on 26 May 2009
Well written, easy to read introduction to exciting research and ideas which nowadays seems sadly overlooked by large parts of the psychological, philosophical, and computer establishment.
Shank's theory about the importance of stories in human cognition, will hopefully not get lost forever even though there was understandably a bit of a lull in the excitement after the good old fashioned AI went decidedly unfashionable in the late eighties. Shank, a giant of the early days of AI who, developed some pretty sophisticated models of human cognition especially in the context complex situations, which are bound to resurface again (are actually already in likes of case based reasoning system). This book provides an easy going introduction for everyone (no computer knowledge required) to Shanks inspiring thoughts on stories and their role for human cognition. One of the few books which gives an idea of how stories are not just entertaining ways to pass time but actually work for us by providing a frame for the understanding of situations and thus are essential to the way humans think. Constitutes a fascinating link between the analysis of narratives, the psychological role of stories, and computer implementation of human like information processing.