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Some Essential Books About AI Are Available Online for Free

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Specialized publication KDNuggets has come up with a list of 10 Free online books about AI that it considers as essential reading. This is a fourth such list the publication has compiled, and the previous lists for  20172018, and earlier in 2019 are also available. Here is a brief description of five titles in their current list, that represent an insight into more general elements and knowledge about AI.

by Ian Goodfellow, Yoshua Bengio, and Aaron Courville (November 2016, 800 pages).

As the title suggests, the book concentrates on deep learning and should be very useful for all who “are working on mastering deep learning with comprehensive mathematical and conceptual coverage of Monte Carlo methods, recurrent and recursive nets, autoencoders, and deep generative models.”

The Quest for Artificial Intelligence: A History of Ideas and Achievements
by Nils J. Nilsson (October 2009, 707 pages).

Possibly this book represents “the definitive history of a field that has captivated the imaginations of scientists, philosophers, and writers for centuries,” and its achievements so far. It traces the history of AI from the early dreams of eighteenth-century (and earlier) pioneers to the more successful work of today’s AI engineers. “The book’s many diagrams and easy-to-understand descriptions of AI programs you gain an understanding of how these and other AI systems work.”

A Brief Introduction to Neural Networks
by David Kriesel, manuscript (2007, 244 pages)

Self-published by the author the book provides “a comprehensive resource on the topic that is crucial foundational knowledge for AI research and investigation.” AS KDNuggets explains, “neural networks are bio-inspired mechanisms for data processing that enable computers to learn in a way that is technically similar to a biological brain.  These approaches can even generalize once solutions to enough problem instances are taught to the algorithms. “

Ethical Artificial Intelligence
by Bill Hibbard (November 2015, 177 pages).

Essentially a long-form article in a book format, it combines a number of “peer-reviewed papers and material to analyze the issues of ethical artificial intelligence.” Discussing a number of technical implications of AI, it also discusses “how future AI will differ from current AI, the politics of AI, and the ultimate use of AI to help understand the nature of the universe and our place in it.”

The Essential AI Handbook for Leaders
by Peltarion (59 pages)

This brief title is actually a marketing white paper for Peltarion, the company it originated from, but as KDNuggets note, “ it provides an important overview that business leaders should appreciate when leveraging AI.” The book’s intentional is “to help more people understand what AI is and how businesses and organizations can harness the technology,” and also “explains the fundamentals of AI, its potential benefits, and how businesses can make AI operational to create positive change.”

The complete list can be accessed here.

Former diplomat and translator for the UN, currently freelance journalist/writer/researcher, focusing on modern technology, artificial intelligence, and modern culture.