Top 5 books on AI

rRead this comprehensive selection of books on AI recommended by business leaders. You‘ll gain an in-depth understanding of AI's history, machine learning, generative AI, diversity in AI, and AI for cybersecurity.


Just two decades ago, AI was a tiny area of science with a rather questionable path of development. Today, artificial intelligence has become a buzz phrase, while AI is the buzz abbreviation for it.

Some consider it a gift to humankind and treat it with awe and wonder. Others call it a modern-day Pandora’s box and shudder at the very mention of it. One of the books about artificial intelligence on this list refers to it as “a black box”.

The more practical are already using AI in business. In fact, 77% of companies in 2022 were already either using or exploring artificial intelligence for business purposes, and that was before the rise of generative AI.

Book by book, you can decode more about artificial intelligence and machine learning. The titles are suggested for this selection by business managers and experts who have already dipped their toes into AI and want to share their experiences.

Illustration of artificial intelligence brain rising out of books to accompany post on top 5 books on AI
Expand your mind by reading about the explosion of AI in books that cover the past and future of artificial intelligence

What you can learn from books about AI

According to Reuters, as of February 2023, more than two hundred ebooks on Amazon listed AI chatbot ChatGPT as an author. For example, one of them is ChatGPT on ChatGPT: The AI Explains Itself.

That gives me food for thought about AI’s potential in writing books. An interesting topic to dwell on.. but not today 😏

In this article, artificial intelligence books are a fully human creation and they cover the following topics:

  • Historical background of AI and its long-term prospects
  • Machine learning
  • Generative artificial intelligence
  • AI for a diverse society
  • Artificial intelligence in cybersecurity

Of course, the authors reveal much more as they discuss such concepts as deep learning, NLP, AI ethics, AI frameworks, and other significant themes.

Okay, it's time to discover the exciting world of AI in books!

Here's my five best picks for you to read about AI, with quotes from business leaders who found them inspirational or useful in their everyday lives.

1. A Brief History of Artificial Intelligence

Subtitle: What It Is, Where We Are, and Where We Are Going

Author: Michael Wooldridge – director of Foundational AI Research at Alan Turing Institute, computer science professor at Oxford University. Year: 2021

What it’s about

If you needed a lesson in the history of AI, who would you turn to?

Of course, you’d find a good teacher.

And here he is.

Prof. Michael Wooldridge explains the whats, whys, whos, and hows of AI. He looks at:

  • What we call artificial intelligence
  • Why AI is hard to grasp
  • Who drove AI and pushed it forward on each step of its development
  • What abilities AI has now and what it cannot perform (just yet)
  • What to expect from artificial intelligence in the nearest future
  • How to harness the power of AI

Tom Golubovich, Head of Marketing & Media Relations at Ninja Transfers:

On my list, this book stands beside the best primers on artificial intelligence ever published. It gets you back to the 40s to the studies of neural networks and the origins of AI.
The fundamental tech terms are in bold, so you can keep track of the main ideas and gain an all-embracing understanding of AI. It’s also easy to follow the author’s pace of telling and put an emphasis on every important fact.

2. Machine Learning For Beginners

Subtitle: Absolute Beginner’s Guide, Learn Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence from Scratch

Author: Chris Sebastian – the author of Python Programming for Beginners. Year: 2019

What it’s about

Another abbreviation that creates turbulence alongside artificial intelligence is ML or machine learning.

How does it correlate with AI, big data, the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, robotics, swarm intelligence, and other things?

Chris Sebastian provides comprehensive answers in 16 chapters. He also dwells on ML models and machine learning use cases. You can find some illustrative examples of how businesses stay ahead of the curve and promote innovation with industrial robots and IoT applications. As for the latter, the author discusses the latest tendencies in the IoT industry for you to know what to expect in the future.

Jack Underwood, CEO & Co-Founder at Circuit:

As my interest lies in applying ML algorithms to route planning, I grabbed this book immediately to become familiar with machine learning in general.
This guide is for complete noobs who are only getting started with ML and AI.
If you want to open a world of new opportunities with machine learning and create cutting-edge apps for any business area, this is a mandatory read. It lays out everything: from major approaches to limitations of ML.

