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Tell Me a Story: Narrative and Intelligence (Rethinking Theory) Paperback – December 20, 1995

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

How are our memories, our narratives, and our intelligence interrelated? What can artificial intelligence and narratology say to each other? In this pathbreaking study by an expert on learning and computers, Roger C. Schank argues that artificial intelligence must be based on real human intelligence, which consists largely of applying old situations - and our narratives of them - to new situations in less than obvious ways. To design smart machines, Schank therefore investigated how people use narratives and stories, the nature and function of those narratives, and the connection of intelligence to both telling and listening. As Schank explains, "We need to tell someone else a story that describes our experiences because the process of creating the story also creates the memory structure that will contain the gist of the story for the rest of our lives. Talking is remembering". This first paperback edition includes an illuminating foreword by Gary Saul Morson.

About the Author

Roger C. Schank is Director of the Institute for Learning Sciences and John Evans Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Psychology, and Education at Northwestern University. He is the author, with Peter Childers, of The Creative Attitude: Learning to Ask and Answer the Right Questions.
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Product Details

  • Series: Rethinking Theory
  • Paperback: 253 pages
  • Publisher: Northwestern University Press (December 20, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810113139
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810113138
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #525,961 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Darren Burton on July 7, 2001
Format: Paperback
I read this book for one of my instructional design classes - which focuses on how people learn - it is one of the most interesting books that I have ever read. It gives you alot to think about. I think the best way to learn about a non-fiction book is through a series of quotes of what the person found interesting. So here are some quotes from the book:

"In effect, once she decided to see their situation as one of betrayal, she didn't need to see it any other way. Aspects of the relationship between the two people unrelated to betrayal, or that contradicted the notion of betrayal, were forgotten. Seeing a particular story as an instance of a more general and universally known story causes the teller of the story to forget the differences between the particular and the general.
....In other words, the concept of betrayal becomes what she knows about this situation. It controls her memory of the situation so that new evidence of betrayal is more likely to get admitted into memory than contradictory evidence."(P.148)

"...Is this relationship, however, an example of betrayal? Certainly, the teller relates the story so that betrayal is an accurate description. But betrayal was used as a skeleton story around which the actual story was constructed.
In other words, by using a skeleton story for betrayal, the teller could only construct a story of betrayal. All other aspects of the story were left out. But why, for example, could the teller not have told a story of "devotion"? Only small changes would be needed to make this a story of devotion - a statement that he still loves her and hopes that she will return to her former self or one that shows he values and will support her in her role as mother. ....
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