100 books like Architects of Intelligence

By Martin Ford,

Here are 100 books that Architects of Intelligence fans have personally recommended if you like Architects of Intelligence. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Intelligence and How to Get It: Why Schools and Cultures Count

Paul Thagard Author Of Bots and Beasts: What Makes Machines, Animals, and People Smart?

From my list on intelligence in humans, animals, and machines.

Why am I passionate about this?

I became fascinated by the highest achievements of human intelligence while a graduate student in philosophy working on the discovery and justification of scientific theories. Shortly after I got my PhD, I started working with cognitive psychologists who gave me an appreciation for empirical studies of intelligent thinking. Psychology led me to computational modeling of intelligence and I learned to build my own models. Much later a graduate student got me interested in questions about intelligence in non-human animals. After teaching a course on intelligence in machines, humans, and other animals, I decided to write a book that provides a systematic comparison: Bots and Beasts.  

Paul's book list on intelligence in humans, animals, and machines

Paul Thagard Why did Paul love this book?

Richard Nisbett is one of the most influential social psychologists in the world, and we collaborated on the 1987 book Induction. His book on intelligence gives a good introduction to the psychology of intelligence and an incisive critique of attempts to use dubious research on a genetic basis for intelligence to explain racial inequality.

By Richard E. Nisbett,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Intelligence and How to Get It as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Who are smarter, Asians or Westerners? Are there genetic explanations for group differences in test scores? From the damning research of The Bell Curve to the more recent controversy surrounding geneticist James Watson's statements, one factor has been consistently left out of the equation: culture. In the tradition of Stephen Jay Gould's The Mismeasure of Man, world-class social psychologist Richard E. Nisbett takes on the idea of intelligence as biologically determined and impervious to culture with vast implications for the role of education as it relates to social and economic development. Intelligence and How to Get It asserts that intellect…


Book cover of The Nature of Human Intelligence

Paul Thagard Author Of Bots and Beasts: What Makes Machines, Animals, and People Smart?

From my list on intelligence in humans, animals, and machines.

Why am I passionate about this?

I became fascinated by the highest achievements of human intelligence while a graduate student in philosophy working on the discovery and justification of scientific theories. Shortly after I got my PhD, I started working with cognitive psychologists who gave me an appreciation for empirical studies of intelligent thinking. Psychology led me to computational modeling of intelligence and I learned to build my own models. Much later a graduate student got me interested in questions about intelligence in non-human animals. After teaching a course on intelligence in machines, humans, and other animals, I decided to write a book that provides a systematic comparison: Bots and Beasts.  

Paul's book list on intelligence in humans, animals, and machines

Paul Thagard Why did Paul love this book?

This collection of essays gives a good overview of current psychological research on human intelligence, ranging from traditional IQ research to criticisms of it by Robert Sternberg and Howard Gardner. It also includes overviews of research on cultural and brain aspects of intelligence. One startling observation is how little psychologists agree on a definition of intelligence.

By Robert J. Sternberg,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Nature of Human Intelligence as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The study of human intelligence features many points of consensus, but there are also many different perspectives. In this unique book Robert J. Sternberg invites the nineteen most highly cited psychological scientists in the leading textbooks on human intelligence to share their research programs and findings. Each chapter answers a standardized set of questions on the measurement, investigation, and development of intelligence - and the outcome represents a wide range of substantive and methodological emphases including psychometric, cognitive, expertise-based, developmental, neuropsychological, genetic, cultural, systems, and group-difference approaches. This is an exciting and valuable course book for upper-level students to learn…


Book cover of Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?

Lars Chittka Author Of The Mind of a Bee

From my list on animal intelligence – from aliens to octopuses.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a Professor of Sensory and Behavioural Ecology at Queen Mary College of the University of London and also the founder of the Research Centre for Psychology at Queen Mary. I've been fascinated by the strange world of insects since childhood and after taking the first glance into a beehive, I was hooked – I instantly knew that I was looking into a form of alien civilization. Since becoming a scientist, I have explored their strange perceptual worlds as well as their intelligence, and most recently the question of their consciousness. I hope you find wonderful insights in the books that I have suggested and a new respect for the animal minds that surround us. 

Lars' book list on animal intelligence – from aliens to octopuses

Lars Chittka Why did Lars love this book?

This captivating book dismantles the prevalent notion that various facets of human intelligence are exclusive to our species.

