Cryptocurrency interest is rising in American universities, according to Coinbase

A survey has been done on the amount of interest that universities and students have in cryptocurrency, and the results might surprise you.

According to the study carried out by mega-cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, there is an appeal that blockchain-based currencies are holding, and the attraction to the technology is gaining in a major way – despite the market’s recent dip.

Coinbase shared the results:

Key Findings

  • 42 percent of the world’s top 50 universities now offer at least one course on crypto or blockchain
  • Students from a range of majors are interested in crypto and blockchain courses — and universities are adding courses across a variety of departments
  • Original Coinbase research includes a Qriously survey of 675 U.S. students, a comprehensive review of courses at 50 international universities, and interviews with professors and students

As a case study, Coinbase used a cryptocurrency class at New York University Stern School of Business to show the increased interest. At the university, David Yermack started a course on blockchain and financial services in 2014 and only 35 students signed up. However, in 2018 the number of enrolled students was sitting at 230 students, resulting in the university having to move the course to the largest lecture theatre. That’s an increase of more than 550% students.

Regarding the course, Yermack stated that a system “is well underway that will lead to the migration of most financial data to blockchain-based organizations [and] students will benefit greatly by studying this area.”

Stern Business school is not the only university to show increased attention to cryptocurrency studies. Coinbase found that Stanford was offering ten different courses in the field, Cornell offers nine and the University of Pennsylvania holds six.

According to the study, the students opting for cryptocurrency courses come from an array of different departments, such as finance, computer science, and anthropology. Dawn Song, a computer science professor at the University of California conjectures that it could be possible that blockchain is interesting owing to its potential to affect different domains in society, saying that “Blockchain combines theory and practice and can lead to fundamental breakthroughs in many research areas” and offering that it could “have really profound and broad-scale impacts on society in many different industries.”

Earlier this year, it was found that 20% of American students had been using their university loans to buy cryptocurrencies, so it only makes sense that students are interested in the digital currencies and the way in which the blockchain on which it is based works.

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Is Dogecoin up the right tree to become a barking success?

Dogecoin was created as a cryptocurrency parody token in 2013, based on a viral internet meme. The biggest joke about it, though? The token is doing pretty well.

Since its creation, the meme has stayed relevant sponsoring entities such as Nascar drivers. Thinking it was barking up the wrong tree, the parody coin hit its $1 billion USD market cap at the beginning of the year and sits comfortably in the top fifty cryptocurrencies.

Figures in 2018

At the beginning of the year, the parody token was sitting in position number thirty of the most valuable cryptocurrencies by market cap on January 7th and was trading at a value of $0.015211 USD. In January, it was totaling a market cap of $1,713,710,709 USD.

Moving ahead to the current state of affairs, Doge has dropped five places to the 35th most valuable cryptocurrency and is trading for $0.002542 USD, with a total market cap of $294,676,381 USD.

To put it in statistical form, the network has lost some 83% of its trading value over the past eight months, while its market cap has similarly diminished by the approximately the same percentage.

Transaction fee estimates

According to calculations based on the network’s average transactions, the network’s fees will see a value of4.06832 DOGE/KB per high priority transaction, (1-2 blocks) 0.0001 DOGE/KB per medium priority transaction (3-6 blocks) and 0.00007 DOGE/KB for a low priority transaction (more than 7 blocks).

Robinhood listing

No, not Robinhodl.

But pretty close. When Robinhood listed Dogecoin on its trading platform, the token’s prices shot up by a mammoth 20%

Such moon?

Although the token has gained itself some tasty investments and sponsorships, such as the Jamaican bobsled team at the Winter Olympics, the parody based on the Japanese Shiba Inu might remain a meme and not gain the traction required to send the canine token to the moon.

Stranger things have happened, though, and Dogecoin could well skyrocket.

The post Is Dogecoin up the right tree to become a barking success? appeared first on Coin Insider.

Square wins new patent for a cryptocurrency payment network

Square – the company headed by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey – has successfully been awarded a patent by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) which details a new payment network that would enable merchants to accept payments in any currency – including the likes of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies – and then withdraw their currency of choice following a transaction.

The patent elaborates that:

“The disclosed technology addresses the need in the art for a payment service capable of accepting a greater diversity of currencies…including virtual currencies including cryptocurrencies (bitcoin, ether, etc.)…than a traditional payment system in a transaction between a customer and a merchant, and specifically for a payment service to solve or ameliorate problems germane to transactions with such currencies. Specifically, the payment service described herein can facilitate real-time (or substantially real-time) transactions, allowing a customer to pay in any currency of their choice, while the merchant can receive payment in a currency of their choice.”

The patent describes methods through which a point-of-sale (POS) system could eliminate latency in cryptocurrency transactions to the point that both cryptocurrency and credit card transactions could process at the same speed.

The system would make this claim a possibility through managing a private blockchain that could record transactions from Square wallets. While this approach does not eliminate the potential for double-spend attacks, it does eliminate that risk from a merchant and places the onus on itself, instead.

