100 books like The AI Factor

By Asha Saxena,

Here are 100 books that The AI Factor fans have personally recommended if you like The AI Factor. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Mary Shanklin Author Of American Castle: One Hundred Years of Mar-a-Lago

From my list on nonfiction with fantastic storytelling.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a lifelong journalist, I’m riveted by stories that dissect actual events. Nonfiction is my wheelhouse and I’m fortunate to have a related body of distinguished work. Over the decades, I’ve written for exceptional newspaper and magazine editors who taught me the craft of making reality not only engaging – but also meaningful. Instead of ignoring the not-so-convenient truths – details that might be swept away by a historical fiction writer – I hunt for them. My coverage of inequities, hurricanes, and real estate scams has taught me: show, don’t tell. Any author who can take a mountain of interviews, details, facts and color and transform it into a thought-provoking story, they have my attention. 

Mary's book list on nonfiction with fantastic storytelling

Mary Shanklin Why did Mary love this book?

Only dogged research could unearth the story of how one Black woman’s death – and the harvesting of her cells – could change the course of medical research.

It is a story of how some innocuous biological matter could grow into a hothouse of excess. Pharma companies enriched themselves reproducing the cells of Henrietta Lacks but did little or nothing for the family who lost their matriarch.  

For me, this book unleashed the idea of shaping deep research into a story can change our view of society.

By Rebecca Skloot,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With an introduction by author of The Tidal Zone, Sarah Moss

Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. Born a poor black tobacco farmer, her cancer cells - taken without her knowledge - became a multimillion-dollar industry and one of the most important tools in medicine. Yet Henrietta's family did not learn of her 'immortality' until more than twenty years after her death, with devastating consequences . . .

Rebecca Skloot's fascinating account is the story of the life, and afterlife, of one woman who changed the medical world for ever. Balancing the beauty and drama…


Book cover of Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time

Larrie D. Ferreiro Author Of Measure of the Earth: The Enlightenment Expedition That Reshaped Our World

From my list on voyages of discovery about science, not conquest.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an engineer, scientist, and historian, I’ve always been fascinated by how science has always served the political goals of nations and empires. Today, we look at the Space Race to land a person on the Moon as a part of the Cold War effort to establish the intellectual and cultural dominance of the United States and the Soviet Union, even as it created new technologies and completely changed our understanding of the world. When I came across the Geodesic Mission to the Equator 1735-1744, I realized that even in the 18th century, voyages of discovery could do more than simply find new lands to conquer and exploit–they could, and did extend our knowledge of nature and mankind.

Larrie's book list on voyages of discovery about science, not conquest

Larrie D. Ferreiro Why did Larrie love this book?

Dava Sobel’s made-for-the-public story about a David-versus-Goliath contest to solve a centuries-old problem was the first scientific blockbuster when it came out in 1998. It was the model that future science historians like me strove to replicate–addressing important but arcane scientific controversies in a clear, accessible way.

Sobel made this story relatable to a broad audience by focusing on the travails of one underdog, a rural carpenter named John Harrison, who went up against the British astronomy establishment to discover how to plot longitude at sea by inventing a precise marine chronometer.

The 1761 voyage of HMS Deptford established the accuracy of Harrison’s “sea watch” and solved the problem of navigating across the vast oceans.   

By Dava Sobel,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Longitude as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The dramatic human story of an epic scientific quest and of one man's forty-year obsession to find a solution to the thorniest scientific dilemma of the day--"the longitude problem."

Anyone alive in the eighteenth century would have known that "the longitude problem" was the thorniest scientific dilemma of the day-and had been for centuries. Lacking the ability to measure their longitude, sailors throughout the great ages of exploration had been literally lost at sea as soon as they lost sight of land. Thousands of lives and the increasing fortunes of nations hung on a resolution. One man, John Harrison, in…


Book cover of Brainwashed: The Bad Science Behind CTE and the Plot to Destroy Football

Tim Vandehey Author Of Swipe: The Science Behind Why We Don't Finish What We Start

From my list on how technology is changing how we live.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a journalist and a tinkerer. I’m fascinated not only by how things work but by how small levers can move mountains. Growing up in the workshop of my grandfather, an old Boston boatwright, I was mesmerized by the idea that a small rudder could maneuver a huge vessel. In college, I fell in love with how a small idea or expression could redirect a course of research or a country. As a self-taught maker of things, I appreciate how technologies empower us. I’ve chosen these books because they’re examples of how small ideas become things, lines of research, or patterns of thinking that shift human progress in unknowable ways.