Through a compelling array of examples spanning the animal kingdom, the author illuminates how skills like crafting tools, understanding mental perspectives, recognizing oneself, and even exhibiting cultural practices are not confined to humans and their nearest kin. Instead, these abilities have independently emerged in a diverse array of other creatures.

Consequently, the book serves as a stimulating challenge to the idea of human superiority, offering numerous indications that when an animal's environment demands it, evolution is inclined to yield intelligent behavior in a myriad of manifestations.

By Frans de Waal,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Hailed as a classic, Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? explores the oddities and complexities of animal cognition-in crows, dolphins, parrots, sheep, wasps, bats, chimpanzees, and bonobos-to reveal how smart animals really are, and how we've underestimated their abilities for too long. Did you know that octopuses use coconut shells as tools, that elephants classify humans by gender and language, and that there is a young male chimpanzee at Kyoto University whose flash memory puts that of humans to shame? Fascinating, entertaining, and deeply informed, de Waal's landmark work will convince you to rethink everything you…


Book cover of How We Learn: Why Brains Learn Better Than Any Machine . . . for Now

Paul Thagard Author Of Bots and Beasts: What Makes Machines, Animals, and People Smart?

From my list on intelligence in humans, animals, and machines.

Why am I passionate about this?

I became fascinated by the highest achievements of human intelligence while a graduate student in philosophy working on the discovery and justification of scientific theories. Shortly after I got my PhD, I started working with cognitive psychologists who gave me an appreciation for empirical studies of intelligent thinking. Psychology led me to computational modeling of intelligence and I learned to build my own models. Much later a graduate student got me interested in questions about intelligence in non-human animals. After teaching a course on intelligence in machines, humans, and other animals, I decided to write a book that provides a systematic comparison: Bots and Beasts.  

Paul's book list on intelligence in humans, animals, and machines

Paul Thagard Why did Paul love this book?

Stanislas Dehaene is one of the leading European cognitive scientists and this book provides a deep discussion of the neuroscience of learning, a key component of intelligence. He makes a strong case that current machine learning techniques are inferior to the processes that operate in human brains even in the womb. He draws out important implications for education concerning how people learn best.

By Stanislas Dehaene,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How We Learn as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"There are words that are so familiar they obscure rather than illuminate the thing they mean, and 'learning' is such a word. It seems so ordinary, everyone does it. Actually it's more of a black box, which Dehaene cracks open to reveal the awesome secrets within."--The New York Times Book Review

An illuminating dive into the latest science on our brain's remarkable learning abilities and the potential of the machines we program to imitate them

The human brain is an extraordinary learning machine. Its ability to reprogram itself is unparalleled, and it remains the best source of inspiration for recent…


Book cover of The Shortcut: Why Intelligent Machines Do Not Think Like Us

Simon J.D. Prince Author Of Understanding Deep Learning

From my list on machine learning and deep neural networks.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started my career in neuroscience. I wanted to understand brains. That is still proving difficult, and somewhere along the way, I realized my real motivation was to build things, and I wound up working in AI. I love the elegance of mathematical models of the world. Even the simplest machine learning model has complex implications, and exploring them is a joy.

Simon's book list on machine learning and deep neural networks

Simon J.D. Prince Why did Simon love this book?

This is a popular science book, so a little different from the others on this list. It is a beautifully written book that is accessible to people who don’t know much about AI but is simultaneously thought-provoking for experts.

It contains probably the best discussion of "intelligence" that I've read, interesting insights into how Google and other tech giants came to develop their machine learning strategy, and a fascinating chapter that views recommendation engines and their users as parts of a single intelligent organism. It's concise and easy to read.

I've read many popular AI books, which are highly variable in quality, and this criminally underappreciated work is the best by miles. 

By Nello Cristianini,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Shortcut as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

- The author is one of the most influential AI reseachers of recent decades.

- Written in an accessible language, the book provides a probing account of AI today and proposes a new narrative to connect and make sense of events that happened in the recent tumultuous past and enable us to think soberly about the road ahead.

- The book is divided into ten carefully crafted and easily-digestible chapters, each grapples with an important question for AI, ranging from the scientific concepts that underpin the technology to wider implications for society, using real examples wherever possible.


