10 technology books to check out in 2019

Get new thinking on the technologies of tomorrow – from AI to DevOps tools – and the related challenges for leaders
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Our last book list of 2018 focused on the leadership skills that IT and business executives would need to guide their organizations into the future of technology. In this list, we focus on what that future may entail. 

Whether you are more interested in the here and now – like how to make agile and DevOps work – or emerging technology predictions for humanity and business in the age of AI, algorithms, and robots, there's a book on this list for you. 

Let's dive in. 

Architects of Intelligence: The truth about AI from the people building it

By: Martin Ford

Book description (via Amazon): "How will AI evolve and what major innovations are on the horizon? What will its impact be on the job market, economy, and society? What is the path toward human-level machine intelligence? What should we be concerned about as artificial intelligence advances? “Architects of Intelligence” contains a series of in-depth, one-to-one interviews where New York Times bestselling author, Martin Ford, uncovers the truth behind these questions from some of the brightest minds in the Artificial Intelligence community."

Why you should read it: What are some of the top researchers and forward thinkers on the subject of AI saying about how it will shape and impact our future? That’s what Ford sought to uncover in this book. One reviewer said, “I'm stoked, scared, and ready to step into the future with AI. This book will excite you about what AI can do, even and sometimes it will scare you.”

[ Want a more agile culture? Get the digital transformation eBook: Teaching an elephant to dance. ]

Hello World: Being Human in the Age of Algorithms

By: Hannah Fry

Book description (via Amazon): "As we rely on algorithms to automate big, important decisions – in crime, justice, healthcare, transportation, and money – they raise questions about what we want our world to look like. What matters most: Helping doctors with diagnosis or preserving privacy? Protecting victims of crime or preventing innocent people being falsely accused? “Hello World” takes us on a tour through the good, the bad, and the downright ugly of the algorithms that surround us on a daily basis."

Why you should read it: Algorithms already play a significant role in our lives. They suggest things we may want to buy, what we might want to watch on TV, and even who to date. If you are curious about what’s next in the world of algorithms and wonder whether they are improving our lives, pick up this book.

The Fourth Age: Smart Robots, Conscious Computers, and the Future of Humanity

By: Byron Reese

Book description (via Amazon): "We are now on the doorstep of a fourth change brought about by two technologies: AI and robotics. “The Fourth Age” provides extraordinary background information on how we got to this point, and how – rather than what – we should think about the topics we’ll soon all be facing: machine consciousness, automation, employment, creative computers, radical life extension, artificial life, AI ethics, the future of warfare, superintelligence, and the implications of extreme prosperity."

Why you should read it: With nearly all five-star reviews on Amazon, this book is for anyone interested in what the future will look like as AI and robotics continue to evolve. For IT and business leaders exploring how AI will impact their organizations, this book will provide a bigger picture view of how AI will change humanity.

Reinventing Jobs: A 4-Step Approach for Applying Automation to Work 

By: Ravin Jesuthasan and John W. Boudreau

Book description (via HBR): "Transcending the endless debate about humans being replaced by machines, Jesuthasan and Boudreau show how smart leaders instead are optimizing human-automation combinations that are not only more efficient but also generate higher returns on improved performance. Based on groundbreaking primary research, "Reinventing Jobs" provides an original, structured approach of four distinct steps – deconstruct, optimize, automate, and reconfigure – to help leaders reinvent how work gets bundled into jobs and create optimal human-machine combinations."

Why you should read it: While “The Fourth Age” addresses the big picture, this book tackles the here and now – how humans and machines can work together for optimal results. In true HBR fashion, this book promises concrete examples and practical advice based on research. If you are looking for tools you can use right away to think more strategically about work and talent in the age of AI, pick up this book.

How Smart Machines Think

By: Sean Gerrish

Book description (via MIT): "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? In this book, Sean Gerrish offers an engaging and accessible overview of the breakthroughs in artificial intelligence and machine learning that have made today's machines so smart."

Why you should read it: How did it do that?? If you’ve ever found yourself wondering how intelligent machines “think” and interact with the world, this book provides a look under the hood. It may also give you a newfound appreciation for your new robot co-workers.

Carla Rudder is a community manager and program manager for The Enterprisers Project. She enjoys bringing new authors into the community and helping them craft articles that showcase their voice and deliver novel, actionable insights for readers.