Sketches — Stories Are the Answer
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Listen to Sketches — Stories Are the Answer · 10 min



An episode in memory of Patrick Winston which opens the new Sketches series with a short piece on story understanding with artificial intelligence and my experience attending Winston's 6.034 lectures at MIT. "Don't just tell me it's a school bus. Tell me why you think it's a school bus."

I've sketched for the last 365 days. A year ago I decided not only to sketch daily but to write short stories and publish them online every Tuesday. The first story went out on July 2, 2019. And today is the first time I'm telling you one of those stories in a podcast, with my voice.

Please enjoy this episode, its transcript, and the show notes.

Favorite quotes

  • "How come I'm out here and [the orangutans] are in there? How come you're not all covered with orange hair instead of hardly any hair at all? Well, my answer to that is that we can tell stories and they can't."
  • "I think understanding our own intelligence is essential to the survival of the species. We really do need to understand ourselves better."
  • "If I'm angry you, you may kill me. Thank God, we don't always kill people who anger us. But we humans always are searching for explanations. So if you kill me, and I've previously angered you, and you can't think of any other reason for why the killing took place, and the anger is the explanation."

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Theme and exit songs, Sleep and A Loop to Kill For, by Steve Combs under CC BY 4.0. Patrick Winston audio under CC BY SA. Algorithms by Chad Crouch.

April 30, 2020

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