How AI Works Cover

How AI Works

From Sorcery to Science
by Ronald T. Kneusel
September 2023, 192 pp.

Download Chapter 2: Why Now? A History of AI

Look Inside!

How AI Works back coverHow AI Works pages 44-45How AI Works pages 62-63How AI Works pages 88-89

Artificial intelligence is everywhere—from self-driving cars, to image generation from text, to the unexpected power of language systems like ChatGPT—yet few people seem to know how it all really works. How AI Works unravels the mysteries of artificial intelligence, without the complex math and unnecessary jargon.

You’ll learn:

  • The relationship between artificial intelligence, machine learning, and deep learning
  • The history behind AI and why the artificial intelligence revolution is happening now
  • How decades of work in symbolic AI failed and opened the door for the emergence of neural networks
  • What neural networks are, how they are trained, and why all the wonder of modern AI boils down to a simple, repeated unit that knows how to multiply input numbers to produce an output number.
  • The implications of large language models, like ChatGPT and Bard, on our society -- nothing will be the same again

AI isn’t magic. If you’ve ever wondered how it works, what it can do, or why there’s so much hype, How AI Works will teach you everything you want to know.

Author Bio 

Ronald T. Kneusel is a data scientist who builds deep-learning (AI) systems, as well as extensive experience with medical imaging and the development of medical devices. He earned a PhD in machine learning from the University of Colorado, Boulder, has nearly 20 years of machine learning experience in industry, and is presently pursuing deep-learning projects with L3Harris Technologies, Inc. Kneusel is also the author of Random Numbers and Computers (Springer 2018), in addition to Math for Deep Learning, Practical Deep Learning, Strange Code, and The Art of Randomness—all published by No Starch Press.

Table of contents 

Chapter 1: And Away We Go: An AI Overview 
Chapter 2: Why Now? A History of AI 
Chapter 3: Classical Models: Old-School Machine Learning
Chapter 4: Neural Networks: Brain-Like AI
Chapter 5: Convolutional Neural Networks: AI Learns to See
Chapter 6: Generative AI: AI Gets Creative
Chapter 7: Large Language Models: True AI at Last?
Chapter 8: Musings: The Implications of AI
Appendix A: Resources 
Appendix B: Glossary 

View the detailed Table of Contents
View the Index


"Succinct and clear-cut . . . a beacon for those wanting to delve into the mesmerizing world of AI, offering a detailed yet comprehensible overview of the evolutionary trajectory of machine learning technologies, from their rudimentary forms to the pioneering entities of today."
—Antoine Tardif, CEO, Unite.AI

“A tour de force of the rich history of artificial intelligence . . . For beginners, it demystifies AI and is a perfect resource to get up to date with more than six decades of research and development. . . . Even AI experts will gain a fresh perspective, enhancing their understanding and ability to articulate complex concepts."
Ben Dickson, Software Engineer, Editor of TechTalks

"Kneusel does a superb job of explaining the evolution and intricacies of artificial intelligence with a combination of clarity and wit . . . Anyone who wants to understand the concepts of artificial intelligence, as well as its limitations and possible pitfalls, along with the tremendous potential it has to transform technology and society over time should read How AI Works."
—Tony Bradley, Editor-in-Chief, TechSpective

“A friendly and personal peek behind the curtain of modern AI. Ronald T. Kneusel tells the story of how the field grew, and surveys the ideas that are powering the AI revolution. From this book, you'll learn not only how AI works today, but its limits, its capabilities, and where it might take us tomorrow.”
Andrew Glassner, Author of Deep Learning: A Visual Approach

"A must-read for anyone wishing to dig into AI without getting lost in the weeds. Kneusel has succeeded in explaining how AI works to a layperson like myself."
—Kenneth Gass, Honorary Curator of Geology, Milwaukee Public Museum

“After reading this book, I have a better understanding of the ML tools I have already used in my work . . . I recommend this book to anyone who works with software systems, including management, and anyone who just wants to know what AI actually does under the hood.”
Daniel Kosey, CISSP, Cybersecurity Engineer

"If all the hype and reporting about AI has piqued your curiosity, but you don’t want to wade through the math and equations, Ron Kneusel’s latest book is for you. . . . You will no doubt learn a lot as you make your way from the earliest ideas about AI to today’s best models that are knocking at the door of True AI."
—David Gorodetzky, Senior Scientist, Machine Learning and Remote Sensing

"An excellent starting point for the enthusiast and anyone who wants to know what AI is and will be. . . . The author has another hit science book on a fascinating and apropos topic."
—David S. Mazel, Principal/Manager Systems Engineer, Regulus-Group

"AI isn't magic. If you've ever wondered how it works, what it can do, or why there's so much hype, How AI Works will teach you everything you want to know."
—Midwest Book Review


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