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Top 10 Books About AI Recommended by Bill Gates and Elon Musk

Stu G
Stu G Artificial Intelligence

Revealed on this page are ten of the best books ever written on Artificial Intelligence for leaders in the modern technological world and age of communication, as recommended by Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and several other globally successful entrepreneurs, such as Mark Andreessen, Reid Hoffman, and Eric Schmidt. 

Some people will literally read every book they come across, but when you’re trying to get ahead of the game and get the right kind of information needed on business and career-related topics, grabbing any book on that chosen topic perhaps isn’t the best way to go. The world is full of books like this, some of which are far more helpful and relevant than others. 

It would take too long to read them all, and some of them won’t be of any use whatsoever. It can also take forever just to read the reviews to understand what the book might be like before wasting money on something that could be rubbish. One of the best things to do is read only the business and career-related books specifically recommended by successful billionaires and entrepreneurs. 

Doing so will separate the good books from the bad. Some of these books may be a little harder to track down, but taking this approach will fill your collection with quality over quantity. You can sift out the books you don’t need to read and stick to only reading the ones more likely to contain the most helpful information. 

It can also help you eliminate the dread of having to read hundreds of books that may or may not be so helpful, meaning you can read fewer books with more relevant concepts and ideas that will most likely help you succeed. If you had the opportunity, imagine what it would be like to take a sneak peek at the bookshelves of today’s most successful billionaires. 

What hidden away little gems would you be able to find? One can only guess. 

Fortunately, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and others are pretty open about what they like to read in their spare time, so here is a list containing the most recommended books on AI and singularity. 

Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

This book was suggested by Bill Gates, who pointed out that it was an ideal read for anyone who is looking for information about how AI is shaping the world around us. It was written by Max Tegmark, who is also the author of Our Mathematical Universe. He’s a trained physicist, and this book takes more of a scientific approach. There’s no time-wasting discussing what we should and shouldn’t do, and because of this, his book Life 3.0 gives readers the bottom line of what we know so far on the subject. 

Army of None: Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War

Also suggested by Bill Gates, this book was actually recommended in one of his tweets. Gates also wrote a full review of this book, which was written by Paul Scharre. He stated that it was the book he had been waiting for. It’s aimed at anyone interested in artificial intelligence, machine vision, and machine learning. 

The Sentient Machine: The Coming Age of Artificial Intelligence

This book, written by Amir Husain – a leading expert in the field of artificial intelligence, was suggested by the Founder and CEO of Sisco Systems, John Chambers. He said it’s ideal for anyone looking to better understand the fundamentals of AI and its potential to shape our future; whether you are an entrepreneur, policy maker, or business leader, there’s something for everyone. 

The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology

Co-founder of Sun Microsystems, Bill Joy, the founder and CEO of Stripe, Patrick Collison, and Bill Gates all recommended this book, which Ray Kurzweil wrote. He’s also the man who wrote a national bestseller, The Age of Spiritual Machines. 

According to Bill Joy, it’s an optimistic book and thought-provoking. The book invites us to continue dialogue and addresses the bigger issues stemming from the rapidly increasing speed at which humans could one day transcend biology. 

Bill Gates highlighted that Kurzweil appears to be the perfect person to predict what might happen in the future with AI. His provocative book gives people a glimpse of a time in the not-too-distant future when information technologies have progressed to such a stage that they allow humans to transcend the limitations in biology in ways we cannot yet even start to comprehend.  

Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies

Bill Gates highly recommends this book, too. It’s a New York Times bestseller that was written by Nick Bostrom. 

If you go to Patrick Collison’s book section on his website, you will see that he also recommends reading this one. 

The other entrepreneur to recommend this book was Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla and SpaceX. He suggested it in a tweet, pointing out that we must pay careful attention to how we use artificial intelligence, which has the potential to be more dangerous than nuclear weapons. His full review of this book can be read in Amazon’s review section. 

AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order

This New York Times bestseller was written by Kai-Fu Le, and it was suggested by the Chairman & CEO of Salesforce, Marc Benioff. He described it as a brilliant book. 

He pointed out the disruptive shifts that will define a future powered by artificial intelligence, and he suggested introducing a ground-breaking new social agreement that shapes a new synergy between the human heart and AI working together.   

Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era

The SpaceX and Tesla co-founder Elon Musk also recommends reading this book. In a tweet about the risks posed by AI, he said that James Barrat’s Our Final Invention was worth a read. 

Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future

This book was co-written by the authors of the best-selling book The Second Machine Age and recommended by the Google CEO, Eric Schmidt, and the co-founder of LinkedIn and partner at Greylock Partners, Reid Hoffman. 

Schmidt pointed out that even Silicon Valley has been shocked at how quickly AI is advancing. The most effective way to keep it under control is to comprehend the common and basic principles that will persist even as many other things get upended. It explains these principles in ways many other books don’t. 

According to Hoffman, anyone who wants to successfully navigate our digital future of networked disruption, where disorientating but disruptive change becomes the norm, including from governments and companies to ordinary citizens and entrepreneurs. One of the first things to do would be to find dependable and prophetic guides like the two authors of this book, Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee. 

The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies

The co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz and Netscape, Marc Andreessen, suggested this book as a must-read. He said the two authors have hit the nail on the head, that humans are on the verge of entering an entirely different new world, all thanks to advances in technology and artificial intelligence.

It can help anyone who wants to thrive in a dramatically different world brought on by technology. It’s essential reading for entrepreneurs who should just hope that their rivals don’t find out about this book. 

LinkedIn’s co-founder, Reid Hoffman, also recommended people read this book. It takes a unique perspective on how our economy is just in the early stages of being transformed by digital technologies. 

Singularity Rising: Surviving and Thriving in a Smarter, Richer, and More Dangerous World

The co-founder of PayPal, Founders Found, and Palantir, Peter Thiel, and the CEO of Stripe, Patrick Collison, both recommend this book,. We may progress to new levels, or everything might come crashing back down. The author uses great insight and forethought and tries to prep us all for what may transpire over the coming decades. 

BONUS 1: The Artificial Intelligence Podcast with Lex Fridman

This two-part podcast about AI features Elon Musk talking about Tesla Autopilot (part 1) and Neuralink, artificial intelligence, the Pale Blue Dot, and Autopilot. There’s also one episode featuring Eric Schmidt.

BONUS 2 Daemon (Thriller)

Elon Musk tweeted about this book being a great read. His reference was found in the comment section of his tweet that recommended another book by Nick Bostrom called Super Intelligence. 

The founder of Craigslist, Craig Newmark, also said this book is worth a read, pointing out that it shows us what might happen if we as a species become too dependent on computer networks. 

BONUS 3: Deep Learning (Educational)

One final book recommended by Elon Musk, Deep Learning, was co-written by Aaron Courville, Yoshua Bengio, and Ian Goodfellow – three experts in the field of deep learning and AI. Musk says it’s one of the most comprehensive books on the subject. It serves as a great reference for authorities, and it’s an excellent read with a much-needed, wide-ranging outlook and mathematical preliminaries for students just starting out in the field and software engineers. 

If you'd like a listing of other books related to AI topics you can read the article I wrote here on 13 popular books about artificial intelligence.