Tim's book list on how technology is changing how we live

Tim Vandehey Why did Tim love this book?

I love Brainwashed because it’s a counterintuitive investigation into something we all take for granted: Football scrambles the brains of its players. Or does it?


This book fits well into my category—how technology is changing us and how we live—because among many other things it looks at how new safety technology and concussion protocols have made football much safer, not to mention challenged old ideas about players “getting their bell rung.”

It’s also a deep dive into dogma and how science can be used to serve interests unrelated to truth. It’s a terrific book. 

By Merril Hoge,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The outcry surrounding CTE is missing something critical: the science to justify it.

When post-concussion syndrome forced star NFL running back Merril Hoge into early retirement in 1994, research on football-related head injuries wasn't a priority. At the time, football was heavily influenced by a tough guy culture, and little was known about concussions and their potentially dangerous effects.

Then the tragic death of Hoge's ex-teammate Mike Webster in 2002 launched a wave of fear after an autopsy determined he suffered from an obscure brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). The media pounced. Concern over player safety soon became a…


Book cover of The Inversion Factor: How to Thrive in the IoT Economy

Tim Vandehey Author Of Swipe: The Science Behind Why We Don't Finish What We Start

From my list on how technology is changing how we live.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a journalist and a tinkerer. I’m fascinated not only by how things work but by how small levers can move mountains. Growing up in the workshop of my grandfather, an old Boston boatwright, I was mesmerized by the idea that a small rudder could maneuver a huge vessel. In college, I fell in love with how a small idea or expression could redirect a course of research or a country. As a self-taught maker of things, I appreciate how technologies empower us. I’ve chosen these books because they’re examples of how small ideas become things, lines of research, or patterns of thinking that shift human progress in unknowable ways.

Tim's book list on how technology is changing how we live

Tim Vandehey Why did Tim love this book?

I recommend The Inversion Factor because it’s a deep dive into the Internet of Things from some of the people who made the IoT possible: the geniuses at MIT.

The book’s take on commerce alone is fascinating, the idea that in the future, demand will be driven not by companies deciding what to make and sell but by a flow of consumer data coming from connected devices telling companies, “Here’s what you need to make next.”

Plus, the descriptions of the IoT home and services, tempered though they are by realities like the fact that self-driving cars aren’t very good yet at not running people over, are gripping. Great book. 

By Linda Bernardi, Sanjay Sarma, Kenneth Traub

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Why companies need to move away from a “product first” orientation to pursuing innovation based on customer need.

In the past, companies found success with a product-first orientation; they made a thing that did a thing. The Inversion Factor explains why the companies of today and tomorrow will have to abandon the product-first orientation. Rather than asking “How do the products we make meet customer needs?” companies should ask “How can technology help us reimagine and fill a need?” Zipcar, for example, instead of developing another vehicle for moving people from point A to point B, reimagined how people interacted…


Book cover of The Punch Escrow

Jacqui Castle Author Of The Seclusion

From my list on dystopian reads of the past five years.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love dystopian novels because they allow us to explore our fears and follow those pesky what-ifs floating around our heads to their most extreme conclusions. Often, when I talk to people about dystopian literature, their minds go straight to the classics such as 1984, The Handmaid's Tale, or Fahrenheit 451. While these are timeless and amazing books, there have been so many ground-breaking dystopian novels written in the past five years that you won't want to miss.

Jacqui's book list on dystopian reads of the past five years

Jacqui Castle Why did Jacqui love this book?

I adored this fast-paced near-future dystopian book by debut author Tal M. Klein. Prepare to be thrown into an innovative world where teleportation is the primary means of travel, and people don't think twice before taking advantage of this convenience. Though, as we soon find out, maybe they should. 

