Artificial Intelligence, also referred to as AI, is no longer simply something that used to be the stuff of science fiction movies. Nowadays almost every business is using AI in some way to streamline and improve their processes. In fact artificial intelligence and machine learning influence everything from politics to the economy, with algorithms often being central to decision-making.
As you can imagine, artificial intelligence is a very complex subject and can be hard to grapple with, particularly for beginners seeking to understand the world of machine learning and automation. It raises so many questions… will machines replace jobs only experts could once do? Will a superintelligent machine one day outsmart us all? Can AI be weaponized by global leaders to gain power and control? Luckily, the world's leading experts on AI can answer some of those questions.
There are plenty of resources available to help you learn more about artificial intelligence and some of the best resources are books on artificial intelligence.
Explore all there is to know about artificial intelligence, machine learning and automation, and how they’re shaping the future with 31 of the best artificial intelligence books.
What is Artificial Intelligence?
Artificial intelligence is the ability of computers and machines to perform tasks commonly performed by humans. In simple terms, computers are programmed to mimic human behavior by using historical data. AI has in fact been defined as machines thinking and acting humanly and rationally. Machines are able to process an enormous amount of data much faster than humans, making AI useful in situations that require quick responses such as trading stocks, credit-risk analysis and delivering real-time advertising.
There are four types of AI:
Reactive AI refers to machines that use their intelligence to simply react to stimuli instead of using historical data to inform responses.
Limited Memory AI can store data and can learn from the past to gather clues about what lies ahead.
Theory of Mind has not yet been achieved in the field. It would mean that machines are able to understand how humans think and feel to make decisions through self-reflection.
Self Awareness is the final step of the AI puzzle in the distant future. It would mean machines develop a level of consciousness.
Artificial intelligence exists all around us, from Siri and Alexa to self-driving cars, email spam filters and the content Netflix recommends to you during your weekend series binge. There is no escaping AI in our modern world, so getting to grips with its core concepts and aiming to understand it will equip you to harness its power in all areas of your life.
Best Artificial Intelligence Books for Beginners in 2022
1. Artificial Intelligence: Learning Automation Skills with Python
This is essentially 2 books in 1: Artificial Intelligence - A Modern Approach and Artificial Intelligence - Business Applications (more on those below), which will teach you everything you need to understand about how artificial intelligence is set to shape the future and how to teach machines to think and learn. It is a great introduction to the concepts of machine learning, deep learning and the ways in which artificial intelligence can transform businesses.
2. Life 3.0 Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence
The idea that machines could one day potentially replace you is an unsettling thought and one this book seeks to grapple with. If the whole concept of artificial intelligence leaves you wondering what the future looks like, ease your mind by diving into controversial topics such as the impact of AI on jobs, protecting AI systems from hackers, superintelligence, lethal intelligent weapons and how to prevent being outsmarted by rogue AI machines.
3. Machine Learning for Dummies
The 'For Dummies' series is well-known for providing informative, entry-level guides to hot topics, like in this case, machine learning. Machine learning can feel like a perplexing concept but it is an essential area to understand if you want to future-proof your career. Machine learning has and will continue to be integral to jobs such as fraud detection, digital marketing, credit analysis and forecasting. If you are starting out, this book explains artificial intelligence for beginners in an easy-to-understand way. It will take you through the many ways machine learning powers much of our day to day lives already, teach you coding languages Python and R, and which coding tools you’ll need to use.
4. Artificial Intelligence Engines: A Tutorial Introduction to the Mathematics of Deep Learning
This fascinating book explores the idea that machines are eliminating the need for people to perform certain tasks because of their ability to “learn” much like the human brain. Through complex algorithms and neural programming, machines are able to be used in areas such as cancer diagnosis, speech recognition and robotics. Despite its meaty subject matter, the book has been written in an informal and often humorous manner, making it an enjoyable way for beginners to learn more about machine learning.
5. Human + Machine: Reimagining Work in the Age of AI
With artificial intelligence and machine learning permeating almost every industry nowadays, it leaves many people anxious wondering whether they will one day be replaced by a machine. This book explores how AI can improve business processes and the ways in which humans and intelligent machines can work alongside one another to create a dynamic and flexible work environment.
6. Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare
The healthcare sector faces an enormous number of challenges from diagnosis of diseases to treatment and rehabilitation. The book takes you through the many ways artificial intelligence can be applied in healthcare settings including in drug development, diagnosis, medical devices, surgery and remote monitoring of patients. There are a number of case studies included which provide real-world context for readers.
