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2020 in Review: 10 Nonfiction Books AI Experts Enjoyed Reading

Synced has compiled a list of nonfiction books that notable AI researchers and engineers have recommended on Twitter over the last 12 months.

This holiday season will undoubtedly be unique. As we wait patiently to usher in a new and better 2021, there will be fewer family gatherings or vacations, and more home-based social distancing. But can we look for a moment at a positive? This could be a perfect opportunity to brew a nice cup of tea, take a deep breath, and dive into a new book!

Synced has compiled a list of nonfiction books that notable AI researchers and engineers have recommended on Twitter over the last 12 months. We hope our readers will find these titles interesting, insightful and even inspirational; and that they can provide a pleasant respite in these times. Happy reading and happy holidays!

Race After Technology

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About this book:
From everyday apps to complex algorithms, Ruha Benjamin cuts through tech-industry hype to understand how emerging technologies can reinforce White supremacy and deepen social inequity. Benjamin argues that automation, far from being a sinister story of racist programmers scheming on the dark web, has the potential to hide, speed up, and deepen discrimination while appearing neutral and even benevolent when compared to the racism of a previous era. Presenting the concept of the “New Jim Code,” she shows how a range of discriminatory designs encode inequity by explicitly amplifying racial hierarchies; by ignoring but thereby replicating social divisions; or by aiming to fix racial bias but ultimately doing quite the opposite. Moreover, she makes a compelling case for race itself as a kind of technology, designed to stratify and sanctify social injustice in the architecture of everyday life. This illuminating guide provides conceptual tools for decoding tech promises with sociologically informed skepticism. In doing so, it challenges us to question not only the technologies we are sold but also the ones we ourselves manufacture.

Author:
Ruha Benjamin

Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men

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About this book:
Imagine a world where your phone is too big for your hand, where your doctor prescribes a drug that is wrong for your body, where in a car accident you are 47% more likely to be seriously injured, where every week the countless hours of work you do are not recognised or valued. If any of this sounds familiar, chances are that you’re a woman. Invisible Women shows us how, in a world largely built for and by men, we are systematically ignoring half the population. It exposes the gender data gap – a gap in our knowledge that is at the root of perpetual, systemic discrimination against women, and that has created a pervasive but invisible bias with a profound effect on women’s lives.

Author:
Caroline Criado-Perez

Artificial Intelligence: A Guide for Thinking Humans

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About this book:
No recent scientific enterprise has proved as alluring, terrifying, and filled with extravagant promise and frustrating setbacks as artificial intelligence. The award-winning author Melanie Mitchell, a leading computer scientist, now reveals its turbulent history and the recent surge of apparent successes, grand hopes, and emerging fears that surround AI. In Artificial Intelligence, Mitchell turns to the most urgent questions concerning AI today: How intelligent—really—are the best AI programs? How do they work? What can they actually do, and when do they fail? How humanlike do we expect them to become, and how soon do we need to worry about them surpassing us? Along the way, she introduces the dominant methods of modern AI and machine learning, describing cutting-edge AI programs, their human inventors, and the historical lines of thought that led to recent achievements. She meets with fellow experts like Douglas Hofstadter, the cognitive scientist and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the modern classic Gödel, Escher, Bach, who explains why he is “terrified” about the future of AI. She explores the profound disconnect between the hype and the actual achievements in AI, providing a clear sense of what the field has accomplished and how much farther it has to go.

Author:
Melanie Mitchell

Understanding Machine Learning: From Theory to Algorithms

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About this book:
Machine learning is one of the fastest growing areas of computer science, with far-reaching applications. The aim of this textbook is to introduce machine learning, and the algorithmic paradigms it offers, in a principled way. The book provides a theoretical account of the fundamentals underlying machine learning and the mathematical derivations that transform these principles into practical algorithms. Following a presentation of the basics, the book covers a wide array of central topics unaddressed by previous textbooks. These include a discussion of the computational complexity of learning and the concepts of convexity and stability; important algorithmic paradigms including stochastic gradient descent, neural networks, and structured output learning; and emerging theoretical concepts such as the PAC-Bayes approach and compression-based bounds. Designed for advanced undergraduates or beginning graduates, the text makes the fundamentals and algorithms of machine learning accessible to students and non-expert readers in statistics, computer science, mathematics and engineering.

