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8 Best Books on Artificial Intelligence [2021 Edition]
by Bhanu Kaushik January 28, 2021

Early reference:

Ever since man has been trying to make computers do what humans can, a new philosophy in the history of science and mathematics has opened up by the name of Artificial Intelligence.

Although a reference to “intelligence” displayed by machines can be seen as early as 1818 in Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein, actual work on Artificial Intelligence spun off with Alan Turing’s Cryptanalysis of Enigma in the 1930s.

In the present day, we are in the middle of a digital revolution in technology. Artificial Intelligence has taken the world by storm. We find every machine from mobiles, computers, cars, watches “behaving intelligently.”

best-books-on-artifical-intelligence

Thanks to the research in this field. AI is the most discussed and sought after subject in the technology and science field. Every organization wants to hire AI experts to implement the technology into their processes.

The Scope of Artificial Intelligence at BMU

At BML Munjal University, we strongly believe that our students should at no cost leave the campus without being ready to face the real world of science, technology, research.

We prepare our students to make a smooth and steady transition from academia to corporate through our well structured programmes. We customize our courses to make them relevant to the requirements in the industry.

In the current times of deployment of 5G, our B.Tech course in Electronics and Communications Engineering is so designed that it deals with the subject’s most relevant areas and the latest technologies involved.

‘Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning’ are among the most sought-after fields after completing engineering among technology students.

We at BMU have endeavored to the best of our capabilities to include the very maximum that the subject can offer to the young enthusiasts in learning.

AI Literature:

Today we indeed have a vast plethora of books available on the subject in the market. Which ones should one read?

Which are highly technical and therefore not suitable for beginners?

In other words, which are the best books in the market available to those who are contemplating a course in ECE and a career in Artificial Intelligence?

Here’s a list of 8 best books in Artificial Intelligence, which we have compiled for you:

1) Artificial Intelligence for Dummies

Authors: While Mueller has written over 108 books on the subject and is a technical editor himself, Massaron is a data scientist specializing in statistical analysis and machine learning.

Profile: Written in easy, clear language, this 336 pages book is a must-read for anyone interested in the subject and does not know where to begin.

The book throws in a new perspective about AI’s future capabilities with plenty of articles and research material.

About the Book: Don’t be discouraged by the name; it only suggests that non-technical backgrounds and beginners should read the book to understand the subject and what it deals with.

From the history of AI to where it can take us, the book discusses detail without plunging head-on into the technical nitty-gritty.

What makes the book different from others is that it discusses AI applications in the medical field, technology, and society. It also writes about the limitations of AI.

2) Machine Learning for Dummies

Authors: As in the first book, the same team of writers has contributed to John Paul Mueller and Luca Massaron.

Profile: This book is more about the practical implementation of Artificial Intelligence and how to “make” the machines “intelligent.”

It is proposed that this book be read as a follow up to the first one because if the first book was a “what,” this one is a “how-to” book.

Suppose Artificial Intelligence can help detect fraud, spam, intelligent web-search, filtering, credit scoring, etc. In that case, Machine Learning feeds the program into the system to enable it to do so.

About the Book: Basic programming concepts in machine learning using Python and R and how to speak these languages into the machines are clearly explained in this book.

Concepts of Programming with Python using Anaconda and with R using R Studio to make machines do pattern-oriented tasks have been made easier in this book.

If Artificial Intelligence is an umbrella, Machine Learning is the spokes holding the cover in place.

There is no AI without ML, and therefore this is an excellent book for those who have decided to go deep in the subject and get them started hands-on.

3) Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach

Authors: The book is written by Stuart Russel and Peter Norvig.

Profile: This is an actual text-book of the subject and covers an in-depth theory in learning the subject and its applications.

The book is divided into 7 parts – a) Artificial Intelligence, b) Problem Solving, c) Knowledge and Reasoning, d) Uncertain Knowledge and Reasoning, e) Learning, f) Communicating, Perceiving and Acting, g) Conclusion.

It is the most widely used book in the prescribed syllabus of over 1400 universities and colleges worldwide.

About the Book: The book came out in 1995. The latest edition, which came in April 2020, has a stronger focus on Machine Learning, Probabilistic Programming, Deep Learning, Multiagent Systems, and AI’s “uncertain” utility function.

The main algorithms in the book are given in pseudo-code and well elaborated. This book is known as the go-to for Artificial Intelligence. It must be read by all students who desire to venture into this field.

4) Superintelligence

Author: The book is written by Nick Bostrom.

Profile: This is not a pedagogy oriented book that will clarify concepts and lead students into a linear journey towards the subject.

The book deals with duality’s complex topic – the possibility of a superintelligent being we are building, throwing us from our eminent position. This is a book that has taken the world on a rave storm.

The best minds in the field have given it excellent reviews; Bill Gates and Elon Musk have asked readers to read this book once. 

About the book: The book discusses interesting topics such as singletons, oracles, and genies.