There are so many fun tidbits in this novel such as nanotechnology and genetically engineered mosquitoes that help clean the air. You'll also find plenty of nostalgic references for fans of books such as Ready Player One. Prepare for engaging characters, unique worldbuilding, thought-provoking philosophical questions, and plenty of twists to keep you guessing.

By Tal M. Klein,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Dubbed the “next Ready Player One,” by former Warner Brothers President Greg Silverman, and now in film development at Lionsgate.

"Featuring themes similar to Blake Crouch’s Dark Matter, the dense sci-fi feel of a Michael Crichton thriller and clever Douglas Adams-like charm, the book posits an intriguing future that is both inviting and horrific." ―Brian Truitt, USA TODAY

It's the year 2147. Advancements in nanotechnology have enabled us to control aging. We’ve genetically engineered mosquitoes to feast on carbon fumes instead of blood, ending air pollution. And teleportation has become the ideal mode of transportation, offered exclusively by International Transport―the…


Book cover of The Future

D.J. Green Author Of No More Empty Spaces

From my list on fiction books where science plays a main character.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an avid reader of fiction and kind of a nerd, too, so I love books with science in them. I’m a scientist myself, now retired from a career in environmental and engineering geology. I am fascinated by the Earth and the geologic processes that shape it, from the seemingly mundane (like erosion) to the remarkable (like earthquakes, landslides, and volcanic eruptions). As a writer, I try to translate that wonder for non-scientist readers, all wrapped up in a compelling story. Each book on this list sure does that, weaving science into the fabric of a gripping narrative. I hope you’ll love them as much as I do.

D.J.'s book list on fiction books where science plays a main character

D.J. Green Why did D.J. love this book?

Is tech a science? Close enough.

I was on my way home from the grocery store, and I heard Naomi Alderman in an interview about this, her latest book, on NPR’s All Things Considered. It's a good thing I didn’t buy ice cream that day because I sat in the car in the driveway, listening until the end. Hearing her, I knew I had to read the book. And when I did, I couldn’t put it down (the reading equivalent of sitting in the driveway listening to the radio?).

Populated with extraordinary characters, from genuinely good to incredibly greedy, this book both frightened me and gave me hope, but it never let me go until, well, after the last page (yeah, there’s a little bit of a trick at the end).

By Naomi Alderman,

Why should I read it?

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


Book cover of Human + Machine: Reimagining Work in the Age of AI

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?

Many writers have discussed the dangers that artificial intelligence and machine learning represent to our livelihoods, and how clever computers and autonomous robots will supplant us all in the workplace. What I like about this book is that it provides an alternative, and very optimistic, view of how these new technologies are being deployed. The authors present a future based on a partnership, in which artificial intelligence-based tools work in tandem with human workers, enhancing what individuals can do in the workplace rather than replacing them.

By Paul R. Daugherty, H. James Wilson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

AI is radically transforming business. Are you ready?

Look around you. Artificial intelligence is no longer just a futuristic notion. It's here right now--in software that senses what we need, supply chains that "think" in real time, and robots that respond to changes in their environment. Twenty-first-century pioneer companies are already using AI to innovate and grow fast. The bottom line is this: Businesses that understand how to harness AI can surge ahead. Those that neglect it will fall behind. Which side are you on?

In Human + Machine, Accenture leaders Paul R. Daugherty and H. James (Jim) Wilson show…


Book cover of The Creativity Code: How AI is Learning to Write, Paint and Think

Sarah Connell Sanders Author Of Small Teaching K-8: Igniting the Teaching Spark with the Science of Learning

From my list on looking inside an adolescent’s mind.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the co-author of Small Teaching K-8. I hold Massachusetts teacher licensure in English 5-12, Library k-12, and School Administration 5-8 as well as an M.Ed. from Boston College.

Sarah's book list on looking inside an adolescent’s mind

Sarah Connell Sanders Why did Sarah love this book?

Why should we be emphasizing creativity in classrooms? In short order, our students’ careers will require them to augment the work of machines.

