

Drawing from a broad array of archival materials, Krajewski reveals how expanding commercial relations, growing international scientific agreements, and an imperial monopolization of the political realm spawned ambitious global projects. World Projects contends that the late nineteenth-century networks of cables, routes, and shipping lines—of junctions, crossovers, and transfers—merged into a “multimedia system” that was a prerequisite for conceiving a world project. As examples, he presents the work of three big-thinking “plansmiths,” each of whose work mediates between two discursive fields: the chemist and natural philosopher Wilhelm Ostwald, who spent years promoting a “world auxiliary language” and a world currency; the self-taught “engineer” and self-anointed authority on science and technology Franz Maria Feldhaus, who labored to produce an all-encompassing “world history of technology”; and Walther Rathenau, who put economics to the service of politics and quickly transformed the German economy.

With a keen eye for the outlandish as well as the outsized, Krajewski shows how media, technological structures, and naked human ambition paved the way for global-scale ventures that together created the first “world wide web.”

The human brain has some capabilities that the brains of other animals lack. It is to these distinctive capabilities that our species owes its dominant position. Other animals have stronger muscles or sharper claws, but we have cleverer brains. If machine brains one day come to surpass human brains in general intelligence, then this new superintelligence could become very powerful. As the fate of the gorillas now depends more on us humans than on the gorillas themselves, so the fate of our species then would come to depend on the actions of the machine superintelligence. But we have one advantage: we get to make the first move. Will it be possible to construct a seed AI or otherwise to engineer initial conditions so as to make an intelligence explosion survivable? How could one achieve a controlled detonation? To get closer to an answer to this question, we must make our way through a fascinating landscape of topics and considerations. Read the book and learn about oracles, genies, singletons; about boxing methods, tripwires, and mind crime; about humanity's cosmic endowment and differential technological development; indirect normativity, instrumental convergence, whole brain emulation and technology couplings; Malthusian economics and dystopian evolution; artificial intelligence, and biological cognitive enhancement, and collective intelligence. This profoundly ambitious and original book picks its way carefully through a vast tract of forbiddingly difficult intellectual terrain. Yet the writing is so lucid that it somehow makes it all seem easy. After an utterly engrossing journey that takes us to the frontiers of thinking about the human condition and the future of intelligent life, we find in Nick Bostrom's work nothing less than a reconceptualization of the essential task of our time.
Emoticons matter. Equal signs do, too. This book takes them seriously and shows how and why they matter. Digital Shift explores the increasingly ubiquitous presence of punctuation and typographical marks in our lives⎯using them as reading lenses to consider a broad range of textual objects and practices across the digital age.

Jeff Scheible argues that pronounced shifts in textual practices have occurred with the growing overlap of crucial spheres of language and visual culture, that is, as screen technologies have proliferated and come to form the interface of our everyday existence. Specifically, he demonstrates that punctuation and typographical marks have provided us with a rare opportunity to harness these shifts and make sense of our new media environments. He does so through key films and media phenomena of the twenty-first century, from the popular and familiar to the avant-garde and the obscure: the mass profile-picture change on Facebook to equal signs (by 2.7 million users on a single day in 2013, signaling support for gay marriage); the widely viewed hashtag skit in Jimmy Fallon’s Late Night show; Spike Jonze’s Adaptation; Miranda July’s Me and You and Everyone We Know; Ryan Trecartin’s Comma Boat; and more.

Extending the dialogue about media and culture in the digital age in original directions, Digital Shift is a uniquely cross-disciplinary work that reveals the impact of punctuation on the politics of visual culture and everyday life in the digital age.

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