Artificial intelligence: A guide for thinking humans

The History of Artificial Intelligence, its victories, hopes, and fears – Artificial Intelligence: A guide for thinking humans

artificial intelligence a guide for thinking humans pdf

The following is a review of the book Artificial Intelligence by Melanie Mitchell (Twitter here).

Review of Artificial Intelligence: A Guide for thinking humans

Artificial Intelligence, along with Big Data, Machine Learning, BlockChain and Internet of Things is one of the catch-phrases or buzzwords of our century. While everybody speaks about it, very few people know what it actually is, how it works, its limitations and its possibilities.

In Artificial Intelligence: a guide for thinking humans, award winning author Melanie Mitchell, comprehensively explains the history of AI, the recent amazing achievements it has reached, its future, and the fears around it.

The book is an incredible overview of Artificial Intelligence and its surrounding world, telling stories about AI with a human touch, and a captivating engaging discurse. If you want to understand AI, know where it comes from, and where it is going, then this is the book for you.

Artificial Intelligence: A guide for thinking humans is written by a true expert on the field, and explained so clearly that makes no previous knowledge needed for a complete understanding. The author has such a clear way of communicating complex topics, which like in her previous book Complexity: A Guided Tour make the text incredibly easy to read, even for non-techs.

About the Author

Melanie Mitchell has a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Michigan, where she studied with the cognitive scientist and writer Douglas Hofstadter; together, they created the Copycat program, which makes creative analogies in an idealized world. The author or editor of several books (such as Complexity: A Guided Tour) and numerous scholarly papers, Mitchell is currently professor of computer science at Portland State University and external professor at the Santa Fe Institute.

If you want to see the kind of things she speaks about, check out this conversation with our beloved Lex Fridman on the Artificial Intelligence podcast, which you can find on our other resources category:

Summary of Artificial Intelligence: A guide for thinking humans

The book provides just what it promises: a guide for people with common sense to understand Artificial Intelligence, the history of AI, is possible reach, and its threats. In some sense it is similar to Surviving AI by Calum Chace although the two have a different style and content, complementing one another very well.

Artificial Intelligence: a guide to thinking humans provides an excellent historical perspective of AI, interweaving in the narrative the most incredible achievements and clearing the fog away from this amazing field.

If you want to finally understand what Artificial Intelligence is and how it works, or if you want to learn where it comes from and its origins, then this is the book for you. Find it on amazon here:

Artificial Intelligence
  • Mitchell, Melanie (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 336 Pages - 11/17/2020 (Publication Date) - Picador Paper (Publisher)

Written by an amazing expert on the field, you will most likely love this book. For other similar texts, check out or Artificial Intelligence books category or our Machine Learning books category, if you are maybe looking for something more technical.

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Tags: Artificial Intelligence A guide for Thinking Humans, AI books, The history of AI.


“Mitchell knows what she’s talking about. Even better, she’s a clear, cogent and interesting writer . . . Artificial Intelligence has significantly improved my knowledge when it comes to automation technology, [but] the greater benefit is that it has also enhanced my appreciation for the complexity and ineffability of human cognition.”―John Warner, Chicago Tribune

Without shying away from technical details, this survey provides an accessible course in neural networks, computer vision, and natural-language processing, and asks whether the quest to produce an abstracted, general intelligence is worrisome . . . Mitchell’s view is a reassuring one.” ―The New Yorker

[A] surprisingly lucid introduction to techniques that are making computers smarter.” ―Kirkus

Mitchell . . . ably illustrates the current state of artificial intelligence, debunking claims about computers that match or surpass human intelligence . . . Taking care to keep the text accessible, Mitchell lightens things with amusing facts, such as how Star Trek’s ship computer remains the gold standard for many AI researchers. This worthy volume should assuage lay readers’ fears about AI, while also reassuring people drawn to the field that much work remains to be done.” ―Publishers Weekly

Mitchell’s lucid, clear-eyed account of the state of AI – spanning its history, current status, and future prospects – returns again and again to the idea that computers simply aren’t like you and me . . . The author does an excellent job establishing that machines are not close to demonstrating humanlike intelligence, and many readers will be reassured to know that we will not soon have to bow down to our computer overlords. ” ―Barbara Spindel, TheChristian Science Monitor

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