11 best books about AI you must read right now

We humans, in general, are excited by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and how it is transforming our lives. From algorithms helping you find a new job to those enabling autonomous vehicles to ones allowing for DSLR quality photos on smartphones, AI is upending our lives in ways that were hard to imagine a few years back. 

However, as computer scientist Donald Knuch remarks in Nick Bostrom’s Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies – “AI has by now succeeded in doing essentially everything that requires ‘thinking’ but has failed to do most of what people and animals do ‘without thinking’—that, somehow, is much harder!”

If you are interested in AI,  then these books written by journalists, historians and researchers will further help you understand machine learning, artificial intelligence, expert systems, neural networks and more. Get your reading glasses on and take a deep dive into the technology that will reshape our world in the coming decade.

AI 2041

by Kai-Fu Lee and Chen Qiufan

Artificial Intelligence is already changing our lives in myriad ways. In some situations, we might be interacting with AI systems even unknowingly. 

While a number of books have explored what AI is capable of right now, AI 2041 asks how AI will change our world in the next twenty years. Kai-Fu Lee, author of AI Superpowers, teams with Chen Qiufan, author of Waste Tide, uses ten short stories to imagine what the world could look like with advancement in Artificial Intelligence. 

From human-machine symbiosis, revolutionary medicine to new forms of communication, this original work offers unparalleled insights into the future and points at how humankind can benefit from the development.

You can buy it here.

Atlas of AI: Power, Politics, and the Planetary Costs of Artificial Intelligence

by Kate Crawford

In this must read, Kate Crawford leads readers straight to the darkside of Artificial Intelligence. Crawford, who is a leading scholar of the social implications of AI, meticulously breaks down the hidden costs of artificial intelligence. 

The author expertly explains how AI can saturate politics and deplete planetary life. The book will lead to conclude that AI is neither artificial nor intelligent but it instead is a technology of extraction. 

It reaches this conclusion by focusing on data, whether it is about minerals drawn from the earth or labour pulled from low-wage information workers or data taken from each and every action. Crawford’s ability to take a broad view of AI in material and political perspective and it makes for a fascinating read.

You can buy it here.

Futureproof: 9 Rules for Humans in the Age of Automation

by Kevin Roose

If you worry about AI or automation taking over your job, then New York Times technology columnist Kevin Roose has an essential read on how to stay successful in the face of ongoing technological development. 

Roose draws from the secrets of people and organisations that survived previous waves of technological change to explain how humans can stay ahead of the curve as work gets automated around the world. From what skills are required to stay ahead to rejection of conventional wisdom that we humans must think like machines, Futureproof shows that even when your work is automated, there will be a portion of work that automated robots will never be able to do. 

This book will help you stay humane even in the face of adversity brought by latest technological development.

You can buy it here.

Genius Makers: The Mavericks Who Brought AI to Google, Facebook, and the World

by Cade Metz

In Genius Makers, Cade Metz gives a face to people who are making AI possible and are bringing the technology from research labs to everyday life. Metz opens the book with Geoffrey Hinton, who is credited with laying the foundation of modern AI and winner of the Turing Award. 

With exclusive reporting and hundreds of interviews, the book adds colour to people who brought AI from the fringes of the scientific community to being termed as the defining technology of this century. The book spans AI developments across Google, Microsoft, Facebook and OpenAI, and also looks at the place of China in the AI jigsaw puzzle. 

Genius Makers succeeds at portraying AI as a technology created by humans and addresses/explores the moral questions that form the basis of their creation.

You can buy it here.

Ghost Work: How to Stop Silicon Valley from Building a New Global Underclass

by Mary L. Gray and Siddharth Suri

In this riveting book, anthropologist Mary L. Gray and computer scientist Siddharth Suri look at how services delivered by major tech weapons work smoothly because of an invisible human labour force. While some call them shadow workforce, the authors give it the most accurate characterisation of Ghost Work. 

The authors explain how the valuable work done by these ghost workers makes the internet look smart. They also expose the ghost economy leaves people vulnerable with earnings less than the legal minimum and no health benefits. 

While Ghost Work shows the dark side of an internet economy, it ends with an argument in favour of creating a model where ghost workers, employers and society at large can create opportunity and not leave many at the end of misery.

You can buy it here.

Driven: The Race to Create the Autonomous Car

by Alex Davies

A significant impact of Artificial Intelligence’s can  be felt in the world of transportation and Alex Davies draws on his years of experience as a transportation reporter to tell this illuminating story of how Google, Uber and others are engaged in a fierce battle to build the most advanced autonomous car.