Square CEO Jack Dorsey has previously gone on record as a Bitcoin supporter – noting that Bitcoin could become the world’s foremost means of exchange within the next ten years.

At the time, Dorsey quipped that Bitcoin’s market emergence will “probably take over ten years”, and went on to say that “The world ultimately will have a single currency, the Internet will have a single currency… I personally believe that it will be Bitcoin.”

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How to become an expert in Happiness

What does it take to become an expert?

The short answer is a combination of theory backed up by a lot of practice.

There are no shortcuts. You’ve got to walk the walk. 

Getting started on your journey is the hardest part and sometimes it can be so daunting that you’re not entirely sure where you should start. However, as a wise man once said, ‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.’

With this in mind, we take a look at the ‘everyone could do with a little more of it’ subject of Happiness, with some top resources to set you off in the right direction. 

5 books:

1) Stumbling On Happiness by Daniel Gilbert

2) Happy: Why More or Less Everything is Absolutely Fine by Derren Brown

3) Happiness: A History by Daniel H. McMahon

4) Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill by Matthieu Ricard  

5) The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

5 podcasts:

1) Happiness Podcast

2) Happier with Gretchen Rubin

3) The Primal Happiness Show

4) 10% Happier with Dan Harris

5) Optimal Living Daily  

5 twitterati:






5 talks:

1. What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness | Robert Waldinger

2. The surprising science of happiness | Dan Gilbert

3. The habits of happiness | Matthieu Ricard

4. Want to be happy? Be grateful | David Steindl-Rast

5. There’s more to life than being happy | Emily Esfahani Smith

Alternatively, you can skip the above and take an online course in Happiness from the Happiness Research Institute founded by the New York Times Best Selling author Meik Weiking. 


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Scammed by stars: top notorious crypto projects endorsed by celebrities

No, there’s nothing wrong with Katy Perry sprucing up her nails with crypto logos and posting it on Instagram, or Kim Kardashian demonstrating the first Bitcoin that she received as a gift from Mathew Roszak. It’s also okay that Ashton Kutcher donated $4 million USD worth of Ripple’s tokens to Ellen DeGeneres Wildlife Fund during her show.

However, when it comes to getting paid for promoting something, some celebrities should be pickier when choosing a side hustle.

In this list, we explore celebrities who were a part of endorsing cryptoscams.

Steven Seagal and Bitcoiin: $250 million USD in a token sale

Blockbuster star, a fan of the martial arts and alleged sexual abuser, Steven Seagal comes full of surprises.

In February 2018 he became the “World Brand Ambassador” for Bitcoiin, a project driven by an idea to “to make a superior or more advanced version of Original Bitcoin.” As soon as the project’s initial coin offering (ICO) was coming to an end, the project’s founders and Seagal left the scene, deleting all social media posts referring to the project. The timing is also suspicious and the departure could have been after Bitcoiin was hit with a cease-and-desist order for the fraudulent selling of unregistered securities. In March, the company was also slapped with regulatory warnings for suspicious behavior.

As stated in a press release published on 9th April 2018, the sales had almost hit $250 million USD. It’s not clear who received the money and how the funds were supposed to be spent exactly. In the same press release, it was announced that the autonomous trading ecosystem of products, including Bitcoiin B2G, B2G Wallet, – an instant cryptocurrency exchange platform- and Dragon Mining Technology were being launched. However, the “advanced Bitcoin” clearly didn’t take off. According to SimilarWeb the number of unique monthly visitors in July 2018 was sitting at 9,628 (compared to that of 39.2 million for Binance within the same timeframe).

The last tweets on @Bitcoiin’s twitter feed were mostly featuring announcements about listing on a controversial exchange and “to the moon!” type of messages.

Paris Hilton and Lydia: Teaming up with 47 felonies

Next on the list, we have the partnership of Hotel Heiress Paris Hilton and another man of surprising moral standards.

Gurbasksh Chahal, an Indian-American entrepreneur, is known for his love for harassment, discrimination, and ability to hit his own girlfriend 117 times on camera (for which he was consequently charged with 47 felonies).

Chahal-of-47-felonies came up with the idea of Lydian, the “first marketing cloud for blockchain” and decided to invite Hilton to advertise it.

When Hilton started the promotion in September 2017, she was heavily criticized for it, with the likes of Forbes followed up on her tweet (which has since been removed) announcing the endorsement and asking the director of research at Coin Center, Peter Van Valkenburgh, to have a look at the coin. Van Valkenburgh commented that the project seemed “nonsensical”.


Despite a very questionable idea, a suspicious white paper, and a shady background of project’s founder coupled with equivocal ways to promote the ICO, the “nonsensical” project managed to raise $11.3 million USD worth of tokens, as documented by ICO Bench.

According to a paid press release, the “promo price” for early buyers was $0.25 USD per token, including a 50% discount. This means the full price was to be $0.5 USD per token. However, at the end of the token sale, a further 50% off promotions were announced through Lydian’s social media channels.

The price of the token at the time of writing this text is $0.028 USD, according to CoinCodex. However, no exchange offers the trading of the token, and what happens next with the project still remains unclear.

