No recent scientific enterprise has proved as alluring, terrifying, and filled with extravagant promise and frustrating setbacks as artificial intelligence. An award-winning author and leading computer scientist reveals its turbulent history and the recent surge of successes, grand hopes, and emerging fears that surround AI.
Mitchell’s lucid, clear-eyed account of the state of AI—spanning its history, current status, and future prospects—returns again and again to the idea that computers simply aren’t like you and me ... Many of the challenges of creating fully intelligent machines come down to the paradox, popular in AI research, that 'easy things are hard ... These big themes are fascinating, and Mitchell conveys them clearly and lucidly. Along the way, she describes specific AI programs in technical language that can be challenging for the layperson (the many charts and illustrations are helpful). She lightens the book, though, with an affable tone ... She also writes with admirable frankness.
... straddles both a historical and a contemporary perspective ... This historical grounding makes for a worthy and compelling narrative in itself. There are also ample contemporary topics explored in great detail, such as AI applications in image recognition, autonomous vehicles, voice recognition, and the impressive translation that today’s popular search engines now provide ... This work will mainly interest technologists who are exploring the computational and technological foundations of AI and the present implications these bring to the digital era.
Mitchell ably illustrates the current state of artificial intelligence ... Taking care to keep the text accessible, Mitchell lightens things with amusing facts, such as how Star Trek’s ship computer remains the gold standard for many AI researchers. This worthy volume should assuage lay readers’ fears about AI, while also reassuring people drawn to the field that much work remains to be done.