From the origins of DARPA’s research into a land-based equivalent for a drone to today’s tech giants, Davies profiles the key players in the industry and how they all realised that building a car without human assistance is nothing short of a moonshot. The key to this story is how teamwork can result in great work which can be directly connected to the lack of a team at Apple’s autonomous vehicle project. 

Put on your seatbelt and let Davies take you on a ride of immense challenge.

You can buy it here.

AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, And The New World Order

by Kai-Fu Lee

In AI Superpowers, Kai-Fu Lee, former President of Google China, gives the most conclusive look at jobs that will be affected by Artificial Intelligence. 

While experts have imagined a doomsday scenario where AI takes over jobs including blue-collar jobs, Lee argues that the survival will depend on which jobs can be enhanced with AI. He dismisses universal basic income as a solution and even offers his own suggestion on how to weather this profound change set to impact humankind. 

He also masters the narrative looking at AI development in the US and China and how the competition is set to heat up further between two of the most powerful economies in the world.

You can buy it here.

A Brief History of Artificial Intelligence: What It Is, Where We Are, and Where We Are Going

by Michael Wooldridge

Artificial Intelligence can be depicted as a friend, as a foe and as the next major attraction in the world of technology. However, it is rather difficult to explain where we are on the AI hype cycle unless you are professor Michael Wooldridge. 

The leading AI researcher at the University of Oxford not only confirms that AI is a cutting edge technology but also portrays it as a misunderstood field in science. The book shines at explaining Artificial Intelligence to every spectrum of the society and then takes us on a journey of where AI has reached in terms of development and where it is going. 

It is a definitive read on AI and can be described as the one-stop-shop for AI. If you are a science student, consider this book as the handbook for AI.

You can buy it here.

Scary Smart: The Future of Artificial Intelligence and How You Can Save Our World

by Mo Gawdat

Scary Smart makes the most passionate argument for humans to take control and save our world from being taken over by Artificial Intelligence. Mo Gawdat writes how AI is smarter than humans and how it will be able to focus on specific tasks without any distraction. 

From the ability to predict outcomes to seeing around physical and virtual corners, AI can do it all yet it frequently gets a lot of things wrong. In Scary Smart, Gawdat answers the question of whether we are doomed and how humans designing the algorithms can fix the current trajectory now to make an AI that can preserve our species.

You can buy it here.

The Age of AI: And Our Human Future

by Henry A Kissinger, Eric Schmidt and Daniel Huttenlocher

This upcoming book brings three leading thinkers to explain how Artificial Intelligence will change our relationship with knowledge, politics and our society. 

The information age has already made us question our reality including folks like Elon Musk to say that we are all part of a simulated video game. As AI is enabled in various fields, this all star team leads us into the present and the future of AI and how our society will transform with the advance of AI.

You can buy it here.

Real Fake (Echt Nep)

by Menno van Doorn, Sander Duivestein and Thijs Pepping

In Echt Nep, which means Really Fake, the authors tackle the most pressing issue of the 21st century. The book, published on 15 October 2021, starts with a look at disinformation and media manipulation which has destroyed the fabric of the society and takes the readers into the world of deep fakes. 

Doorn, Duivestein and Pepping, who work at Sogeti Research Institute for the Analysis of New Technology (VINT), explain how people have always felt the need to play with reality and connect the dots between technological innovation with the world in which fake is preferred over real. 

This book really stands out for the optimism it brings to the table and paints a hopeful future for human beings. If you want to read a science fiction novel that also can be used as management training then Echt Nep is for you.

You can buy it here.

Bonus: Ontdek de groeikansen van AI (Dutch)

by Remy Gieling

In this book by the founder of Ai.nl, you will learn the basics of AI and how to apply them in your organization. With lots of practical examples, you quickly know what AI is and can do, how to start with AI and how to use it for business growth.

You will learn, among other things:

  • Why AI will revolutionize our jobs, businesses and society in the next decade.
  • How your company will be faster, more efficient and more personal than the competition thanks to AI.
  • What challenges AI poses and how to tackle them.

You will read how innovative organizations such as Picnic, Salesforce, but also the city of Amsterdam are already applying artificial intelligence in practice today. A book for entrepreneurs, leaders and professionals who want to prepare their companies for the future.

You can buy it here.

2048 1366 Editorial Staff
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