Why Greatness Cannot Be Planned: The Myth of the Objective by Kenneth O. StanleyWhy Greatness Cannot Be Planned: The Myth of the Objective by Kenneth O. Stanley

Why Greatness Cannot Be Planned: The Myth of the Objective

byKenneth O. Stanley, Joel Lehman

Paperback | May 18, 2015

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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. InWhy 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.

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 a...
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Title:Why Greatness Cannot Be Planned: The Myth of the ObjectiveFormat:PaperbackDimensions:141 pages, 23.5 × 15.5 × 0.01 inPublished:May 18, 2015Publisher:Springer-Verlag/Sci-Tech/TradeLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:3319155237

ISBN - 13:9783319155234

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Table of Contents

Questioning Objectives.-Victory for the Aimless.- The Art of Breeding Art.- The False Compass.- The Interesting and the Novel.- Long Live the Treasure Hunter.- Unshackling Education.- Unchaining Innovation.- Farewell to the Mirage.- Case Study 1: Reinterpreting Natural Evolution.- Case Study 2: Objectives and the Quest for AI.

Editorial Reviews

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."What is your ultimate goal -- your true objective -- when you pick up a book? The authors of this one believe that there may be no objective at all involved, just a diffuse feeling that a book can change the way you look at the world. They may be right." (Prof. Christos Papadimitriou, University of California, Berkeley and Co-author of the New York Times Best Seller "Logicomix")"One of the original aspirations of Artificial Intelligence researchers was to help all of us, as thinking beings, understand ourselves better. Stanley and Lehman are among the few who have managed to achieve this. In this book they not only shed light on a glaring bias in the way we approach the creation of intelligent machines, but have also identified this bias at work in many aspects of our society. It is not every day that a technical book so clearly reveals something new about how we live our own lives and how we might enrich them. I cherish such a rarity, and I urge others to as well." ( Prof. Josh Bongard, University of Vermont)"The ideas in this book have revolutionized the field of evolving artificial intelligence. They also help explain why biological evolution, science, and human culture are creative, endlessly innovative processes. Stanley and Lehman's theories are helpful for anyone who wants to foster a culture of innovation in their organization and within their own mind." (Prof. Jeff Clune, University of Wyoming)"Objectives in our lives and careers, and the endeavor to achieve them, can sometimes cause stress and feelings of underachievement. But do we always need objectives? This book challenges common beliefs in our culture and society, revealing indisputable evidence that the biggest discoveries in the arts and sciences are not driven by objectives. The reading provides an uplifting new perspective on creativity, innovation, and happiness." (Andrea Soltoggio, Lecturer in Computer Science, Loughborough University)