Why Machines Learn: The Elegant Math Behind Modern AI Audiobook, by Anil Ananthaswamy Play Audiobook Sample

Why Machines Learn: The Elegant Math Behind Modern AI Audiobook

Why Machines Learn: The Elegant Math Behind Modern AI Audiobook, by Anil Ananthaswamy Play Audiobook Sample
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Read By: René Ruiz Publisher: Penguin Audio Listen Time: at 1.0x Speed 9.00 hours at 1.5x Speed 6.75 hours at 2.0x Speed Release Date: July 2024 Format: Unabridged Audiobook ISBN: 9780593786949

Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:


Longest Chapter Length:

73:15 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

07 seconds

Average Chapter Length:

40:30 minutes

Audiobooks by this Author:


Other Audiobooks Written by Anil Ananthaswamy: > View All...

Publisher Description

A rich, narrative explanation of the mathematics that has brought us machine learning and the ongoing explosion of artificial intelligence

Machine learning systems are making life-altering decisions for us: approving mortgage loans, determining whether a tumour is cancerous, or deciding whether someone gets bail. They now influence developments and discoveries in chemistry, biology, and physics—the study of genomes, extra-solar planets, even the intricacies of quantum systems. And all this before large language models such as ChatGPT came on the scene.

We are living through a revolution in machine learning-powered AI that shows no signs of slowing down. This technology is based on relatively simple mathematical ideas, some of which go back centuries, including linear algebra and calculus, the stuff of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century mathematics. It took the birth and advancement of computer science and the kindling of 1990s computer chips designed for video games to ignite the explosion of AI that we see today. In this enlightening book, Anil Ananthaswamy explains the fundamental math behind machine learning, while suggesting intriguing links between artifical and natural intelligence. Might the same math underpin them both?

As Ananthaswamy resonantly concludes, to make safe and effective use of artificial intelligence, we need to understand its profound capabilities and limitations, the clues to which lie in the math that makes machine learning possible.

*This audiobook contains a PDF of equations, graphs, and illustrations.

Download and start listening now!

Anil Ananthaswamy’s Why Machines Learn embarks on an exhilarating journey through the origins of contemporary machine learning. With a captivating narrative, the book delves into the lives of influential figures driving the AI revolution while simultaneously exploring the intricate mathematical formalism that underpins it. As Anil traces the roots and unravels the mysteries of modern AI, he gently introduces the underlying mathematics, rendering the complex subject matter accessible and exciting for readers of all backgrounds.

— Björn Ommer, Professor at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and leader of the original team behind Stable Diffusion 


  • If you were looking for a way to make sense of the AI revolution that is well underway, look no further. With this comprehensive yet engaging book, Anil Ananthaswamy puts it all into context, from the origin of the idea and its governing equations to its potential to transform medicine, quantum physics—and virtually every aspect of our life. An essential read for understanding both the possibilities and limitations of artificial intelligence.

    — Sabine Hossenfelder, physicist and New York Times bestselling author of Existential Physics: A Scientist's Guide to Life's Biggest Questions
  • Why Machines Learn is a masterful work that explains—in clear, accessible, and entertaining fashion—the mathematics underlying modern machine learning, along with the colorful history of the field and its pioneering researchers.  As AI has increasingly profound impacts in our world, this book will be an invaluable companion for anyone who wants a deep understanding of what’s under the hood of these often inscrutable machines.

    — Melanie Mitchell, author of Artificial Intelligence and Professor at the Santa Fe Institute
  • Generative AI, with its foundations in machine learning, is as fundamental an advance as the creation of the microprocessor, the Internet, and the mobile phone. But almost no one, outside of a handful of specialists, understands how it works.  Anil Ananthaswamy has removed the mystery by giving us a gentle, intuitive, and human-oriented introduction to the math that underpins this revolutionary development.

    — Peter E. Hart, AI pioneer, entrepreneur, and co-author of Pattern Classification
  • Some books about the development of neural networks describe the underlying mathematics while others describe the social history. This book presents the mathematics in the context of the social history. It is a masterpiece. The author is very good at explaining the mathematics in a way that makes it available to people with only a rudimentary knowledge of the field, but he is also a very good writer who brings the social history to life.

    — Geoffrey Hinton, deep learning pioneer, Turing Award winner, former VP at Google, and Professor Emeritus at University of Toronto
  • After just a few minutes of reading Why Machines Learn, you’ll feel your own synaptic weights getting updated. By the end you will have achieved your own version of deep learning—with deep pleasure and insight along the way.

    — Steven Strogatz, New York Times bestselling author of Infinite Powers and professor of mathematics at Cornell University
  • [An] illuminating overview of how machine learning works.

    — Kirkus Reviews

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About Anil Ananthaswamy

Anil Anaanthaswamy is an award-winning science journalist and former deputy news editor and current consultant for New Scientist. He is a guest lecturer at UC Santa Cruz’s renowned science writing program and teached an annual science journalism workshop at the National Centre for Biological Sciences in Bangalore, India. He is a feature editor for the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences’ front matter and has written for National Geographic News, Discover, Matter, The Times (UK), and The Independent (UK). He has been a columnist for PBS NOVA’s The Nature of Reality blog. His first book, The Edge of Physics, was voted book of the year in 2010 by Physics World. He lives in Bangalore, India, and Santa Cruz, California.

About René Ruiz

René Ruiz studied music education at the University of Texas and has won acclaim in local productions and musical revues, including roles in West Side Story, A Chorus Line, and Forever Plaid. He also spent many years working for Walt Disney World as a featured actor, singer, and announcer.