My book review of 'How AI Thinks' by Nigel Toon

by Nigel Toon
How AI Thinks
by Nigel Toon

Through powerful and engaging storytelling, and his pragmatic and rational approach, Nigel Toon takes us gently through the creation of computers, how they can help us and how we can control them. 

He doesn't shirk from telling us that things can go wrong - computers are only as good as the people programming them so if those individuals are prejudiced or malevolent then the machines and the intelligence they create will be too. 

He explains something of human intelligence - what we know about our capabilities and what is still to be discovered about our thoughts and emotions.

We are making huge advances in all these areas, at a rapid rate, he says. We are on the verge of a technological revolution. The computers we are creating have the potential to achieve huge benefits for so many aspects of our lives. But these advances need to be monitored and legislated.

The issue is that we all need to be better informed, governments and individuals, and reading this book is a good first step in that respect. 

As with so many social issues today, the message is that, even though it often feels otherwise, we each have the power to bring about change. We can influence the future for the better. This book really is encouraging, enabling and energising. 

Date of this review: June 2024
Book publication date: 8th February 2024