7. Artificial Intelligence: A Guide for Thinking Humans
This book answers all your burning questions about artificial intelligence and deep learning, like what happens if they fail, just how human-like machines can really be and whether they ever could truly surpass us. The author, a leading computer scientist, explores prevailing methods of artificial intelligence, achievements in the field and just how far it is expected to go, giving insight into its impact on the future of our world in an informative manner, peppered with humor and personal observation.
8. Artificial Intelligence – A Modern Approach (3rd Edition)
This AI book explores artificial intelligence, deep learning, machine learning, robotics and programming in great depth, making this a great choice if you want a detailed explanation of this complex field (for example, students or professionals looking to upskill). This book on artificial intelligence is often used by students studying AI and is considered one of the best AI books. In fact, two of the contributing authors now run a popular free online course in artificial intelligence through Stanford University’s computer science department. For all these reasons, this title can qualify as one of the best artificial books out there.
9. Python: Advanced Guide to Artificial Intelligence
Have you ever wanted to learn some of the most widely used machine learning algorithms? This book will teach you just that by demonstrating how to extract data and use Tensorflow - an open-source software library - to solve artificial intelligence problems in the real world. It is essential you have a sound understanding of artificial intelligence and Python before diving into this book.
10. The Society of Mind
There’s no denying that the mind is incredibly complex and the author, Marvin Minsky, attempts to provide greater insight into exactly how the mind works. He used the concept of seeing the mind as a society of little parts that make up the whole to explain his theory in an amusing and easy to read fashion. By understanding how the human mind works, this information can be extrapolated to programme machines to emulate human characteristics.
11. The Singularity Is Near
As technology advances at a rapid rate, many worry that one day machines will be more intelligent than humans and replace them in the workplace. This book takes that a step further by exploring the idea that machines and humans may become one. The singularity refers to the controversy surrounding super intelligence and its ramifications for humanity. If the future of AI both fascinates and frightens you, this is an excellent book on artificial intelligence to read.
12. Human Compatible – Artificial Intelligence and the Problem of Control
It's been the subject of apocalyptic movies time and again, man versus machine. As AI potentially threatens job security, human relationships and society as a whole, the question of whether man will one day have to face off against machines comes to mind. The book delves into the idea that if AI continues in its current trajectory, we will have created machines that are vastly more intelligent than we can ever hope to be, which poses a threat to humanity. The author suggests ways in which this can be prevented and the many ways we can avoid misusing AI in ways that are detrimental to humanity.
13. Artificial Intelligence: An Essential Beginner’s Guide to AI, Machine Learning, Robotics, The Internet of Things, Neural Networks, Deep Learning, Reinforcement Learning, and Our Future
Does the concept of AI leave you with more questions than answers? Then this is a great resource for you to get a glimpse on the potential impact of artificial intelligence on society through insightful explorations of topics such as its impact on natural language processing, cars, data collection, jobs, privacy, religion and so much more.
14. Machine Learning – The New AI
Whether you’re wanting to know more about the evolution of machine learning or how it is being used in our everyday lives without us even realizing, this book gives a to-the-point run down on machine learning. It also touches on the important areas of data privacy, security and the ethical implications thereof. You don’t need a computer science qualification or coding background to understand the concepts covered in the book, it is suitable for anyone wanting a better general understanding of machine learning.
15. Applied Analytics through Case Studies Using SAS and R: Implementing Predictive Models and Machine Learning Techniques
This book examines common business challenges and teaches readers to use an analytical approach in solving them through predictive modeling and machine learning. It is geared towards experienced coders, developers, researchers and data scientists who want to learn how to use data to implement machine learning techniques.
16. Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies
There is much that remains unknown when it comes to the future of artificial intelligence, some of which this book hopes to answer. It examines how humanity and intelligent machines will coexist and the fine line between continuing to progress in the field without superintelligent machines being so powerful they’re beyond our control. The book is recommended by the likes of Elon Musk and Bill Gates for anyone with reservations about AI or hoping to gain insight into where AI might take us next.
17. Basics of Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
As far as artificial intelligence for beginners goes, this book provides a great basic foundation for those trying to better understand artificial intelligence and machine learning. It references the ways in which artificial intelligence shapes our thoughts and actions, both consciously and subconsciously, and how it influences many aspects of everyday life.
18. T-Minus AI: Humanity’s Countdown to Artificial Intelligence and the New Pursuit of Global Power
What would happen if the world’s superpowers used AI as a means of control by using it as a weapon? It is a real reality, and danger, that this book doesn’t shy away from exploring. The author, an expert in artificial intelligence, dismantles some common misunderstandings surrounding artificial intelligence and focuses on the most important information we should know.