Book cover of Artifictional Intelligence: Against Humanity's Surrender to Computers

Peter J. Bentley Author Of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics: Ten Short Lessons

From my list on no hype and no nonsense artificial intelligence.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a geeky kid all my life. (I don’t think I’ve quite grown up yet.) Born in the 1970s, my childhood was a wonderful playground of building robots and software. I was awarded one of the early degrees in AI, and a PhD in genetic algorithms. I’ve since spent 25 years exploring how to make computers think, build, invent, compose… and I’ve also spent 20 years writing popular science books. I’m lucky enough to be a Professor in one of the world’s best universities for Computer Science and Machine Learning: UCL, and I guess I’ve written two or three hundred scientific papers over the years. I still think I know nothing at all about real or artificial intelligence, but then does anyone?

Peter's book list on no hype and no nonsense artificial intelligence

Peter J. Bentley Why did Peter love this book?

I’ve not met Harry, but he seems to have a logical and sensible head on his shoulders. His writing is considered and grounded, which is exactly what you need when discussing the hype that forever seems to surround AI. This book is another look at this topic and finds yet more ways to explain to readers the difference between human intelligence and our algorithmic attempts at intelligence – which are frequently pretty stupid.

By Harry Collins,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Artifictional Intelligence as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Recent startling successes in machine intelligence using a technique called 'deep learning' seem to blur the line between human and machine as never before. Are computers on the cusp of becoming so intelligent that they will render humans obsolete? Harry Collins argues we are getting ahead of ourselves, caught up in images of a fantastical future dreamt up in fictional portrayals. The greater present danger is that we lose sight of the very real limitations of artificial intelligence and readily enslave ourselves to stupid computers: the 'Surrender'.

By dissecting the intricacies of language use and meaning, Collins shows how far…


Book cover of The Deep Learning Revolution

Gordon M. Shepherd Author Of Neurogastronomy: How the Brain Creates Flavor and Why It Matters

From my list on understanding the brain and behavior.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was stimulated by Norbert Wiener’s “Cybernetics” to study circuits in the brain that control behavior. For my graduate studies, I chose the olfactory bulb for its experimental advantages, which led to constructing the first computer models of brain neurons and microcircuits. Then I got interested in how the smell patterns are activated when we eat food, which led to a new field called Neurogastronomy, which is the neuroscience of the circuits that create the perception of food flavor. Finally, because all animals use their brains to find and eat food, the olfactory system has provided new insights into the evolution of the mammalian brain and the basic organization of the cerebral cortex.

Gordon's book list on understanding the brain and behavior

Gordon M. Shepherd Why did Gordon love this book?

The other books in this series are mostly about the real brain. But artificial intelligence promises us a new enhanced brain. What does the future hold? Terrence Sejnowski is a neuroscientist who was one of the first to realize the potential of AI. Since he has been there from the start, in this book he gives the reader an exciting inside story on the people and the advances that are reshaping our lives.

Early attempts at AI were limited, but once computational power took off big computers running multilayer neural nets began proving that they could defeat humans at the most demanding games, enhance human capabilities such as pattern recognition, text recognition, language translation, and driverless vehicles, and work to obtain rewards, just like a human. While these advances are dramatic, it is well to remember that the networks are built not from representations of real neurons, but rather from…

By Terrence J. Sejnowski,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Deep Learning Revolution as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How deep learning—from Google Translate to driverless cars to personal cognitive assistants—is changing our lives and transforming every sector of the economy.

The deep learning revolution has brought us driverless cars, the greatly improved Google Translate, fluent conversations with Siri and Alexa, and enormous profits from automated trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Deep learning networks can play poker better than professional poker players and defeat a world champion at Go. In this book, Terry Sejnowski explains how deep learning went from being an arcane academic field to a disruptive technology in the information economy.

Sejnowski played an important…


Book cover of Resisting AI: An Anti-fascist Approach to Artificial Intelligence

Arshin Adib-Moghaddam Author Of Is Artificial Intelligence Racist? The Ethics of AI and the Future of Humanity

From my list on future technologies and the ethics of AI.

Why am I passionate about this?

Arshin Adib-Moghaddam is Professor in Global Thought and Comparative Philosophies at SOAS University of London and Fellow of Hughes Hall, University of Cambridge. Among over a dozen honorary appointments all over the world, Adib-Moghaddam is the inaugural Director of the SOAS Centre for AI Futures.

