5 Best Books on AI for Beginners to Read in 2021

5 Best Books on AI for Beginners to Read in 2021
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We’ve created a list of our top picks for the top five books on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) to help you understand the new tech easier. These artificial intelligence books cover the basics of what AI is for those who might not fully understand. Others on our list explain subjects on AI tech development for anyone interested. We diversified the list to appeal to anyone looking to know more about machine learning, regardless of skill set.

The Top 5 Books on AI at a Glance

  1. How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed
  2. Our Final InventionOur favorite book on AI
  3. Human + Machine: Reimagining Work in the Age of AI
  4. AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order
  5. Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach

Machines are getting smarter and have begun the intricate process of learning on their own. This might sound like something out of a sci-fi horror novel, but the reality of it all is much more exciting. Now more than ever are machines experiencing the boost of intelligence, eliminating errors and human intervention. Developers are creating exciting new tech that enables machines to learn and optimize themselves for the best performances.

Whether it be fear or fascination, each book on this list will tap into the wonder that is artificial intelligence and machine learning. The idea of AI and ML remains foreign to us, and thus it is natural that we seek out knowledge on the enticing subject. We’ve compiled a list of five books that have piqued our interest on the subject of AI and offer readers an exciting yet informative approach to the mystical world of AI.

Our Top 5 Best Books on AI Reviewed

1. How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed by Ray Kurzweil

How to Create a Mind takes a unique approach towards understanding machine learning. Ray Kurzweil looks to backward engineer the human brain to understand how it works properly. He then surmises how this process can lead to better AI machines, which will be able to address more of the real world problems.

Our Thoughts

The book is a fascinating read but can be quite incomprehensible at times if you’re not too familiar with the structure of the human brain and computer science. Kurzweil does well to explain most of his thinking, but some of what he says remains difficult to follow. Overall, this is a unique book that looks at humans and how they can be used to improve AI for more uses.

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2. Our Final Invention by James Barrat

Any great sci-fi movie that takes on AI as its main villain would shudder after reading the book Our Final Invention. This book is an informative warning about the dangers of creating an intelligence greater than our own. James Barrat looks at the fear that many experts have about creating an overtly intelligent machine and what repercussions that could have on humanity. He speaks with tech experts, industry watchdogs, and analyzes some of the greatest AI systems in place.

Our Thoughts

This book leaves you thinking about how dangerous aAI could be. After reading it, you’ll have a better understanding of how AI works, but you’ll be questioning whether it should be used at all. Barrat accurately and effectively presents his argument in a fascinating book filled with many warnings.

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3. Human + Machine: Reimagining Work in the Age of AI by Paul R. Daugherty – H. James Wilson

Futurism is no longer the genre of artificial intelligence books, and no book better describes that transition than Human + Machine. Throughout this book, we are reminded that we no longer have to look forward to the age of artificial intelligence and machines that can guess what we want. It’s here with us right now. Software advancements, machine learning, and new tech have all combined to create the most advanced AI systems ever seen.

Our Thoughts

This book takes more of a business-oriented approach towards how machine learning and artificial intelligence are changing the game. This pair of authors provides an interesting look into the not-so-distant future of business and how it will affect the average worker. It describes how the average worker is already being affected by the increase in demand for AI.

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

The most immediate fear regarding AI might not be about the technology itself. The book AI Superpowers takes a look at the human dominance that comes out of the development of software and presents the idea of a new form of arms race. China has caught up with the US in terms of AI development, and that has only spurred Silicon Valley into action.

Our Thoughts

Will this race lead to incredible new technology that benefits our daily lives? Or are we looking at AI that destroys economies and entire workforces? Kai-Fu Lee, one of the world’s leading experts on AI and China, presents the argument of economic destruction and possible job loss that could stem from this development race.

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5. AI: A Modern Approach by Stuart Russell – Peter Norvig

The fourth edition of the book AI: A Modern Approach incorporates all of what has come before and takes a step into the modern world of artificial intelligence.

Our Thoughts

These two authors present readers with a facts-first approach to understanding modern AI. If you’re looking for a great book that accurately explains what AI is, how it works, and what changes we’ve seen throughout time, then this is a great place to start.

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Let’s have a look at some important definitions

What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

Artificial Intelligence is the ability of a machine to think more like a human. In their base programming, a machine can solve algorithms and process data. However, without AI, it isn’t able to adapt and go about solving issues that might occur, which is where human intervention is required. If an error occurs on your computer, it can diagnose what went wrong, but it won’t be able to take a different path to avoid the error if it feels as though it’s coming again.

With AI, the computer would be able to tell that it’s taking similar steps that led up to the initial error and begin thinking of ways to avoid that error this time around. This is because the computer has the installed intelligence necessary to problem solve and find ways to avoid errors. AI is the ability of a machine to think more like a human and problem solve, create solutions, and develop learning methods.

With artificial intelligence in place, human interference is no longer necessary unless a severe issue occurs. This allows businesses to implement artificial intelligence and avoid diverting employee attention away from more important tasks. Artificial intelligence is becoming a necessity for businesses and companies of all sizes to allow for a more optimized workflow.

What is Machine Learning (ML)?

This is a subset of AI, but easily the most popular and in-demand subset. Machine learning is the specific feature of a device that allows it to process large amounts of data and provide feedback based on the information gathered. This is where the problem-solving aspect of artificial intelligence comes into play. The machine gathers large quantities of information and can develop and adapt based on the data it received.

Most devices we interact with daily include machine learning capabilities. Our phones utilize voice or face recognition to provide security for us, and many computers host machine learning to optimize work for students and employees alike. Machine learning can help diagnose issues with devices and programs that might be running poorly. With artificial intelligence, many companies are beginning to demand a space for the implementation of machine learning within their ranks.

These devices include machine learning laptops, desktops, machines built for specific analysis, and even the phones in your pocket. AI can have many different applications. Some of them as simple as unlocking your phone, others much more complex. With the advancement of commerce and technological applications, it’s not surprising that AI is in almost every daily electronic device.

What Are the Benefits of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)?

AI and ML are examples of the latest and greatest technologies available for companies of all sizes. Each offers its unique benefits for anyone with the capacity to use them. The biggest boost a business can experience will be the expedited work process. This happens once your machines and software can think and learn on their own. Whenever an error would occur without AI or ML, it would be a process to get it back online. Besides, it would take up valuable time that could have been spent elsewhere.

This new tech is here to stay and will become an integral part of the everyday workforce and will bring many more jobs for artificial intelligence engineers. Before it’s fully incorporated, it’s important to understand what benefits it brings and what issues could stem from its inclusion. Each of the books on our list provides you with a solid background in AI and machine learning processes. They are the best books on the subject and should be on the top of your reading list!


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