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Artifical Intelligence : Books

Info & resources on AI for faculty, staff & students at NCC

The following books are linked to NCC's campus library or the Nassau county public library system whenever possible. (They are also available through traditional retail stores.)

Books on AI & related Topics

Teaching Machines

How ed tech was born- Twentieth-century teaching machines--from Sidney Pressey's mechanized test-giver to B. F. Skinner's behaviorist bell-ringing box. Contrary to popular belief, ed tech did not begin with videos on the internet. The idea of technology that would allow students to "go at their own pace" did not originate in Silicon Valley. In Teaching Machines, education writer Audrey Watters offers a lively history of predigital educational technology, from Sidney Pressey's mechanized positive-reinforcement provider to B. F. Skinner's behaviorist bell-ringing box. Watters shows that these machines and the pedagogy that accompanied them sprang from ideas--bite-sized content, individualized instruction--that had legs and were later picked up by textbook publishers and early advocates for computerized learning. Watters pays particular attention to the role of the media--newspapers, magazines, television, and film--in shaping people's perceptions of teaching machines as well as the psychological theories underpinning them. She considers these machines in the context of education reform, the political reverberations of Sputnik, and the rise of the testing and textbook industries. 

Big Data and the Computable Society

Data and algorithms are changing our life. The awareness of importance and pervasiveness of the digital revolution is the primary element from which to start a path of knowledge to grasp what is happening in the world of big data and digital innovation and to understand these impacts on our minds and relationships between people, traceability and the computability of behavior of individuals and social organizations.This book analyses contemporary and future issues related to big data, algorithms, data analysis, artificial intelligence and the internet. It introduces and discusses relationships between digital technologies and power, the role of the pervasive algorithms in our life and the risk of technological alienation, the relationships between the use of big data, the privacy of citizens and the exercise of democracy, the techniques of artificial intelligence and their impact on the labor world, the Industry 4.0 at the time of the Internet of Things, social media, open data and public innovation.Each chapter raises a set of questions and answers to help the reader to know the key issues in the enormous maze that the tools of info-communication have built around us.

Atlas of AI

What happens when artificial intelligence saturates political life and depletes the planet? How is AI shaping our understanding of ourselves and our societies? Drawing on more than a decade of research, award‑winning scholar Kate Crawford reveals how AI is a technology of extraction: from the minerals drawn from the earth, to the labor pulled from low-wage information workers, to the data taken from every action and expression. This book reveals how this planetary network is fueling a shift toward undemocratic governance and increased inequity. Rather than taking a narrow focus on code and algorithms, Crawford offers us a material and political perspective on what it takes to make AI and how it centralizes power. This is an urgent account of what is at stake as technology companies use artificial intelligence to reshape the world.

Artificial Intelligence

Melanie Mitchell separates science fact from science fiction in this sweeping examination of the current state of AI and how it is remaking our world No recent scientific enterprise has proved as alluring, terrifying, and filled with extravagant promise and frustrating setbacks as artificial intelligence. The award-winning author Melanie Mitchell, a leading computer scientist, now reveals AI's turbulent history and the recent spate of apparent successes, grand hopes, and emerging fears surrounding it. In Artificial Intelligence, Mitchell turns to the most urgent questions concerning AI today: How intelligent--really--are the best AI programs? How do they work? What can they actually do, and when do they fail? How humanlike do we expect them to become, and how soon do we need to worry about them surpassing us? Along the way, she introduces the dominant models of modern AI and machine learning, describing cutting-edge AI programs, their human inventors, and the historical lines of thought underpinning recent achievements.