Authors:
Shai Shalev-Shwartz and Shai Ben-David

Information Theory, Inference and Learning Algorithms

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About this book:
Information theory and inference, often taught separately, are here united in one entertaining textbook. These topics lie at the heart of many exciting areas of contemporary science and engineering – communication, signal processing, data mining, machine learning, pattern recognition, computational neuroscience, bioinformatics, and cryptography. This textbook introduces theory in tandem with applications. Information theory is taught alongside practical communication systems, such as arithmetic coding for data compression and sparse-graph codes for error-correction. A toolbox of inference techniques, including message-passing algorithms, Monte Carlo methods, and variational approximations, are developed alongside applications of these tools to clustering, convolutional codes, independent component analysis, and neural networks. The final part of the book describes the state of the art in error-correcting codes, including low-density parity-check codes, turbo codes, and digital fountain codes — the twenty-first century standards for satellite communications, disk drives, and data broadcast. Richly illustrated, filled with worked examples and over 400 exercises, some with detailed solutions, David MacKay’s groundbreaking book is ideal for self-learning and for undergraduate or graduate courses. Interludes on crosswords, evolution, and sex provide entertainment along the way. In sum, this is a textbook on information, communication, and coding for a new generation of students, and an unparalleled entry point into these subjects for professionals in areas as diverse as computational biology, financial engineering, and machine learning.

Author:
David J.C. MacKay

Machine Learning: a Probabilistic Perspective

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About this book:
Today’s Web-enabled deluge of electronic data calls for automated methods of data analysis. Machine learning provides these, developing methods that can automatically detect patterns in data and then use the uncovered patterns to predict future data. This textbook offers a comprehensive and self-contained introduction to the field of machine learning, based on a unified, probabilistic approach.

Author:
Kevin P. Murphy


Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach

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About this book:
The most comprehensive, up-to-date introduction to the theory and practice of artificial intelligence. The long-anticipated revision of Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach explores the full breadth and depth of the field of artificial intelligence (AI). The 4th Edition brings readers up to date on the latest technologies, presents concepts in a more unified manner, and offers new or expanded coverage of machine learning, deep learning, transfer learning, multiagent systems, robotics, natural language processing, causality, probabilistic programming, privacy, fairness, and safe AI.

Authors:
Stuart RussellandPeter Norvig

Neural Computing – An Introduction

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About this book:
Neural computing is one of the most interesting and rapidly growing areas of research, attracting researchers from a wide variety of scientific disciplines. Starting from the basics, Neural Computing covers all the major approaches, putting each in perspective in terms of their capabilities, advantages, and disadvantages. The book also highlights the applications of each approach and explores the relationships among models developed and between the brain and its function. A comprehensive and comprehensible introduction to the subject, this book is ideal for undergraduates in computer science, physicists, communications engineers, workers involved in artificial intelligence, biologists, psychologists, and physiologists.

Authors:
R Beale, T Jackson

Dive into Deep Learning

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About this book:
In just the past five years, deep learning has taken the world by surprise, driving rapid progress in fields as diverse as computer vision, natural language processing, automatic speech recognition, reinforcement learning, and statistical modeling. With these advances in hand, we can now build cars that drive themselves with more autonomy than ever before (and less autonomy than some companies might have you believe), smart reply systems that automatically draft the most mundane emails, helping people dig out from oppressively large inboxes, and software agents that dominate the world’s best humans at board games like Go, a feat once thought to be decades away. Already, these tools exert ever-wider impacts on industry and society, changing the way movies are made, diseases are diagnosed, and playing a growing role in basic sciences—from astrophysics to biology. This book represents our attempt to make deep learning approachable, teaching you the concepts, the context, and the code.

Author:
Aston Zhang, Zack C. Lipton, Mu Li, Alex J. Smola, Brent Werness, Rachel Hu, Shuai Zhang, Yi Tay, Anirudh Dagar, Yuan Tang


Computer Age Statistical Inference: Algorithms, Evidence, and Data Science

About this book:
The twenty-first century has seen a breathtaking expansion of statistical methodology, both in scope and in influence. “Big data,” “data science,” and “machine learning” have become familiar terms in the news, as statistical methods are brought to bear upon the enormous data sets of modern science and commerce. How did we get here? And where are we going? This book takes us on a journey through the revolution in data analysis following the introduction of electronic computation in the 1950s. Beginning with classical inferential theories – Bayesian, frequentist, Fisherian – individual chapters take up a series of influential topics: survival analysis, logistic regression, empirical Bayes, the jackknife and bootstrap, random forests, neural networks, Markov chain Monte Carlo, inference after model selection, and dozens more. The book integrates methodology and algorithms with statistical inference, and ends with speculation on the future direction of statistics and data science.

Author:
Bradley Efron, Trevor Hastie

All the books on the list can be purchased in print and digital versions and have free online previews.


Reporter: Fangyu Cai | Editor: Michael Sarazen


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Synced Report | A Survey of China’s Artificial Intelligence Solutions in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic — 87 Case Studies from 700+ AI Vendors

This report offers a look at how China has leveraged artificial intelligence technologies in the battle against COVID-19. It is also available on Amazon KindleAlong with this report, we also introduced a database covering additional 1428 artificial intelligence solutions from 12 pandemic scenarios.

Click here to find more reports from us.


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27 comments on “2020 in Review: 10 Nonfiction Books AI Experts Enjoyed Reading

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