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Publisher's Summary

We live in an incredible period in history. The computer revolution may be even more life-changing than the Industrial Revolution. We can do things with computers that could never be done before, and computers can do things for us that could never be done before. But our love of computers should not cloud our thinking about their limitations.

We are told that computers are smarter than humans and that data mining can identify previously unknown truths or make discoveries that will revolutionize our lives. Our lives may well be changed, but not necessarily for the better. Computers are very good at discovering patterns but are useless in judging whether the unearthed patterns are sensible because computers do not think the way humans think.

We fear that super-intelligent machines will decide to protect themselves by enslaving or eliminating humans. But the real danger is not that computers are smarter than us but that we think computers are smarter than us and, so, trust computers to make important decisions for us.

The AI Delusion explains why we should not be intimidated into thinking that computers are infallible, that data-mining is knowledge discovery, and that black boxes should be trusted.

©2018 Gary Smith (P)2018 Tantor

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The non-obvious obvious

Having a background in economics the book hit home because most economics programs teach how to make models that make logical sense and emphasise the correlation is not causation among other pitfalls. Smith takes this background and demostrates the same lessons applied to the machine learning and AI world along with the corresponding dangers. My only criticism is he tends to repeat the same points over and over. I'm glad I listened to it and it gave me a different perspective on current technology.

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I was unimpressed

This seemed like a great approach. I am certainly a receptive audience to its thesis. But then, I had a hard time slogging through what quickly became, at least for me, a redundant (though variously restated) assertion I will summarize as: humans are a really extra-special irreplaceable concert of stuff, really, really, really, really, totally .... I would instead recommend the MIT Press title AI Ethics as, at least in my subjective view, more respectful of MY intelligence, and broader in scope and imagination.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-15-19

Explains what computing is and isn't

this book explains what computing (and AI) is and isn't in a language your grandma will understand. For someone who knows the field of computer science, mathematics, etc. this book has very little news.

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  • Basho
  • 02-18-19

Required reading

I am the Head of AI for a large corporate, I’ve spent the last 10 years working with data in financial services and building AI & data products that work.

This book should be required, if sober, reading for all “Data Scientists”.