ChatGPT and DALI-2 are only the beginning. Du Sautoy explores the implications of artificial intelligence on the future of work. The Creativity Code is a reminder that technology is only as creative as its programmers—at least, for now. 

By Marcus du Sautoy,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Will a computer ever compose a symphony, write a prize-winning novel, or paint a masterpiece? And if so, would we be able to tell the difference?

As humans, we have an extraordinary ability to create works of art that elevate, expand and transform what it means to be alive.

Yet in many other areas, new developments in AI are shaking up the status quo, as we find out how many of the tasks humans engage in can be done equally well, if not better, by machines. But can machines be creative? Will they soon be able to learn from the…


Book cover of The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future

Ethan Turer Author Of The Next Gold Rush: The Future of Investing in People

From my list on how past events will impact our future.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ever since I can remember I’ve been curious about history and how past events connect to our present; And how challenging it is to predict the future, even with all our advanced technologies. In the internet era, everything seems to be changing faster than ever before. I’m no expert, but I do know that if we don’t try to understand all the pieces of this complex puzzle, we’ll never be able to build the future we want. I don’t want to be left behind, so my book is an attempt at understanding the past and outlining a future of investing in people, the most undervalued asset class.

Ethan's book list on how past events will impact our future

Ethan Turer Why did Ethan love this book?

I love this book and try to reread it every couple of years.

This book doesn’t make any specific predictions about the future but instead identifies technological trends that are inevitable. 

Trends like accessing, tracking, and sharing, just to name a few. I like to think of the future as an ever-evolving entity that we get to shape. Kelly explains how technology changes in patterns that we can anticipate.  

If you feel like the increasing rate of technological change is getting too fast to keep up with, then I recommend reading—and rereading—The Inevitable.

By Kevin Kelly,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“A quintessential work of technological futurism.” – James Surowiecki, strategy + business, “Best Business Books 2017 – Innovation”

From one of our leading technology thinkers and writers, a guide through the twelve technological imperatives that will shape the next thirty years and transform our lives

Much of what will happen in the next thirty years is inevitable, driven by technological trends that are already in motion. In this fascinating, provocative new book, Kevin Kelly provides an optimistic road map for the future, showing how the coming changes in our lives—from virtual reality in the home to an on-demand economy to…


Book cover of Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future

Ashley Recanati Author Of AI Battle Royale: How to Protect Your Job from Disruption in the 4th Industrial Revolution

From my list on AI and the future of work.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have over 2 decades of finance control and general management experience spanning the manufacturing and retail sectors, in big names like LVMH. A finance controller’s job is all about efficiency and involves learning every new tool available that can help to achieve that goal. Through this work, I realized how many people are not ready for the tidal wave of disruption about to hit employees with AI and other technological changes. I was utterly shocked at not being able to find a single sensible guidebook with solutions actionable by workers.

Ashley's book list on AI and the future of work

Ashley Recanati Why did Ashley love this book?

A wakeup call for many. Martin made the case of how tech is accelerating and impacting work, bringing the threat of massive unemployment to the public scene, and insisting that it’s not only blue-collar jobs that are concerned.

Critics noted a narrow stance that fails to account for factors like shifting demographics and trends like gigging. And massive unemployment has not yet materialized, though to his defense less than a decade has passed since. The only remedy from Martin – Universal Basic Income – is not a miracle solution applicable worldwide.

The book’s focus is more on convincing audiences of the upcoming problems than working on solutions. Setting aside these critics, Rise of the Robots remains an undeniable classic for anyone curious about tech’s impact on work.

By Martin Ford,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Rise of the Robots as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the 2015 FT & McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award A New York Times Bestseller Top Business Book of 2015 at Forbes One of NBCNews.com 12 Notable Science and Technology Books of 2015What are the jobs of the future? How many will there be? And who will have them? As technology continues to accelerate and machines begin taking care of themselves, fewer people will be necessary. Artificial intelligence is already well on its way to making good jobs" obsolete: many paralegals, journalists, office workers, and even computer programmers are poised to be replaced by robots and smart…


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