Humanity is currently standing at the cusp of a new technological revolution. It's a revolution that will turn our computers, cellphones, and other devices into something a little more human. With the improvements that artificial intelligence has been making, our devices are now capable of thinking on their own.
Science fiction has long talked about AI as a matter of the distant future. However, the future's quickly turning into the present. For readers, this means that most of the artificial intelligence books you should read walk a fine line between sci-fi and tech already.
Some books on the topic are definitely better than others. Here are the ones that every tech geek, robotics fan, and future aficionado need to leaf through, according to the experts.
'Humans Need Not Apply – A Guide to Wealth and Work in the Age of Artificial Intelligence' by Jerry Kaplan
If there's anything that we've already seen, it's that jobs are now at risk of being replaced by robots. Truck drivers are getting replaced by self-driving trucks. Chefs are being replaced by robochefs. Even telemarketers have autodialers do the job for them.
Humans Need Not Apply is a book that tells you how to prepare for robots having a bigger-than-ever impact on finance, as well as the limits to what you should expect from artificial intelligence in the workplace.
Jerry Kaplan pulls no punches in this book, and it'll thrill and mystify you. It was cited as one of the best artificial intelligence books by The Economist in 2015.
'Introduction to Artificial Intelligence' by Philip C. Jackson
Philip C. Jackson's book is considered to be one of the best artificial intelligence books for students who want to get a better grip on AI. Though Jackson first published it 40 years ago, An Introduction to Artificial Intelligence remains a mainstay in programmer libraries across the world.
This book covers the math-y side of artificial intelligence, as well as the concepts that allow programmers to create "thought-like" algorithms in robotics. It's a great guide for anyone into the science and math behind the AI phenomenon.
'Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies' by Nick Bostrom
A lot of dystopian fiction revolves around robots taking over the world, and truthfully, AI could make that possible. Superintelligence talks about the many dangers that come with increased AI usage, what causes AI to have pitfalls, and how programmers can avoid having robots that harm users.
This is one of the very few artificial intelligence books that gives you a real-life look at many sci-fi plots. It's not surprising, then, why Elon Musk suggested it as reading.
'Our Final Invention' by James Barrat
James Barrat's book takes a more unique, darker approach at AI's future. This book, another Musk favorite, explains why artificial intelligence may be the world's greatest invention—not to mention the invention that could potentially usher in the end of the Human Era.
Our Final Invention shows that artificial intelligence books in the non-fiction world can easily read exactly like a good science fiction backstory, too. It's juicy, and you'll love it.
Our staff at Futurism interviewed James Barrat before. So, if you want to hear more, definitely look at the interview before you pick up the book.
'Deep Learning' (Adaptive Computation and Machine Learning series) by Ian Goodfellow
Published by Ian Goodfellow of MIT fame, Deep Learning is one of the only artificial intelligence books to solely focus on how AI can "learn" and adapt responses based on the stimulus a system gets. As one would expect, this is more of a textbook than anything else.
However, if you're an aspiring computer programmer who wants to better understand AI and neural networks, you will need to check out what Goodfellow has to say. It's one of the best collections of artificial intelligence research today.
'How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed' by Ray Kurzweil
People who love non-fiction artificial intelligence books that blend where the present ends and the future starts need to read How to Create a Mind. This book was written by Ray Kurzweil, one of the leading futurists who focuses on Big Data, AI, and other tech advances.
In this book, Kurzweil takes a look at the human brain and shows the direction in which AI is headed. Kurzweil suggests that our future will be one where robots have surprisingly human thought—and where we might not recognize human personality from machine learning.
'Life 3.0: Being Human in the the Age of Artificial Intelligence' by Max Tegmark
Artificial intelligence books tend to have a lot of doom and gloom involved in them, but not this one! Max Tegmark made a point to show that AI is not necessarily something that needs to cause humanity to crumble. Rather, he devoted a whole book to discussing about the beneficial side of AI.
Life 3.0 explains how humanity will evolve alongside the new tech, and shows that robots and humans will probably continue to live peacefully if we use tech right.
'What to Think About Machines That Think: Today's Leading Thinkers on the Age of Machine Intelligence' by John Brockman
If you're just beginning to dip your toes into AI, then John Brockman's offering will be one of the best artificial intelligence books you can invest your time in. At the very least, this is a great book for people who want to develop an educated opinion on the matter.
Great minds can't quite seem to figure out whether AI is a boon or a doomsday device. Brockman's book shows both sides, and lets you figure out where you stand.
'Machine Learning: For Beginners' by Ken Richards
Machine learning is what makes artificial intelligence learn, evolve, and react to commands. As a programmer, you will end up needing to learn how to establish neural networks in your coding if you want to add an amount of artificial intelligence.
Ken Richards created a great guide for people who want to learn more about data management and how to use your knowledge to create neural networks in your code. Machine Learning for Beginners is the guidebook every new software engineer should read, but doesn't.
'Rise of the Robots' by Martin Ford
Finally, Martin Ford's Rise of the Robots definitely deserves a mention as far as cutting-edge artificial intelligence books go. Ford's book explores what happens when all the jobs—literally all of them—will end up being automated.
How will humans survive? What kind of laws will need to be passed? Martin's book may spell doom and gloom for the economy, but from that, something may just arise from the ashes.