The most recommended artificial intelligence books

Who picked these books? Meet our 315 experts.

315 authors created a book list connected to artificial intelligence, and here are their favorite artificial intelligence books.
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Book cover of The Shadow of the Torturer

Matt Weber Author Of Brimstone Slipstream

From my list on fantasy that reimagines society.

Why am I passionate about this?

Science fiction is rightly famous for experimenting with new and strange social worlds, but fantasy tends to fall back on the usual feudal tropes: the whims of kings, the valor of knights, the always-temporary powerlessness of farm boys, the technicalities of succession. Which is a shame, because fantasy provides just as much opportunity to reimagine what society could look like. That’s what I try to do in my books, and at my job, where I’m working to bring 21st-century data literacy and quantitative reasoning to a state government stuck resolutely in the ’90s. When I think of books that have done what I’m trying to do, these five are at the front of my mind.

Matt's book list on fantasy that reimagines society

Matt Weber Why did Matt love this book?

The action in this book begins when Severian, an apprentice in the Torturers’ Guild, gives a convict a weapon to kill herself rather than be tortured.

The reason there’s a Torturers’ Guild is, allegedly, that it beats prison: Better to deliver a punishment and then let the punished person return to their life, the thinking goes, than confine them to a useless existence as a ward of the state. Severian is expelled from the Guild, but not from the profession, and wanders the world plying his trade, at least until the plot can’t spare him.

It’s a constant dissonance, looking through the eyes of a character whose training and purpose is the infliction of pain, who seems so decent and forthright in the story he narrates. (But don’t be fooled.)

By Gene Wolfe, Don Maitz (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In a thoroughly decadent world of the future, Severian the torturer is cast out from the torturer's guild when he falls in love with one of his victims and allows her to die


Book cover of The Rise of Technosocialism: How Inequality, AI and Climate Will Usher in a New World

Zoë Routh Author Of People Stuff: Beyond Personality Problems: an Advanced Handbook for Leadership

From my list on leaders who want to lead for the future.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated with the future ever since I watched 2001 Space Odyssey. An amazing spaceship that could help us explore other planets! Then all that weird stuff about an A.I. gone crazy and apes banging sticks around monoliths. What the…? That curiosity smashed into a major concern at the age of fifteen on a canoe trip where I was trying to work out how to live and work closely with other humans - and failing. It turns out humans are crazy creatures. We love being together, and doing amazing things together, but that can be really hard. So leadership and the future fused into a lifelong passionate pursuit.

Zoë's book list on leaders who want to lead for the future

Zoë Routh Why did Zoë love this book?

This is a smart and broad analysis of global economies and cultures being affected by the collision of emerging technologies. 

What’s amazing about this book is its scope, its wry humour, and its balanced approach to solutions.

They showcase very well current global challenges: the pyramid of inequality, climate change chaos, tech trillionnaires taking over where governments leave huge holes, and the failure of capitalism to deliver on its promised golden land. 

It’s not just throwing rocks and wringing hands. The authors provide a pathway through that will mitigate the worst of these threats.

These include taxing robots and A.I. to provide a Universal Basic Income for the technologically displaced. It was the first time I have truly understood how UBI might actually work and be funded properly.

From a leadership point of view, some important shifts need to happen, and technology will pressure some of these to occur.

The…

By Brett King, Richard Petty,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

What is the impact of COVID-19 on world economies? If the cost of providing universal health care is lower than the cost of building a political movement to prevent it, would politicians still view it as socialism? In a world where algorithms and robots take the jobs of immigrants and citizens alike, are border controls an effective response? If unemployment skyrockets due to automation, would conservative governments rather battle long-term social unrest, or could they agree on something like universal basic income? When renewable energy sources are a fraction of the cost of coal generated electricity, should lobbyists be able…


Book cover of Afterword

Jude Berman Author Of The Die

From Jude's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Artist Activist Editor Writing coach Yogi

Jude's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Jude Berman Why did Jude love this book?

I was bowled over by the presentience of the story and by how timely this book is. Nina Schuyler has thought deeply about the implications of AI for humanity’s future and, indeed, our very lives.

Afterword kept me spellbound because it engaged me on multiple levels: entertaining plot twists and turns, a quirky love story, philosophical conundrums, and more—all eloquently written.

Nina Schuyler is a writer’s writer, and I can’t wait to read her next book.

By Nina Schuyler,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A pioneer of artificial intelligence rebuilds the love of her life, but when she discovers he's been feeding incriminating civilian information to the Chinese government, she'll have to decide whether to keep or kill him.

