Getting up to speed on AI

Published January 9, 2017

For the last 8 months, I have been an avid reader / listener to just about every decent book, podcast and TED talk on the subject of artificial intelligence.  During discussions about AI, I often get the question, “What would you recommend I read to get up to speed on AI?”  Since I have a long commute and like to hike / jog, Amazon’s integration of their Kindle and Audible products (they stay in sync) is perfect.

Here are my suggestions:

  • Watch this 13 min TED talk by Andrew McAfee (2013).
  • Then read (or listen to) his book: The Second Machine Age (2016)
  • Read (or re-read) The Singularity is Near by Ray Kurzweil (2006).  If you get bored from technical details quickly, focus on the first few chapters before he starts building a proof for his position.  I know its now 11 years old–trust me, worth the read anyway.
  • Kevin Kelly writes a great book (The Inevitable, 2016) about the 12 trends that will affect our lives.  There is also a good summary on Amazon here.  And a great TED talk for the relevant bits.
  • Calum Chace has 2 worthwhile books, but his book about the economic impact of AI is a better read.  The Economic Singularity, 2016.  Surviving AI, 2016.
  • If you want a scary read, try Nick Bostrom’s Superintelligence, 2014.
  • If that isn’t enough, these can round out your thirst for more perspectives:

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