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Publisher's Summary

How the study of causality revolutionized science and the world

"Correlation does not imply causation". This mantra has been invoked by scientists for decades and has led to a virtual prohibition on causal talk. But today, that taboo is dead. The causal revolution, sparked by Judea Pearl and his colleagues, has cut through a century of confusion and placed causality - the study of cause and effect - on a firm scientific basis. His work explains how we can know easy things, like whether it was rain or a sprinkler that made a sidewalk wet, and how to answer hard questions, like whether a drug cured an illness. Pearl's work enables us to know not just whether one thing causes another: It lets us explore the world that is and the worlds that could have been. It shows us the essence of human thought and key to artificial intelligence. Anyone who wants to understand either needs The Book of Why.

©2018 Judea Pearl and Dana Mackenzie (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book! Not a great audiobook.

This is a book about probability and graphical models. As an avid audiobook reader, it pains me to say: this is not a good audiobook. There are quite a lot of figures that are essential to understand the text (e.g. textual references to “A” and “B” in figure X.X), and many probability formulae that are read out loud in all their manifold subscript glory. This makes the text very hard to understand from the audio alone (and there was no accompanying PDF to show the figures when I bought this book!).

But this is a fantastic book! I bought the kindle version to complement the audio. I would suggest that this is essential. Even if the figures accompanied the text in a PDF, the formulae in the text still make the audio an insufficient medium to comprehend the rich ideas expressed.

I’m very glad this audiobook exists; it gives me a way to chew on many of these ideas when I can’t read a physical book. But you should definitely expect to read the textual version if you want a good understanding of this material.

24 of 24 people found this review helpful

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The accompanying pdf is missing

The book is meant to come with a pdf but it hasn't been attached. I like the book though.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great material, but highly visual

The examples, problems (and theirsolutions), etc. rely on visual models. You can look at the PDF of the diagrams while listening, but it’s tough to do if, like me, you mostly listen during times when visuals are inconvenient, say on your commute to work or while running,

The book is super interesting, though. Well worth a listen with pdf in hand.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Nebulous but Good Overview of Statistics

This book covers the author's contributions to Statistics. While formula-heavy, the author drops enough general terms for the layman to get a hazy notion of what goes on in multi-unknown variable analysis. I came away hazy, but less hazy, and with many pointers to where to further self-study. The book covered statistics as it would apply to being used by Artificial Intelligence, which was a surprising bonus for me (and stimulating).

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do not recommend this for audio book

too much mathematicians story, many opinions and not concise. may be better for a book

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  • Daniel
  • United States
  • 06-15-18

Great book with clear explanations

Needs kindle copy to follow diagrams and equations but aside from that it gives very clear explanations.

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"optional" heading

Too many references to figures and diagrams. Not great for those who listen during a commute.

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Start Your AI Journey Here

Judea Pearl will pop a lot of AI hype balloons and then inform a much better path (pun intended) to take going forward.

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Excellent book but hard to listen to as an audiobook

This book is absolutely worth a read for anyone doing data science. But, since it makes a lot of references to figures in the supplementary PDF and reads out complicated equations, it’s difficult to listen to as an audiobook.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-09-18

Amazing book

I was always intrigued by AI and searched for foundational information on how an AI can be built ? Stumbled across this book which is quite frankly tackles the fundamental building block of AI
Computing to reasoning !
We are a long way off from achieving that
Excellent book!!! Loved every bit of it may be will get a hard copy for my collection