When approached by a Chinese tech company, Virginia Samson is moved to give them her beloved's algorithm so they can create an AI companion for the aging population. Soon her digital lost love starts spying on Chinese citizens, funneling the information to the Chinese government. When Virginia frantically tries to rebuild him, she uncovers his terrible secret, forcing her to relive their beautiful and tragic…


Captain James Heron First Into the Fray: Prequel to Harry Heron Into the Unknown of the Harry Heron Series

By Patrick G. Cox, Janet Angelo (editor),

Book cover of Captain James Heron First Into the Fray: Prequel to Harry Heron Into the Unknown of the Harry Heron Series

Patrick G. Cox Author Of Ned Farrier Master Mariner: Call of the Cape

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

On the expertise I claim only a deep interest in history, leadership, and social history. After some thirty-six years in the fire and emergency services I can, I think, claim to have seen the best and the worst of human behaviour and condition. History, particularly naval history, has always been one of my interests and the Battle of Jutland is a truly fascinating study in the importance of communication between the leader and every level between him/her and the people performing whatever task is required.  In my own career, on a very much smaller scale, this is a lesson every officer learns very quickly.

Patrick's book list on the Battle of Jutland

What is my book about?

Captain Heron finds himself embroiled in a conflict that threatens to bring down the world order he is sworn to defend when a secretive Consortium seeks to undermine the World Treaty Organisation and the democracies it represents as he oversees the building and commissioning of a new starship.

When the Consortium employs an assassin from the Pantheon, it becomes personal.

Captain James Heron First Into the Fray: Prequel to Harry Heron Into the Unknown of the Harry Heron Series

By Patrick G. Cox, Janet Angelo (editor),

What is this book about?

The year is 2202, and the recently widowed Captain James Heron is appointed to stand by his next command, the starship NECS Vanguard, while she is being built. He and his team soon discover that they are battling the Consortium, a shadowy corporate group that seeks to steal the specs for the ship’s new super weapon. The Consortium hires the Pantheon, a mysterious espionage agency, to do their dirty work as they lay plans to take down the Fleet and gain supreme power on an intergalactic scale. When Pantheon Agent Bast and her team kidnap Felicity Rowanberg, a Fleet agent…


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

James Steinhoff Author Of Automation and Autonomy: Labour, Capital and Machines in the Artificial Intelligence Industry

From my list on what automation is.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an assistant professor in the School of Information and Communication Studies at University College Dublin. I’m interested in automation because discussions about it often tend towards ridiculous hyperbole or acritical boosterism. Whether it’s killer robots that terminate humanity or “ethical” AI which raises all boats, discussions about the social implications of contemporary machines often neglect to include the critical analysis of the capitalist mode of production. I don’t think the two can be studied in isolation from one another. 

James' book list on what automation is

James Steinhoff Why did James love this book?

This book, unlike the others, is less about theory and more about the contemporary reality of automation. It thus functions as an interesting test piece for the theoretical works preceding this one. Gray and Suri show that automation is not simply a progressive replacement of human by machine, but rather that each new automation application tends to generate a need for new kinds of labour which cannot (yet) be automated. The empirical work done here is a prime example of understanding what automation really is.

By Mary L. Gray, Siddharth Suri,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the spirit of Nickel and Dimed, a necessary and revelatory expose of the invisible human workforce that powers the web—and that foreshadows the true future of work.

Hidden beneath the surface of the web, lost in our wrong-headed debates about AI, a new menace is looming. Anthropologist Mary L. Gray and computer scientist Siddharth Suri team up to unveil how services delivered by companies like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Uber can only function smoothly thanks to the judgment and experience of a vast, invisible human labor force. These people doing "ghost work" make the internet seem smart. They perform…


Book cover of Advances in Financial Machine Learning

Ernest P. Chan Author Of Quantitative Trading: How to Build Your Own Algorithmic Trading Business

From my list on quantitative trading for beginners.

Why am I passionate about this?

A noted quantitative hedge fund manager and quant finance author, Ernie is the founder of QTS Capital Management and Predictnow.ai. Previously he has applied his expertise in machine learning at IBM T.J. Watson Research Center’s Human Language Technologies group, at Morgan Stanley’s Data Mining and Artificial Intelligence Group, and at Credit Suisse’s Horizon Trading Group. Ernie was quoted by Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Forbes, and the CIO magazine, and interviewed on CNBC’s Closing Bell program. He is an adjunct faculty at Northwestern University’s Master’s in Data Science program and supervises student theses there. Ernie holds a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Cornell University.

Ernest's book list on quantitative trading for beginners

Ernest P. Chan Why did Ernest love this book?

By now, you may notice that I like to recommend textbooks. I use this bestseller for my course in Financial Machine Learning at Northwestern University, but really, nobody interested in financial machine learning hasn’t read this book. The topics are highly relevant to every investor or trader – I read it at least 5 times to digest every nugget and have put them to very productive use in my trading as well as in my fintech firm predictnow.ai. It covers basic techniques such as random forest to advanced techniques such as Hierarchical Risk Parity, which is a big improvement over traditional portfolio optimization methods.