19. The Emotion Machine: Commonsense Thinking, Artificial Intelligence, and the Future of the Human Mind
Open your mind up to a divergent theory surrounding how we think and what drives our thoughts. The author argues that emotions and feelings are merely ways of thinking as opposed to separate entities. If this is the case, thoughts can be understood through a step-by-step process, enabling us to programme machines to think like humans…aka, artificial intelligence.
20. Artificial Intelligence By Example
Ever wondered how artificial intelligence actually applies to real life situations? This is one of the most informative books on artificial intelligence for beginners hoping to gain a deeper understanding of machine learning through the use of case studies, equipping you to solve real world problems with AI. One of the fascinating topics covered includes programming chatbots to exhibit emotional traits using deep learning neural networks.
21. Python: Beginner’s Guide to Artificial Intelligence
This is one of the best artificial intelligence books for practical applications of AI, machine learning and deep learning. You will be presented with a number of common machine learning and deep learning algorithms and you will learn how to be able to apply these to real-world problems. By the end of the book you will be able to create AI solutions for industry challenges and make meaningful contributions to the exciting world of AI.
22. Applied Artificial Intelligence: A Handbook for Business Leaders
For business leaders who appreciate that understanding artificial intelligence is an essential part of future-proofing businesses, this book on artificial intelligence is a great resource. The book explores the many ways businesses can use machine learning to inform business decisions and improve output in a practical way that is easy to apply. You won’t find any morbid generalizations on the future of humanity or confusing Tensorflow code here. Instead, you will be led through the steps to take to lead successful AI initiatives in your organization.
23. Machine Learning for Beginners
This book is geared towards total novices by exploring the history of artificial intelligence and giving detailed explanations of concepts like neural networks, deep learning, practical speech recognition and artificial intelligence. It uses easy to understand examples to underpin these complex concepts along with real world examples of the many ways in which artificial intelligence is already improving and shaping our lives.
24. Architects of Intelligence: The truth about AI from the people building it
Find the answers to all your questions about artificial intelligence in this book, presented as a series of detailed interviews with some of AI’s brightest minds. If you’ve ever wondered how artificial intelligence will impact the job market and economy, what innovations can be expected in the years to come and whether machines will ever be able to outsmart human intelligence, you’ll find the answers you’re looking for in the book.
25. Paradigms of Artificial Intelligence Programming: Case Studies in Common Lisp
This is one of the first artificial intelligence books to teach advanced Common Lisp, a superior programming language, for developers looking to apply it to the development of AI systems. There are useful sections on debugging and troubleshooting to mitigate potential performance issues common in large scale AI projects. This AI book is suitable for students and professional programmers looking to build AI systems using Common Lisp.
26. Advances in Financial Machine Learning
Intelligent machines have begun to replace many tasks only experts could once carry out and one industry not immune to the changes artificial intelligence is bringing to workplaces is the finance industry. AI has the ability to revolutionize the industry to transform the way people perceive money and investing. The book explores machine intelligence and ways in which AI can solve problems faced by every finance practitioner through smart, innovative solutions such as automation, risk analysis and trading stocks or cryptocurrency. This is one of very few ai books geared towards finance professionals needing the tools to succeed in the modern financial landscape.
27. The Hundred-Page Machine Learning Book
If you need to understand the ins and outs of machine learning fast, this is one of the very few books on artificial intelligence that have condensed a complex subject into 100 pages of digestible information. It serves as a great introduction to machine learning and outlines the key areas of artificial intelligence for beginners.
28. Artificial Intelligence Basics: A Non-Technical Introduction
Sometimes your goal with exploring artificial intelligence is not to apply it but to simply understand its impact on our world. This book explores key concepts such as deep learning, machine learning and robotic through simple ideas and an easy-to-understand way for beginners. It also delves into the many facets of life influenced by artificial intelligence, which includes the environment, politics, business and the economy.
29. A First Course in Artificial Intelligence
This book primarily focuses on the intelligence component of AI while briefly touching on more complex topics such as machine learning, deep learning, gaming and problem solving. The author uses simple examples to illustrate these concepts with recommendations for further reading for those wanting to dig a little deeper while also having an up to date introduction to AI.
30. Fundamentals of Machine Learning for Predictive Data Analytics – Algorithms, Worked Examples and Case Studies (The MIT Press)
This textbook is geared towards computer science students and offers a comprehensive introduction to computer vision, machine learning and predictive analytics with both theoretical and practical applications. Learn about the four approaches to machine learning reinforced through worked examples and case studies.
Each of these books on artificial intelligence serve as great starting points for people seeking to understand more about this fascinating topic. From business leaders hoping to harness the power of artificial intelligence to transform their businesses, lay people wanting to gain a better understanding of the impact and potential dangers of AI technology to programmers seeking to upskill, there is a suitable resource for you in our comprehensive list of AI books above.