Artificial Intelligence: A Reading List 

With the festive season on the horizon, we have curated a list of books that centre around the captivating theme of Artificial Intelligence. These resources may also prove beneficial for your students.

Machines That Think (In Norwegian. Original title: Maskiner som tenker – algoritmenes hemmeligheter og veien til kunstig intelligens), by Inga Strümke (2023)

How rapidly is the development of artificial intelligence advancing, and what impact will it have on our lives in the coming years?

The incessant scrolling on social media owes its existence to data-driven algorithms. In the summer of 2022, a Google engineer raised an alert about a self-aware computer program, while Norwegian teachers later expressed their concern to the Parliament regarding an intelligent chatbot. From individual-level algorithmic influences to societal intelligent programs, the overarching question is: How does artificial intelligence function?

In “Machines that Think”, Inga Strümke, researcher at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, explores our quest to create artificial intelligence, questions potential success, and ponders whether we can truly grasp the implications of this evolving technology.

Machine Vision: How Algorithms are Changing the Way We See the World, by Jill Walker Rettberg (2023)

What will new machine vision technologies like facial recognition, deepfakes, and augmented reality mean for us as individuals and as a society? How will these new extensions of human vision change our perception of the world? What will we not see? By analysing fictional and real-world examples, including art, videogames, and science fiction, the book shows how machine vision can have very different cultural impacts, fostering both sympathy and community as well as anxiety and fear. 

Artificial Intelligence in Higher Education and Scientific Research, by Fatima Roumate (2023)

This book explores the intersection of artificial intelligence and higher education, delving into its tangible and intangible impacts on academic and scientific realms. It discusses how academia contributes to the advancement of artificial intelligence technologies. Using a multidisciplinary approach and blending theory with practice, the book offers original perspectives arising from the widespread use of artificial intelligence in higher education and scientific research since the Covid-19 pandemic. Ethical considerations in artificial intelligence, aligned with UNESCO recommendations, are also addressed.

Embracing Chatbots in Higher Education: The Use of Artificial Intelligence in Teaching, Administration, and Scholarship, by Alexander M. Sidorkin (forthcoming in January 2024)

This book explores the incorporation of artificial intelligence–powered chatbot tools, such as ChatGPT, into higher education for instructional and communication purposes. Emphasising the responsibility of higher education institutions, the author advocates for equipping students with advanced writing skills assisted by artificial intelligence and preparing them for an increasingly technology-driven world. Providing practical insights, the book demonstrates how universities can enhance student success and address the rising costs of higher education by leveraging artificial intelligence tools. The chapters discuss streamlining tasks like grading, feedback provision, and administrative duties, allowing educators to focus on more meaningful aspects of their work. Sidorkin also addresses philosophical and ethical considerations, promoting a responsible approach to integrating artificial intelligence–driven tools into academia.

The Myth of Artificial Intelligence: Why Computers Can’t Think the Way We Do, by Erik J. Larson (2021)

Futurists are certain that humanlike artificial intelligence is on the horizon, but in fact, engineers have no idea how to program human reasoning. Artificial intelligence reasons from statistical correlations across datasets, while common sense is based heavily on conjecture. Erik Larson argues that hyping existing methods will only hold us back from developing truly humanlike artificial intelligence.

Artificial Intelligence: A Guide for Thinking Humans, by Melanie Mitchell (2020)

Melanie Mitchell, a computer science professor, delves into the fundamental concepts of artificial intelligence in a way that is accessible to non-technical audiences. The book discusses the history, current state, and future of artificial intelligence, offering a thoughtful perspective.

Possible Minds: Twenty-Five Ways of Looking at AI, edited by Jock Brockman (2019)

John Brockman gathers twenty-five influential scientific thinkers, individuals who have dedicated the majority of their careers to contemplating the domain of artificial intelligence.

This book serves as an insightful introduction to critical artificial intelligence issues. Featuring diverse perspectives, including concerns about existential threats from Stuart Russell and Max Tegmark, as well as differing views from Rodney Brooks and Steven Pinker, it provides a serious exploration of this crucial topic.