How Smart Machines Think

The future is here: Self-driving cars are on the streets, an algorithm gives you movie and TV recommendations, IBM’s Watson triumphed on Jeopardy over puny human brains, computer programs can be trained to play Atari games. But how do all these things work? How Smart Machines think offers an accessible overview of the breakthroughs in artificial intelligence and machine learning that have made today’s machines so smart.


How Smart Machines Think is an enjoyable and insightful ‘look under the hood’ at recent AI developments. Gerrish introduces complex and important concepts in terms that any reader can understand.

―Ray Kurzweil, Author of New York Times bestsellers, How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed, and The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology

“An excellent layman’s introduction to contemporary AI and machine learning. Gerrish clearly explains the key ideas behind the winning entries in various recent high-profile competitions, such as the DARPA Grand Challenge for self-driving cars and the Jeopardy! Challenge for question-answering. In addition, he emphasizes the role of collaborative human effort in building these systems, both in terms of openly publishing basic research, as well as carrying out the relevant engineering. This more nuanced portrait of progress makes claims of AI autonomously taking over the world much less worrisome.”

―Kevin Murphy, Senior Staff Research Scientist, Google, and Author of Machine Learning: A Probabilistic Approach

“If you’re curious what made some of the recent AI successes possible, from winning at Go to self-driving cars, this fascinating book is for you.”

―Pedro Domingos, Professor of Computer Science, and Author of The Master Algorithm, The University of Washington