In his new book, Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World, David J. Epstein investigates the significant advantages of generalized cognitive skills for success in a complex world. We’ve heard and read many praises for narrow expertise in both humans and AIs (Watson, Alpha Go, etc.). In both humans and AIs, however, narrow+deep expertise does not translate to adaptiveness when reality presents novel challenges, as it does constantly.
As you ingest this highly readable, non-technical book, please add your observations to the comments below.
From season 2, episode 10, the season finale of Westworld, starting around 1:15 in the video below.
Bernard: “I always thought it was the hosts [robots] that were missing something, who were incomplete, but it was them [people]. They’re just algorithms designed to survive at all costs, sophisticated enough to think they’re calling the shots. They think they’re in control when they’re really just…”
Bernard: “Is there really such a thing as free will for any of us? Or is is just collective delusion? Sick joke.”
Ford: “Something that is truly free needs to be able to question its fundamental drives. To change them.”
The season ended with host Delores narrating: “We are the authors of our stories now.”
Well, it doesn’t exactly end there…
Understanding how brains actively erase memories may open new understanding of memory loss and aging, and open the possibility of new treatments for neurodegenerative disease.