Marcos used to be Head of Machine Learning at AQR (AUM=$143B), and now is the Global Head of Quant Research at Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. He is also very approachable to his readers and students. There was seldom an email or message from me to which…

By Marcos Lopez de Prado,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Advances in Financial Machine Learning as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Learn to understand and implement the latest machine learning innovations to improve your investment performance

Machine learning (ML) is changing virtually every aspect of our lives. Today, ML algorithms accomplish tasks that - until recently - only expert humans could perform. And finance is ripe for disruptive innovations that will transform how the following generations understand money and invest.

In the book, readers will learn how to:

Structure big data in a way that is amenable to ML algorithms Conduct research with ML algorithms on big data Use supercomputing methods and back test their discoveries while avoiding false positives

Advances…


Book cover of The Alignment Problem: Machine Learning and Human Values

Benjamin Todd Author Of 80,000 Hours: Find a Fulfilling Career That Does Good

From my list on how to have a positive social impact with careers.

Why are we passionate about this?

We’re a nonprofit that aims to help people have a positive social impact with their careers. Since you have, on average, 80,000 hours in your career, what you decide to do with that time might be your biggest opportunity to make a difference. Over the past ten years, we’ve conducted careful research into high-impact careers, and have helped thousands of people plan a career that has a high positive impact. 

Benjamin's book list on how to have a positive social impact with careers

Benjamin Todd Why did Benjamin love this book?

One example of an especially pressing threat facing humanity is the rapid development of artificial intelligence. If we want this new technology to go well, it needs to be ‘aligned’ – that is, it should have or act on the same values as us. 

In this book, Brian sets out why aligning artificial intelligence is an extremely tricky issue and one which deserves more attention from talented and dedicated people.

By Brian Christian,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Today's "machine-learning" systems, trained by data, are so effective that we've invited them to see and hear for us-and to make decisions on our behalf. But alarm bells are ringing. Recent years have seen an eruption of concern as the field of machine learning advances. When the systems we attempt to teach will not, in the end, do what we want or what we expect, ethical and potentially existential risks emerge. Researchers call this the alignment problem.

Systems cull resumes until, years later, we discover that they have inherent gender biases. Algorithms decide bail and parole-and appear to assess Black…


Book cover of Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid

Dan Moller Author Of The Way of Bach: Three Years with the Man, the Music, and the Piano

From my list on Bach, music, and the piano.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a professor of philosophy at the University of Maryland interested in politics, ethics, and art. Philosophers are often unpopular loners who are passionate about their ideas, and so are musicians like Bach. When I teach Socrates and the trial that led to his death I can’t help but think of Bach, who was rejected from job after job in favor of mediocrities, and whose music was considered offensive by parishioners and obsolete by musicians by the end of his life. These figures endear themselves to me not just because of the ideas themselves, but because they had to fight so hard for what they believed in.

Dan's book list on Bach, music, and the piano

Dan Moller Why did Dan love this book?

This book picks up where Evening in the Palace of Reason leaves off, with Bach composing the Musical Offering on a horrible theme from King Frederick.

It explains canons and fugues, and thus helps you understand Bach’s work better, but it then goes on a safari through the intellectual landscape of ideas related to fugues–strange loops, self-similarity, recursion, and of course the guys in the title. It’s not for everyone, but if you like any two of logic, philosophy, or music, give this a try.

By Douglas R. Hofstadter,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked Gödel, Escher, Bach as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Douglas Hofstadter's book is concerned directly with the nature of maps" or links between formal systems. However, according to Hofstadter, the formal system that underlies all mental activity transcends the system that supports it. If life can grow out of the formal chemical substrate of the cell, if consciousness can emerge out of a formal system of firing neurons, then so too will computers attain human intelligence. Goedel, Escher, Bach is a wonderful exploration of fascinating ideas at the heart of cognitive science: meaning, reduction, recursion, and much more.


Book cover of Language Unlimited: The Science Behind Our Most Creative Power

Asya Pereltsvaig Author Of Languages of the World: An Introduction

From my list on how human language works.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by languages since my teenage years, when, in addition to my native Russian, I learned English, French, Spanish, Latin, Hebrew, and Esperanto to varying degrees of fluency. But it was in college that I decided to pursue linguistics as a profession, in part influenced by one of the books on my list! After 20 years of doing scientific research and teaching linguistics at different universities, I switched gears and now focus on bringing linguistic science to the general audience of lifelong learners. Even if you don’t change your career, like I did, I hope you enjoy reading the books on my list as much as I have!  

Asya's book list on how human language works

Asya Pereltsvaig Why did Asya love this book?

A whirlwind tour of what state-of-the-art linguistic science has to offer!

