Top 10 Books To Read To Prepare For A Future Defined By AI


We are currently immersed in a world where machine learning and artificial intelligence are ubiquitous. They are becoming more and more ingrained in our lives, whether we are aware of it or not, and hence everyone needs to have a basic understanding of it, not just scientists. To help you get your feet wet in this area, let’s take a look at a few of the best books written by experts in the field.

Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach by Stuart Russell and Peter Norvig

You won’t find a better introduction to artificial intelligence (AI) than this book in the library. By skillfully balancing inspiration, formalization, and practical application, it delves into a wide array of topics, from reasoning and inference to perception and robotics. The author has included entertaining examples and pseudocode to clarify different methods, making the book more accessible and easier to read. The book also includes important details about the success (or failure) of specific methods and approaches in real-life situations.

Neural Networks and Deep Learning by Michael Nielsen

An excellent primer on deep neural networks, this book covers both the theory and practice of the subject. It makes an effort to provide a foundational explanation of neural networks, which is crucial for grasping the more intricate designs found in deep learning. The fact that it is easily accessible because it is freely available online is another plus of this book. To train a model intuitively, it also goes over some of the fundamental ideas of deep learning, such as backpropagation and gradient descent. 

Deep Learning by Ian Goodfellow, Yoshua Bengio, and Aaron Courville

This is another introductory book on deep learning, covering fundamental concepts like backpropagation, optimization, regularization, etc. with detailed mathematical explanations. Goodfellow, a prominent figure in AI research, delivers a masterful explanation of the principles behind deep learning, unraveling complex topics with clarity and depth. He also covers advanced topics like CNNs, RNNs, and GANs in detail. What makes this book particularly valuable is its balance between theoretical foundations and practical applications. It doesn’t merely present abstract theories but also offers real-world examples and implementation guidance, making it accessible to both beginners and seasoned practitioners. 

Artificial Intelligence Engines: A Tutorial Introduction to the Mathematics of Deep Learning by James V. Stone

If you want to further dive into the detailed mathematics behind these deep learning architectures, then this is the book for you. Authored by experienced practitioners in the field, this book excels in breaking down complex mathematical concepts into digestible portions for readers at various proficiency levels. It delves into the core mathematical frameworks behind deep learning, providing a comprehensive overview of the algorithms and techniques used in AI engines. It elucidates key mathematical concepts such as linear algebra, calculus, probability, and statistics in the context of deep learning, ensuring readers can comprehend the theoretical foundations necessary to understand AI engines.

Generative Deep Learning by David Foster

This book provides an introduction to numerous popular and widely used generative model architectures in deep learning, including transformers, GANs, VAEs, and many more. These architectures are being used in modern tools like ChatGPT, Dall-E, Stable Diffusion, etc. The author starts by establishing the foundational knowledge required for generative models, gradually progressing to more advanced topics. The author also discusses the development of these tools using these methods. 

Grokking Deep Reinforcement Learning by Miguel Morales

Reinforcement learning, in which machines learn from the responses of their surroundings, is another significant and extensively used technique in artificial intelligence. The author provides exercises, examples, and code samples to illustrate the idea in an engaging way. Additionally, he provides numerous practical examples of DRL in action, which helps to clarify the subject.  

Human Compatible: Artificial Intelligence and the Problem of Control by Stuart Russell

To jump ahead a little, this book discusses the potential issues that may arise as AI research progresses at a quicker pace. The author begins by outlining the possible advantages of AI, both now and in the future, before moving on to discuss some of the problems that could endanger humankind. Because AI is advancing at such a rapid pace, now is as good a moment as any to consider the ethical questions raised by these developments. Stuart Russell raises some thought-provoking and worrisome questions regarding the potential future effects of AI and how we might make preparations now to be ready for them. 

The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World by Pedro Domingos

In this book, Domingos discusses the several uses of AI, including DNA sequencing, stock management, and autonomous driving, among many others. This provides a solid and comprehensive overview of the current state of applied AI. This book covers learning, symbolism, evolutionism, and other non-mathematical subjects, which is a refreshing deviation from the previously mentioned works. In the end, he moves on to the future by presenting his concept of the “master algorithm”—a system that can extract knowledge from the past, present, and future—and thereby solve all future problems. 

Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence by Max Tegmark

With artificial intelligence (AI) set to have a significant impact on the future, this book tackles the larger topic of how we can ensure our readiness for it. The book provides an intellectual and political road map that explores the opportunities and threats posed by the AI revolution. Tegmark aims to cover as much area as possible without promoting any one goal or forecast by examining a broad range of scenarios regarding the effects of AI on the workforce, military, and political systems.

Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies by Nick Bostrom

Superintelligence and its potential repercussions are introduced by the author in this book. He begins by outlining the various ways in which we can achieve superintelligence, then cautions us to consider what could cause these computers to turn on humanity, and lastly suggests ways in which we can lessen the impact of these dangers. However, it is important to note that the concept of superintelligence remains hypothetical and its future existence is uncertain.

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