Magazine February 22, 2021, Issue

A Guide to Artificial Intelligence

World chess champion Garry Kasparov ponders his next move against the IBM computer Deep Blue, May 1997. (Stan Honda/AFP via Getty Images)
A Brief History of Artificial Intelligence: What It Is, Where We Are, and Where We Are Going, by Michael Wooldridge (Flatiron Books, 272 pp., $27.99)

I   was attracted by the word “brief” — a “brief history.” I was also attracted by the subject, artificial intelligence. It is an important subject, I knew, and one about which I was largely ignorant. I’m not really sure I cared about AI, frankly — but I knew I should.

A “myth-busting guide,” says the front flap of the book cover. To be frank again: I was unsure of the myths needing busting.

So, a book intended for a general audience will be reviewed by a member of that audience.

The author of our brief history is Michael Wooldridge, professor of

This article appears as “AI, FYI” in the February 22, 2021, print edition of National Review.

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