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Bookshelf: AI Reads

By: Sarah Van Horn

While robots haven’t taken over the earth just yet, artificial intelligence technology is on its way and we’ll soon be seeing a lot more of it as science advances to accomplish more complex feats. Companies like Netflix, Tesla, Amazon, and Apple are already using AI tech to answer your questions, tailor shopping or movie recommendations to your personal preferences, and to drive you around.

“Certainly it’s the most exciting thing going on,” said Microsoft founder Bill Gates. “It’s the holy grail, it’s the big dream that anybody who’s ever been in computer science has been thinking about.”

Looking to learn more about AI before it really takes off? Check out our recommended reading list:

book cover applied artificial intelligence

Applied Artificial Intelligence hasn’t been out for long, but it’s already getting rave reviews from business leaders for being a great way to understand AI from a business perspective. Written by AI experts Mariya Yao, Marlene Jia, and Adelyn Zhou, this book teaches business leaders about how AI advances currently in motion are going to affect them, and about potential projects that could impact businesses in the future. "This book cuts the fluff and arms business leaders with exactly the right foundational knowledge to lead successful AI initiatives. Hands down the best playbook" said Jack Chua (Expedia). One Amazon reviewer even wrote, "This book made me realize how little I actually knew about AI. Which is embarrassing because I live in the Silicon Valley which is AI Central," Karen Cheng.

Buy on Amazon


book cover on intelligence

Jeff Hawkins, inventor of the PalmPilot, Treo smartphone, and other handheld devices, shares his theory on intelligence in this appropriately titled book co-authored by Sandra Blakeslee. The book explores how the human brain works versus the way computers do, and suggests a way forward in the creation of intelligent machines. You don’t have to be a scientist to appreciate this read; reviewers described On Intelligence as accessible to readers of all backgrounds. “On Intelligence will have a big impact; everyone should read it. In the same way that Erwin Schrödinger's 1943 classic What is Life? made how molecules store genetic information then the big problem for biology, On Intelligence lays out the framework for understanding the brain.” said James D. Watson, president, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and Nobel laureate in Physiology.

Buy on Amazon


book cover the book of why

An exploration of cause and effect, The Book of Why explores the nature of human intelligence as a complex problem that we need to understand in order to move forward with true artificial intelligence. Author Judea Pearl is a professor of computer science at UCLA, winner of the 2011 Turing Award, and the author of three classic technical books on causality. His research in The Book of Why is a great read for data scientists, engineers, and statisticians interested in AI, and we would recommend it to our scientists out there. "Pearl's accomplishments over the last 30 years have provided the theoretical basis for progress in artificial intelligence... and they have redefined the term 'thinking machine'" said Vint Cerf, Chief Internet Evangelist, Google, Inc.

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book cover the master algorithm

Recommended by Bill Gates as a book we should all read to help us understand AI, The Master Algorithm by Pedro Domingos is funny and easy to read. Touted by reviewers as a great introduction to machine learning, Domingos explores the impact of inventing the ultimate learning machine on society. Dive into the world of data-driven science. Learn about what machines can already do and what they might be able to do very soon.

Buy on Amazon


book cover super intelligence

Superintelligence by Nick Bostrom lays out the impact on the world given the impending boom of AI technology. Bostrom suggests a way forward for this groundbreaking new technology that doesn’t lead to robots taking over the earth and destroying us all. "Valuable. The implications of introducing a second intelligent species onto Earth are far-reaching enough to deserve hard thinking" wrote The Economist. "Worth reading.... We need to be super careful with AI. Potentially more dangerous than nukes" said Elon Musk, Founder and CEO of SpaceX, Boring Co., and Tesla.

Buy on Amazon


For those interested in learning even more, Capitol Technology University offers an array of excellent programs in computational systems. Or read here about a Capitol research project on machine-brain interfaces.