From cosmic endowment of humans to indirect normativity, from Malthusian Economics to cognitive enhancement, from tripwires to mind crimes, the book traces its path through an intelligent, complex, and interesting terrain.

The book is written with unprecedented detail. The questions asked are what is the responsibility of mankind towards his own future, should AI be endowed further, what are the repercussions, where should one stop. This book is read not just by those in AI but also by all who get intrigued by science fiction.

5) Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

Author: The author of the book, Max Tegmark, is an MIT professor and is a key figure in the research related to keeping AI beneficial to humans.

This book deals with some uncomfortable topics (if not disturbing) about AI’s role in the war, employment, crimes, society, and the ethos of being a part of humankind.

Profile: The book throws in perspective the direction that Artificial Intelligence should take and should not.

The book is an original and provocative narrative about the three stages of developmental life on earth. It is a great book for reading, especially for those who will be future handlers of AI.

About the Book: Like the previous book, Superintelligence, this book asks some very relevant questions about our future.

But the emphasis here is on the positive aspect of how we as human beings are still in control of the future, and it is up to us to shape it into what we want it to be.

AI may overtake jobs, leave more people unemployed than there are already, and make us more powerful than we can handle, thereby bringing destruction.

If not led in the right direction, artificial intelligence can even wage an autonomous war that supersedes the human capability to stop it. Will the future generation be competing with artificially intelligent “beings”?

6) Deep Learning Illustrated: A Visual, Interactive Guide to Artificial Intelligence

Authors: The book is written by John Krohn, Grant Beyleveld, and Aglae Bassens. While Krohn is a data scientist, and Beyleveld is a deep learning expert, Aglae is an artist who uses her illustrations in this book to ease the complexity of the subject.

Profile: This book is a complete guidebook for students or researchers into the application of deep learning. Together with its tutorial methodology and visual analogies, the book provides a thorough explanation of what deep learning actually is and how it is related to other machine learning techniques.

For those who want to learn to build deep learning models, this book is the best. It follows an intuitive path and makes the subject more approachable and fun to learn easily to follow illustrated figures and codes.

About the Book: Deep Learning Illustrated also provides an essential theory to learn about artificial neural networks, newer tools to build deep learning models, deep reinforcement learning, and GANs (generative adversarial networks).

Apart from the character-driven narratives, visual and Python codes, the book also covers applications such as video games, natural language processing (NLP), and image generation.

7) Applied Artificial Intelligence: A Handbook for Business Leaders

Authors: The book is written by Mariya Yao, Adelyn Zhou, and Marlene Jia.

Profile: This book is relatively different from other books. It brings a fresh perspective into how Artificial Intelligence brings a change in the business scenario and how it impacts or enables business leaders now and in the future.

Students of Artificial Intelligence will emerge as business leaders of tomorrow.

This book is an excellent handbook of how AI is shaping up the decisions taken by leaders. It is not a mechanical guide, nor is it a book about AI’s future and abilities.

About the Book: In practical situations, within existing business scenarios, how does a leader choose an AI initiative, the change management associated with it, who the experts should be brought together to drive the initiative, and is it worth the investment?

Artificial Intelligence enabled tools can change the way an organization does its business and enhance revenues.

This book is written by three industry experts who guide those in actual businesses to strategize and automate while remaining relevant to enterprise functions.

8) Architects of Intelligence: The Truth about AI from the people building it

Authors: Martin Ford, the author of the book, has authored two other books – The Rise of the Robots (Also a best seller) and The Lights in the Tunnel. He is a prominent futurist and a frequent speaker at TED Talks on emerging technology.

Profile: This book is unique in bringing forward perspectives from people in this field – entrepreneurs, researchers, and people who truly are the Architects of Intelligence.

From Al Gore to Eric Schmidt, all recommend this book to readers who wish to hear from the horse’s mouth what this mind-boggling technology is shaping into.

About the Book: This book contains a well-crafted and beautifully curated collection of interviews of 23 subject matter experts.

Each of them is endowed with deep first-hand knowledge of the realities, limitations, implications of Artificial Intelligence.

For the uninitiated, the conversations with these highly proficient researchers may seem high level. Still, Ford has provided a comprehensive list of AI and Machine Learning vocabulary to aid understanding.

Conclusion:

Artificial Intelligence is a topic that has stirred interest among not just the students and engineers in the field, but novices from a non-technical background, business leaders, entrepreneurs, and world leaders.

Everybody wants to know what new things, unimaginable things are yet to arrive and how easy life could become with Artificial Intelligence.

There is an irresistible amount of literature available in the print and digital media on Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, deep learning, reinforcement learning, predictive analysis, robotics.

The list of books above is not a wide-ranging one but suggestive. Some of these books are rated, reviewed, and recommended by the best minds and provide solid guidance to the subject.

Some are handbooks, some philosophical, some text-books. In contrast, others are illustrated tutorials, but they all share the gung-ho enthusiasm for this mind-blowing technology. They must be given a shot at reading.

best artificial intelligence books

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