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Book Review: “How AI Works: From Sorcery to Science” by Ronald T. Kneusel

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We recently reviewed the book “How AI Work: From Sorcery to Science” by Ronald T. Kneusel. I've so far read over 60 books on AI, and while some of them do get repetitive, this book managed to offer a fresh perspective, I enjoyed this book enough to add it to my personal list of the Best Machine Learning & AI Books of All Time.

“How AI Works: From Sorcery to Science” is a succinct and clear-cut book designed to delineate the core fundamentals of machine learning. This book facilitates learning about the rich history of machine learning, journeying from the inception of legacy AI systems to the advent of contemporary methodologies.

The history is layered, starting with the well-founded AI systems such as support vector machines, decision trees, and random forests. These earlier systems paved the way for groundbreaking advancements, leading to the development of more sophisticated approaches like neural networks and convolutional neural networks. The book doesn’t just stop here; it delves into the mesmerizing capabilities offered by Large Language Models (LLMs), which are the powerhouse behind today's state-of-the-art Generative AI.

Understanding the basics, such as how noise-to-image technology can replicate existing imagery and even create new, unprecedented images from seemingly random prompts, is critical in grasping the forces propelling today's image generators. This book beautifully explicates these fundamental aspects, allowing readers to comprehend the intricacies and underlying mechanics of image generation technologies.

Ron Kneusel, the author, demonstrates a commendable effort in elucidating his perspectives on why OpenAI’s ChatGPT and its LLM model signify the beginning of true AI. He meticulously presents how distinct LLMs exhibit emergent properties capable of intuitively understanding the theory of mind. These emergent properties appear to become more pronounced and influential based on the size of the training model. Kneusel discusses how a larger quantity of parameters typically results in the most proficient and successful LLM models, providing deeper insights into the scaling dynamics and efficacy of these models.

This book is a beacon for those wanting to delve into the mesmerizing world of AI, offering a detailed yet comprehensible overview of the evolutionary trajectory of machine learning technologies, from their rudimentary forms to the pioneering entities of today. Whether you are a novice or someone with a substantial grasp of the subject, “How AI Works: From Sorcery to Science” is designed to provide you with a refined understanding of the transformative technologies that continue to shape our world.

Readers may also want to take a look my interview with author Ronald T. Kneusel. This book is available at all major retailers including Amazon.

A founding partner of unite.AI & a member of the Forbes Technology Council, Antoine is a futurist who is passionate about the future of AI & robotics.

He is also the Founder of, a website that focuses on investing in disruptive technology.