Top 10 books to read if you want to understand the world of Artificial Intelligence

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We are living in the golden age of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning and are seeing a multitude of applications in our everyday lives that have been touched by AI.


This invariably gets us thinking - how does AI work? How can I understand the nuances of AI?


Well, we put together a list of top 10 books that you could read to improve your understanding on AI.


Many works have been published in the last two years that provide in-depth knowledge of the underlying concepts, technological methods, and applications of artificial intelligence. This list features books written by well-known computer scientists and practitioners who work in the AI field. Whether you're an AI/ML researcher, engineer, or business professional, you're sure to discover a few fascinating books to add to your reading list this year!


1) Driven: The Race to Create the Autonomous Car - by Alex Davies


According to the “great man” theory, history is mostly shaped by heroes—big, brawny, brainy males (always dudes) who use brute power and intellect to create the future. Alex Davies, a WIRED graduate, has written a new book that debunks that old assumption. Davies delves into the history of self-driving cars and the zany, energetic ensemble of characters (still mainly males) who are attempting to bring the technology to fruition in Driven. As Davies explains, the dream can only be realized with the help of others. Until it doesn't, that is. Then the lawsuits—and, in the instance of one engineer, handcuffs—fly.


Robot cars may one day transform how we live in the modern world. By 2050, autonomous vehicles might be worth $7 trillion, and multibillion-dollar corporations like Alphabet, GM, Ford, and Tesla are racing to iron out the wrinkles. AVs, on the other hand, were a scholarly curiosity around the turn of the century.


Then, in 2001, an obscure language in a financing bill directed government funds to the development of robot technology.


(A tip: keep an eye out for the native tortoises, who will pee on you if you try to relocate them when racing a robot across the desert.) This is a book for anyone who is tired with hero stories and wants to discover how the business of producing world-shaking robots really works.


2) If Then: How the Simulmatics Corporation Invented the Future - by Jill Lepore


Quick Quiz : Who was the first presidential contender to win a contested election by using computational modelling of the American electorate? You're 56 years late if you said Donald Trump.


The year was 1960, and John F. Kennedy had hired a little-known company named the Simulmatics Corporation to survey American voters, forecast their behavior, and provide campaign counsel using its groundbreaking "people machine." Jill Lepore examines the early days of algorithmic behavior modelling and its eventual influence on politics and society in her history of Simulmatics (“the A-bomb of the social sciences,” a “Cold War Cambridge Analytica”).


Her portrayal of the 1960s acts as a mirror for 2020: America is in the midst of a racial justice revolt, a technical weapons race with its geopolitical adversary, and an election molded by technological influence. If one replaced "Simulmatics" with "Facebook" on any given page, the storyline would almost make sense. If Then tells the narrative of technology's forefathers, whose work gave rise to the "people predictors" that shaped contemporary democracy and paved the way for today's Silicon Valley behemoths.



3) Rebooting AI (2019) - by Gary Marcus and Ernest Davis 


New York University professors Gary Marcus and Ernest Davis illustrate the technological and theoretical differences between successful AI that is confined by a set of rules (or a defined environment) and successful AI that can effectively engage with the complexity and nuances of an open world. This book is for researchers and businesspeople who wish to make concrete forecasts about AI's near-term future. Ernest Davis is a Professor of Computer Science and Gary Marcus is a Professor of Psychology and Neural Science and the CEO of Robust.AI. This book, according to Noam Chomsky, is "lucid and highly knowledgeable, from a critical but sympathetic standpoint. 


4) Applied Artificial Intelligence: A Handbook for Business Leaders - by Mariya Yao, Adelyn Zhou, Marlene Jia.


For many, the commercial application of AI remains a baffling concept; however, Mariya, Adelyn, and Marlene lay down both the technical and business aspects of AI for individuals working in the field as well as those with a passing interest. This book is not an overabundance of technical material that many people will struggle to comprehend, but rather a step-by-step guide to identifying opportunities, assembling a diverse team, and conducting strategic experiments in the field, with all the information you'll need!


5) Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence - by Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans, and Avi Goldfarb


This 250-page primer on AI and Machines tackles the most common questions a newcomer to the business could have. Prediction Machines is an easy-to-understand book that checks all the boxes when it comes to demystifying the nature of AI and how it affects the economy today. Prediction Machines' applicability and adoption at many levels of the economy will only improve as they become more common and inexpensive. If you want to understand how the employment market will change in the coming months and what management skills you should have to deal with the disruptions, this AI book could be a must-read for C-suite executives. The assessment is based on the present AI owners' and users' decision-making abilities.


6) The Fourth Age: Smart Robots, Conscious Computers, and the Future of Humanity- by Byron Reese


The three key discoveries that eternally transformed civilization are fire, agriculture, and the wheel. Setting this theory in action, author Byron Reese compares AI to the Industrial Revolution, citing numerous examples of AI's involvement in changing the curve. Byron is the founder and CEO of Gigaom.


In this fascinating, essential, and accessible exploration of the coming advances in robotics, computing, and related technologies from the publisher, of one of the world's most popular technology news websites, Gigaom.com, learn about the next stage of humanity's evolution—the age of artificial intelligence.


Byron Reese, says we're developing robots that can perform human-like tasks. We're working on creating computers that might be able to think for themselves. We're probably on the verge of developing a new life form: a conscious computer to which we could delegate our thinking minds, together with a companion robot to execute our bodily functions. Reese tackles the impending technological revolution and its species-changing repercussions in enthralling and accessible language.


He aids us in comprehending both the practical and existential implications of this brave new world, resulting in a more full description of what it means to be human.


7) Life 3.0 Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence - by Max Tegmark


We are at the start of a new age, as Max predicted three years ago. Science Fiction, which was formerly just considered a fiction, is rapidly becoming a reality. Over nearly 400 pages of information, the MIT professor, whose work has aided mainstream study on how to keep AI positive, separates myths from facts, utopias from dystopias, to investigate the next chapter of our life. Are artificial intelligence systems safe? How can we expand it without robbing people of their sense of purpose? Should we be concerned about an autonomous weapons arms race? All of this and more is covered by Max.


8) Machine Learning Yearning - by Andrew Ng


Andrew Ng's free e-book will show you how to best structure your Machine Learning projects.


Andrew covers everything from ML system issue diagnosis to mismatched training sets, end-to-end learning, and transfer learning. For years, it has been suggested that the best way to make strategic decisions in Machine Learning is to enrol in a programme or course where you will have direct contact with a mentor; however, this e-book eliminates the middleman in assisting you on your journey to becoming an educated individual in all things Machine Learning.


9) AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order - by Kai-Fu Lee


This AI book was written by Kaifu Lee. AI Superpowers, a best-seller in the American market, naturally brings up the Chinese and AI white-collar sector.


“PricewaterhouseCoopers believes that AI implementation will boost global GDP by $15.7 trillion by 2030. China is expected to take home $7 trillion of the total, roughly double the $3.7 trillion gained by North America.” Kai-Fu Lee


Kai-Fu Lee, a former Google China CEO and AI entrepreneur, has extensive first-hand knowledge of the Chinese AI movement. The book on AI covers on the four waves of AI and the ongoing struggle for AI supremacy as well as the future of workplace automation-


  • Internet AI
  • Enterprise/Business AI
  • Perception AI
  • Autonomous AI



10) Data Mining: Practical Machine Learning Tools and Techniques - by Ian Witten, Eibe Frank, Mark Hall, and Christopher Pal


This book meets every expectation that you may have from a book on AI.


Data Mining: Practical Machine Learning Tools and Techniques is a handy book on data mining and analytics whether you're taking a course in Python, Big Data Analytics, or SAS Analytics. It describes how Machine Learning algorithms operate for data mining and performance enhancement workflow. This book is presently accessible in English, as well as Chinese, German, and Korean translations. Based on customer feedback, we believe the writers are true experts in the field of Data Mining and Machine Learning, and that they have successfully communicated their expertise to readers by including authoritative presentations of modern data mining techniques.



These books will be valuable to anyone who has developed a career around AI and ML for progressing through the field and grasping some of the most sophisticated, practical, and pressing concerns that the field faces. These books are excellent resources for anyone looking to improve their technical abilities, productivity, or knowledge of the subject. Every week, a slew of new books on comparable subjects are produced and released.

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