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Understanding Artificial Intelligence summary

Nicolas Sabouret

A Straightforward Explanation of AI and Its Possibilities

4.2 (553 ratings)
16 mins

Brief summary

'Understanding Artificial Intelligence' by Nicolas Sabouret is an introduction to AI concepts, techniques, and applications. It explains the limitations and challenges of AI, and provides insights into its impact on society and ethics.

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    Understanding Artificial Intelligence
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    What exactly is AI?

    So let’s clear something up right from the get-go: computers are machines. AI doesn’t make them intelligent. They still do no more than what we tell them to do.

    Computers have come a long way, though. At first, they were just simple calculators dealing with numbers and math. Then they progressed from only numbers to dealing with words, then images, and then sound. Nowadays, we even have computers – in our smartphones, for instance – that can listen to our requests and convert them into actions.

    They’re capable of all that thanks to algorithms. A simple algorithm that you used at school was the process you used to add large numbers together. You can also think of an algorithm as being like a recipe. Just as a cook knows how to follow a recipe, a computer follows the instructions in the algorithm to give you the required result.

    In the early nineteenth century, Charles Babbage was the first to produce a machine capable of following algorithms. And by 1936, Alan Turing had shown that computers can, in theory at least, follow any algorithm, however complicated it might be.

    So where does that leave AI, now? For starters, we probably should all be using the term AI programs rather than AI. All AI does is apply an algorithm written by a human to give responses that appear to be “intelligent.” Programmers also use AI itself to write programs using a technique known as machine learning. This is a bit of a misnomer and causes some confusion as actually, the way AI produces new programs is dependent on the quality of the data it receives. So, as has always been the case, the old adage “garbage in, garbage out” holds true.

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    What is Understanding Artificial Intelligence about?

    Understanding Artificial Intelligence (2021) aims to demystify the subject of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for everyone, including those who don’t have an IT or mathematical background. It will give you a basic understanding of how AI works and why sometimes it makes mistakes or offers imperfect solutions.

    Understanding Artificial Intelligence Review

    Understanding Artificial Intelligence (2021) by Nicolas Sabouret offers a thorough exploration of the field of AI and its impact on our lives. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • Packed with real-life examples and insightful explanations, it helps readers grasp the fundamental concepts of AI, even without prior technical knowledge.
    • From machine learning to neural networks, the book covers a wide range of topics, providing readers with a comprehensive understanding of AI's capabilities and limitations.
    • By addressing ethical considerations and societal implications, the book goes beyond technical details, stimulating critical thinking and sparking conversations about the future of AI.

    Who should read Understanding Artificial Intelligence?

    • The AI-curious
    • Nonspecialists who want to deepen their knowledge about AI
    • Sci-Fi fans worried about a dystopian future ruled over by AI overlords

    About the Author

    Nicolas Sabouret is a professor of computer science at Université Paris-Saclay. He’s a Doctor in Artificial Intelligence and has supervised a great deal of research in his field. 

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    Understanding Artificial Intelligence FAQs 

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    Is Understanding Artificial Intelligence a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Understanding Artificial Intelligence is a worthwhile read for anyone interested in AI. It provides valuable insights and practical knowledge.

    Who is the author of Understanding Artificial Intelligence?

    The author of Understanding Artificial Intelligence is Nicolas Sabouret.

    What to read after Understanding Artificial Intelligence?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Understanding Artificial Intelligence, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • AI Superpowers by Kai-Fu Lee
    • The Age of AI by Henry Kissinger
    • All-in On AI by Tom Davenport & Nitin Mittal
    • Human Compatible by Stuart Russell
    • Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell
    • Architects of Intelligence by Martin Ford
    • Economic Facts and Fallacies by Thomas Sowell
    • AI 2041 by Kai-Fu Lee and Chen Qiufan
    • Competing in the Age of AI by Marco Iansiti & Karim R. Lakhani