AI Reading List: Part 1

One of the bigger, and most constant tensions I’ve been feeling in my AI research is the push and pull between algorithms and humanities. Math, and data science have branded themselves as an all–encompassing offering and the humanities are resentful. Math alone won’t be enough, and a thoughtful point of view is incredibly valuable at this unique point in time.

As these technologies are moving into more sectors and products I will be publishing a series of short, digestible reading lists.

The goal of these is to give people with interests–or ones who are curious about working in the field–the ability to make sense of the technology, while gain a sober, hype-free point of view.

How To Create a Mind, by Ray Kurzweil

Kurzweil is a successful entrepreneur, inventor and author. He is also the co–founder and chair of the Singularity university and currently director of engineering at Google. This book is the most succinct view you can find on building an artificial brain. It is in the core of the brain as a computer problem point of view, which is responsible for questionable predictions about machines taking over. Nonetheless, this is an important book for a balanced point of view.

On Intelligence, by Jeff Hawkins

Jeff Hawkins is another successful entrepreneur. Jeff is the founder of Palm Pilot, and in recent years has moved his interest to neuroscience. He established the Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience and has an interesting point of view on smart machines, sensory augmentation and the roles of machines in this collaboration. Hawkins’ point of view will seem refreshing following Kurzweil’s cumbersome visions of chips in brains and downloading life onto a server.

Turing’s Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe by George Dyson

Alan Turing’s contributions to science and computers are beyond doubt. His work on information technology, cryptography, and logic is still echoing today (especially around the Turing Machine and intelligent agents).

Dyson does more than just tell the story of Turing. The book shares the eco–system he lived and worked within. It reinforces the value in polymathic thinking by exposing other statisticians, biologists and logicians. Those insights are surprisingly valuable in today’s context as a lot of those problems dealt with in the early days of computing are still unsolved.


Full reading list is always available on Everything Will Happen.

Please get in touch with comments and questions, or if your company is interested in learning more about how to bring these technologies to market.

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