A revolution of intelligent machines, from self-driving cars to smart digital assistants, is now remaking our world, just as the Industrial Revolution remade the world of the 19th century. AI is used to diagnose and treat cancer, detect fraud, save energy, and make new discoveries. AI is not some science-fiction droid from the future. It's right here, right now, and it’s changing our lives at lightning-fast speed. Many of these changes offer great promise, including freedom from drudgery, safer workplaces, better health care, and fewer language barriers. But others elicit worry—whether about jobs, data privacy, or the prospect of machines making biased decisions with no accountability.
In AIQ, authors Nick Polson and James Scott, both experts in the field, show us how to make sense of these accelerating trends. This book is based on a simple premise: if you want to understand the modern world, you must learn about how these intelligent machines really work. AIQ will teach you how to speak the mathematical language of AI—but in an approachable manner, one anchored in storytelling rather than equations. Along the way, you will meet a fascinating cast of historical characters who have a lot to say about data, probability, and better thinking—and whose tried-and-true ideas are powering the AI revolution, as they play out in the modern age of big data. Finally, AIQ explains how these technologies can help you to overcome some of your own built-in cognitive weaknesses, giving you a chance to lead a life of greater happiness, efficiency, and fulfillment.
"Grounding AI in tried-and-true methods makes it seem less alien: Computers are simply faster ways to solve familiar problems. Hence the book’s title, a portmanteau of AI and IQ—the point being that we need both."—The Wall Street Journal
"The book’s goal is to explain how artificial intelligence delivers its incredible results, and Polson and Scott are like a pair of excitable mechanics lifting up the bonnet of a sports car. This is a passionate book, and it is a model of how to make data science accessible and exciting."—The Sunday Times (London)
"Nick Polson and James Scott take us under the hood of AI and data science, showing that behind most algorithms is the story of a person trying to solve a problem and make the world better. The result is an engaging, optimistic vision of an age in which computers have become a pervasive, influential presence in every aspect of life."—Michael J. Casey, senior advisor at MIT Media Lab's Digital Currency Initiative, and co-author of The Truth Machine
"At last, a book on the ideas behind AI and data science by people who really understand data. Cutting through the usual journalistic puff and myths, they clearly explain the underlying ideas behind the way that loads of data are being harnessed to build the algorithms that can carry out such extraordinary feats. But they are also clear about the limitations and potential risks of these algorithms, and the need for society to scrutinize and even regulate their use."—David Spiegelhalter, Winton Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk, University of Cambridge
Reviews from Goodreads
On personalization: how a Hungarian émigré used conditional probability to protect airplanes from enemy fire in World War II, and how today’s tech firms are using the same math to make personalized...