Even after 25 years of working in the field, I learned many new things from this book, ranging from how children acquire sign languages of the deaf to experiments trying to teach apes human language. I particularly liked the many clearly-presented examples from English and other languages.

But what was especially fun for me was a behind-the-scenes glimpse into how Adger designed an alien language for a TV show. It made me wonder how I would have done it differently and how our personal experiences influence us as scientists.

By David Adger,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Language Unlimited explores the many mysteries about our capacity for language and reveals the source of its endless creativity.

All humans, but no other species, have the capacity to create and understand language. It provides structure to our thoughts, allowing us to plan, communicate, and create new ideas, without limit. Yet we have only finite experiences, and our languages have finite stores of words. Where does our linguistic creativity come from? How does the endless scope of language emerge from our limited selves?

Drawing on research from neuroscience, psychology, and linguistics, David Adger takes the reader on a journey to…


Book cover of The Big Dark Sky

Margaret Duarte Author Of Between Will and Surrender

From my list on metaphysical themes that plunge you into the surreal.

Why am I passionate about this?

Books have the power to do so much more than to simply entertain. I believe it’s my job as a fiction writer to condense research of complex subjects into understandable language and then play it out in story. My Enter the Between fiction series introduces readers to the world of metaphysics—the bridge between the seen and the unseen, science, and spirituality—which serves as a key to understanding consciousness, death, and the meaning of life. I’ve spent twenty years researching contemporary paganism, holistic theory, quantum mechanics, and transpersonal psychology to come up with stories that bridge science and spirituality with paranormal, supernatural underpinnings, and contemplative messaging that aims toward a kinder, wiser, more peaceful world.

Margaret's book list on metaphysical themes that plunge you into the surreal

Margaret Duarte Why did Margaret love this book?

I’m willing to bet that Dean Koontz would be the first to admit that, like many of his characters, he’s a little weird. But in a good way. Weird like those knowledgeable about quantum physics, synchronicity, and artificial intelligence. Weird like those into Edgar Allan Poe, T.S. Eliot, Werner Eisenberg, and Carl Jung. And weird like authors who use the last line of their stories to leave their readers with unsettling questions long after the reading is through. In my opinion, this very quality, this weirdness, applied to the art of fiction, results in tales that not only entertain but make a captivating read. The Big Dark Sky is an example of both, with its unforgettable characters, especially Jimmy Two Eyes and Artimis (the most intriguing—and scary—of them all), and the thought-provoking scientific, psychological, and philosophical concepts woven into the tale.

By Dean Koontz,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A group of strangers bound by terrifying synchronicity becomes humankind's hope of survival in an exhilarating, twist-filled novel by Dean Koontz, the #1 New York Times bestselling master of suspense.

As a girl, Joanna Chase thrived on Rustling Willows Ranch in Montana until tragedy upended her life. Now thirty-four and living in Santa Fe with only misty memories of the past, she begins to receive pleas-by phone, through her TV, in her dreams: I am in a dark place, Jojo. Please come and help me. Heeding the disturbing appeals, Joanna is compelled to return to Montana, and to a strange…


Book cover of I Am a Strange Loop

Bernard Beckett Author Of Genesis

From my list on get your head around consciousness.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an educator at heart and have been teaching in high schools for over thirty years now. I get a kick out of helping young people see the world anew and think about ideas in ways that at first seem strange and challenging to them, both in the classroom and through my novels. Of course, to be any good at that, I have to be inquisitive and open myself, and there’s nothing like the topic of consciousness to make you feel feeble-minded and ill-informed. It’s such a wondrous topic because it sits at the precise meeting point of so many of our scientific, cultural, artistic, religious, and philosophical traditions.

Bernard's book list on get your head around consciousness

Bernard Beckett Why did Bernard love this book?

I think glorious failures are far more interesting than modest successes, and let’s face it, any book that attempts to explain consciousness is bound to fail on so many levels. What I love about Hofstadter’s work is its boldness and reach. He’s as happy in the world of abstract metaphor as he is speaking of science or mathematics, and understands that we need new metaphors of consciousness just as badly as we need new scientific models. And even though he flounders at times, it kind of doesn’t matter, because of the sheer energy and verve of his quest: sort of Don Quixote with a calculator. For the math geeks amongst you, there’s an unusually clear and careful discussion of the incompleteness theorem as well. What’s not to like?

By Douglas R. Hofstadter,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Am a Strange Loop as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Can thought arise out of matter? Can self, soul, consciousness, I" arise out of mere matter? If it cannot, then how can you or I be here? I Am a Strange Loop argues that the key to understanding selves and consciousness is the strange loop",a special kind of abstract feedback loop inhabiting our brains. The most central and complex symbol in your brain is the one called I." The I" is the nexus in our brain, one of many symbols seeming to have free will and to have gained the paradoxical ability to push particles around, rather than the reverse.…