3. The Artificial Intelligence and Generative AI Bible

Author: Alger Fraley. Year: 2023

What it’s about

By now, you must have read tons of information about artificial intelligence, but what about generative AI?

Dive deep into it in this book and find out everything you should know about the text, music, or language generation and GPT models.

After that, move on to the cases of practical implementation of artificial intelligence in different spheres:

  • AI in Education
  • AI in Medicine and Healthcare
  • AI in Environment
  • AI in Finances and Business
  • AI in Transportation, etc.

Jesse Galanis, Content Manager at Tech Lockdown:

It’s one of the must-read books on artificial intelligence and generative AI in particular if you want to master this topic. It starts slowly by warming you into the world of deep learning and machine learning.
What I highlighted for myself is the part about transparency, privacy, security, laws, and regulatory issues in AI. The author also breaks down all the challenges and socio-economic implications of using artificial intelligence at the present moment and in the future.

4. AI for Diversity

Author: Roger A. Søraa – Associate Professor in STS at Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Year: 2023

What it’s about

Are you ready to peek inside the black box of artificial intelligence?

Roger Søraa tries to contextualize AI and trace its impact on a societal level. The author focuses on the diversity matters of AI and takes into account the following personal characteristics:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Sexual orientation
  • Ethnicity
  • Religion, and more

One of the utmost concerns, for example, is addressing gender bias to achieve ethical AI.

Linda Shaffer, Chief People Operations Officer at Checkr:

AI for Diversity is one of the newest books about artificial intelligence I’ve recently read. It is an indispensable ethical guidepost for both developers and business leaders who work with AI technologies.
The book talks about a diversity crisis in the AI ecosystem. It also helps understand how to achieve the principles of equity and inclusion and prevent homophobia, ageism, racism, or any other type of discrimination. The sections like Gendered AI, AI and Class, Bodies and AI were eye-opening to me.

5. Hands-On Artificial Intelligence for Cybersecurity

Subtitle: Implement Smart AI Systems for Preventing Cyberattacks and Detecting Threats and Network Anomalies

Author: Alessandro Parisi – AI and blockchain specialist, IT security professional with 20+ years of experience

Year: 2019

What it’s about

Artificial intelligence has enough power to disrupt and transform the cybersecurity landscape.

But here comes a question: how to leverage AI’s capabilities to spot the most vulnerable places and avoid hackers’ attacks in cyberspace?

You can find the how-tos prepared by Alessandro Parisi in four sections of his book:

  • How to use Python for the tandem of artificial intelligence and cybersecurity
  • How to detect and prevent cybersecurity threats with AI
  • How to protect sensitive information
  • How to evaluate and test your AI cybersecurity system

Each section consists of several chapters explaining everything in detail.

Volodymyr Shchegel, VP of Engineering at Clario:

When web security is at stake, artificial intelligence can give you a helping hand in data protection and risk analysis. If only you know how to use it wisely. And that’s what you can learn from this book on AI.
It is a superb read for cybersecurity professionals tapping into AI. However, to distill some practical ideas and get the most out of this book, you should already be familiar with the ABCs of Python and the rudimentary concepts in cybersecurity. The author has prepared for you plenty of graphs, tables, screenshots, and tons of code, of course.

Your ultimate list of AI books

So here's the complete list of highly recommended books that cover the past and future of AI:

  • A Brief History of Artificial Intelligence by Michael Wooldridge
  • Machine Learning For Beginners by Chris Sebastian
  • The Artificial Intelligence and Generative AI Bible by Alger Fraley
  • AI for Diversity by Roger A. Søraa
  • Hands-On Artificial Intelligence for Cybersecurity by Alessandro Parisi

Read these resources and keep AI-driven innovation on your radar.

And if you’re already using AI tools, this post about how to use LangChain with OpenAI, Pinecone, and Apify might be just what you're looking for.

This guest post was written by Erika Rykun, an avid reader across all genres and an aficionado of both AI and marketing.

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