Human Compatible

A leading artificial intelligence researcher lays out a new approach to AI that will enable us to coexist successfully with increasingly intelligent machines In the popular imagination, superhuman artificial intelligence is an approaching tidal wave that threatens not just jobs and human relationships, but civilization itself. Conflict between humans and machines is seen as inevitable and its outcome all too predictable. In this groundbreaking book, distinguished AI researcher Stuart Russell argues that this scenario can be avoided, but only if we rethink AI from the ground up. Russell begins by exploring the idea of intelligence in humans and in machines. If the predicted breakthroughs occur and superhuman AI emerges, we will have created entities far more powerful than ourselves. How can we ensure they never, ever, have power over us? Russell suggests that we can rebuild AI on a new foundation, according to which machines are designed to be inherently uncertain about the human preferences they are required to satisfy. Such machines would be humble, altruistic, and committed to pursue our objectives, not theirs. This new foundation would allow us to create machines that are provably deferential and provably beneficial.

The Master Algorithm

A thought-provoking and wide-ranging exploration of machine learning and the race to build computer intelligences as flexible as our own In the world's top research labs and universities, the race is on to invent the ultimate learning algorithm: one capable of discovering any knowledge from data, and doing anything we want, before we even ask. In The Master Algorithm, Pedro Domingos lifts the veil to give us a peek inside the learning machines that power Google, Amazon, and your smartphone. He assembles a blueprint for the future universal learner--the Master Algorithm--and discusses what it will mean for business, science, and society. If data-ism is today's philosophy, this book is its bible.

Algorithms of Oppression

A revealing look at how negative biases against women of color are embedded in search engine results and algorithms Run a Google search for "black girls"--what will you find? "Big Booty" and other sexually explicit terms are likely to come up as top search terms. But, if you type in "white girls," the results are radically different. The suggested porn sites and un-moderated discussions about "why black women are so sassy" or "why black women are so angry" presents a disturbing portrait of black womanhood in modern society. In Algorithms of Oppression, Safiya Umoja Noble challenges the idea that search engines like Google offer an equal playing field for all forms of ideas, identities, and activities. Data discrimination is a real social problem; Noble argues that the combination of private interests in promoting certain sites, along with the monopoly status of a relatively small number of Internet search engines, leads to a biased set of search algorithms that privilege whiteness and discriminate against people of color, specifically women of color. 

Viral Justice

From the author of Race After Technology, an inspiring vision of how we can build a more just world--one small change at a time "A true gift to our movements for justice."--Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow Long before the pandemic, Ruha Benjamin was doing groundbreaking research on race, technology, and justice, focusing on big, structural changes. But the twin plagues of COVID-19 and anti-Black police violence inspired her to rethink the importance of small, individual actions. Part memoir, part manifesto, Viral Justice is a sweeping and deeply personal exploration of how we can transform society through the choices we make every day. Vividly recounting her personal experiences and those of her family, Benjamin shows how seemingly minor decisions and habits could spread virally and have exponentially positive effects. She recounts her father's premature death, illuminating the devastating impact of the chronic stress of racism, but she also introduces us to community organizers who are fostering mutual aid and collective healing. Through her brother's experience with the criminal justice system, we see the trauma caused by policing practices and mass imprisonment, but we also witness family members finding strength as they come together to demand justice for their loved ones. 

The Alignment Problem

Today's "machine-learning" systems, trained by data, are so effective that we've invited them to see and hear for us--and to make decisions on our behalf. But alarm bells are ringing. Recent years have seen an eruption of concern as the field of machine learning advances. When the systems we attempt to teach will not, in the end, do what we want or what we expect, ethical and potentially existential risks emerge. Researchers call this the alignment problem. Systems cull résumés until, years later, we discover that they have inherent gender biases. Algorithms decide bail and parole--and appear to assess Black and White defendants differently. We can no longer assume that our mortgage application, or even our medical tests, will be seen by human eyes. And as autonomous vehicles share our streets, we are increasingly putting our lives in their hands. The mathematical and computational models driving these changes range in complexity from something that can fit on a spreadsheet to a complex system that might credibly be called "artificial intelligence." They are steadily replacing both human judgment and explicitly programmed software. In best-selling author Brian Christian's riveting account, we meet the alignment problem's "first-responders," and learn their ambitious plan to solve it before our hands are completely off the wheel.