You Look Like a Thing and I Love You
by Janelle Shane
Voracious, November 2019
[ Challenge # 3 : Just the facts, Ma’am: Nonfiction on any subject ]
I’ve followed Janelle Shane’s weblog on AI and computer learning for a while, and it’s never failed to make me laugh.
Out of that endeavor came this book, which is not a collection of her weblog writing but a basic guide on AI intelligence, focusing on what it can do and can’t do. It’s written for the layperson, very breezy and casual. I enjoyed it, but had to read it in small doses, as it’s somewhat abstract, and I don’t do well with abstract material and concepts (like algebra and C+ programming.) I’m glad I persevered, though. The many small cartoons helped; they broke up the text and affording amusing asides. The field is moving very quickly, so it’s likely some of the book is outdated already; it was published near the end of 2019 and likely written over that year. The three years since have been full of new milestones, not least among them AI art engines that have become commercialized. I credit the author for getting me interested in these engines and sparking a new pleasure of mine.
So, a funny and challenging computer science read and I’ll continue to read more.