Arshin's book list on future technologies and the ethics of AI

Arshin Adib-Moghaddam Why did Arshin love this book?

A fantastic expose about the perils of Artificial Intelligence written with clear passion for a just and equitable AI future.

This book serves as an introduction into AI’s deep learning technology and its political effects. In easily digestible prose, it charters the ways that AI impacts society and how it feeds into various social predicaments, such as the rise of right-wing movements in Europe and North America. 

By Dan McQuillan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Resisting AI as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is everywhere, yet it causes damage to society in ways that can't be fixed. Instead of helping to address our current crises, AI causes divisions that limit people's life chances, and even suggests fascistic solutions to social problems. This book provides an analysis of AI's deep learning technology and its political effects and traces the ways that it resonates with contemporary political and social currents, from global austerity to the rise of the far right.
Dan McQuillan calls for us to resist AI as we know it and restructure it by prioritising the common good over algorithmic…


Book cover of Grokking Deep Learning

Jakub Langr Author Of GANs in Action: Deep Learning with Generative Adversarial Networks

From my list on applied deep learning.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been working in machine learning for about a decade. I’ve always been more interested in applied than theoretical problems and while blogs and MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses) are a great way to learn, for certain deep topics only a book would do. I also teach at University of Oxford, University of Birmingham, and various FTSE100 companies. My machine learning has exposed me to many fascinating problems—from leading my own ML-focused startup through Y Combinator—to working at various companies as a consultant. I think there is currently no great curriculum for the practitioners really wanting to apply deep learning in practical cases, so I have given it my best shot.

Jakub's book list on applied deep learning

Jakub Langr Why did Jakub love this book?

This book is a fantastic intro to someone who really wants to intuitively understand deep learning. It can help you clear up things where you are stuck or simply if you’re having trouble explaining parts of your algorithm to your business stakeholders. It is also a really good preparation if you want a really solid, practical basis to come up with new tweaks or types of models.

By Andrew W. Trask,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Grokking Deep Learning as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Artificial Intelligence is the most exciting technology of the century, and Deep Learning is, quite literally, the "brain" behind the world's smartest Artificial Intelligence systems out there.


Grokking Deep Learning is the perfect place to begin the deep learning journey. Rather than just learning the "black box" API of some library or framework, readers will actually understand how to build these algorithms completely from scratch.



Key Features:
Build neural networks that can see and understand images
Build an A.I. that will learn to defeat you in a classic Atari game
Hands-on Learning


Written for readers with high school-level math and…


Book cover of Human Compatible: Artificial Intelligence and the Problem of Control

Steve Finlay Author Of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning for Business: A No-Nonsense Guide to Data Driven Technologies

From my list on machine learning for managers and business leaders.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have worked in the field of machine learning and predictive analytics for many years. Having started out as a technical specialist, I have become increasingly interested in the legal, ethical, and social aspects of these subjects. This is because it is these “soft issues” that often determine how successful these technologies are in practice and if they are viewed as a force for good or evil in wider society. This has led me to write several books focusing on the practical and cultural aspects of these subjects and how best to apply them for the benefit of business, individuals, and wider society.

Steve's book list on machine learning for managers and business leaders

Steve Finlay Why did Steve love this book?

As ever more powerful AI-based tools are created, Russell asks the question (and provides some answers) as to how we can ensure that we stay in the control of our creations. In particular, what safeguards are needed to protect us from something that will potentially be more intelligent than ourselves? Some might argue that this is all just science fiction and, even if it’s possible to build machines that are more intelligent than we are, it’s a problem for the distant future. However, there are many areas where AI is already making the key decisions about how we are treated. For example, whether or not to offer you a job or if you should get that loan you applied for. Consequently, I found this book to present a compelling case that controlling AI is something that we need to address as a matter of urgency, sooner rather than later.

By Stuart Russell,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Human Compatible as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A leading artificial intelligence researcher lays out a new approach to AI that will enable us to coexist successfully with increasingly intelligent machines

In the popular imagination, superhuman artificial intelligence is an approaching tidal wave that threatens not just jobs and human relationships, but civilization itself. Conflict between humans and machines is seen as inevitable and its outcome all too predictable.

In this groundbreaking book, distinguished AI researcher Stuart Russell argues that this scenario can be avoided, but only if we rethink AI from the ground up. Russell begins by exploring the idea of intelligence in humans and in machines.…


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