Meanwhile, Hilton deleted her posts related to the project, and Chahal has been enjoying freedom in India despite his transgressions. He informed his some 122,000 twitter followers that he was enjoying Independence Day in India earlier this month.

Jessica VerSteeg and Paragon: United to increase scamming efficiency

Former Miss Iowa, Jessica VerSteeg, opted to go into a cannabis business after losing her boyfriend Tyler Sash, a breakout NFL player, to his addiction to opioids which led to a death from overdose.

Combining an awkward business idea (notable, considering she had lost a loved one owing to a drug addiction) with her passion for cryptocurrencies VerSteeg launched her own blockchain and dubbed it the ParagonChain. The hub of Paragons solutions aimed to “revolutionize the supply chain tracking for the cannabis industry.”

Although she might lack the tech skills, VerSteeg definitely knows how to sell the token, utilizing all the tricks in the book, including controversial scarcity raising tools. In order to raise more awareness, VerSteeg also lured rapper ‘The Game’ to participate in the campaign’s promotion.

The ICO of ParagonChain’s token, PRG, started on the 15th September 2017 with the starting price of $1 USD per token and increased by $0.05 USD daily until the final day of the token sale. The token sale resulted in over $70 million USD of funds raised and currently, CoinMarketCap states that PRG is traded at $0.049 USD.

However, it was not clear what has been done from the tech perspective of the things. Up until now.

In June of this year, there were announcements regarding the class-action multi-million dollar lawsuit against The Game for helping market the ParagonCoins. The investors pursuing the case are also up for putting down the ParagonChain permanently.

The claim is that the company used the funds from the ICO not to change the cannabis industry, but instead to buy the real estate. According to the recent revelation from VerSteeg, the claims are true.

Now she is up for opening cannabis friendly co-work on WeWork. Given that recent WeWork evaluation was at $35 billion USD this might sound like a good plan on paper, however, WeWork is looking at $933 million USD of net losses against $886 million USD of revenue in 2017, so VerSteeg’s company might have its work cut out for it. 

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JP Morgan and Chase reveal keen interest in blockchain, API and AI technology

The international banking institution JP Morgan and Chase has revealed that one of their three key focus points in the field of innovation this year is the exploration of blockchain technology.

According to an Argentinian news outlet, the chief information officer of JP Morgan Lori Beer explained that the company is using blockchain in order to “simplify the processing of payments and to store customer information related to the[know your customer] policies and anti-money laundering in the exchange of money that comes from another bank”.

Beer said to representatives at a blockchain conference in Buenos Aires that the company takes the digital aspects of their client’s security seriously and that they are exploring blockchain with the intention to make the “ecosystem grow and returning something to the [cryptocurrency] community”.

Two other focuses the company has been exploring are related to application programming interface (API) and artificial intelligence (AI). Beer explained the reason behind the interest in these systems:

“Currently, the pace of adoption of technology is accelerating. At JP Morgan we focus on artificial intelligence technology to improve the processes related to protection against fraud, cybersecurity so that our employees can have more knowledge and make better decisions”.

She continued to detail the ways in which the technology will impact the company and the clients:

“In a few years, blockchain will replace the existing technology, today it only coexists with the current one… We are following multiple paths, we invented a blockchain in open source Ethereum, the existing blockchain technology had not solved the issue of privacy and scalability that we needed, we are connected to Hyperledger and the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance. more important the implications for the business than the technology specifically, we seek not only cost reduction but opportunities for the development of new products”.

JP Morgan has been known for its interest in cryptocurrency and has featured in blockchain news for reasons such as it banning purchases of virtual currencies through credit cards services, the scandalous pursuit of additional fees from its customers, or its CEO swallowing his opinion on cryptocurrency. Owing to this, it is not surprising that it has a high focus on the technology.

The post JP Morgan and Chase reveal keen interest in blockchain, API and AI technology appeared first on Coin Insider.

Bitcoin breaks through $7000 USD as cryptocurrency markets resurge

After a month of pressure, cryptocurrency markets appear to have broken a stranglehold invoked by the  US Securities and Exchange Commission’s decision to reject (and later re-evaluate) several Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund proposals.

While the middle of August saw a minor rally, Bitcoin has largely struggled to surpass the $6500 USD mark, while Ethereum has remained deflated below $300 USD.

As of today, Bitcoin has powered through the $7000 USD mark to reach $7,061.28 USD – while Ethereum has flirted with positive gains to touch $293.32 USD at press time.

Leading the charge are several prominent altcoins – Holo has climbed some 27.31% to reach $0.000836 USD, while Bytecoin, MaidSafeCoin, and EOS have climbed by 13.68%, 10.03%, and 9.93% to reach $0.002249 USD, $0.276411 USD, and $5.89 USD, respectively.

A notable return to form is Dash, which has now climbed by 9.44% to reach $194.16 USD.

Among the cryptocurrencies seeing losses, Substratum leads the pack with a -7.34 decline, while Aion and VeChain follow closely by posting losses at -5.53% and -4.67% respectively.

Bitcoin dominance itself presently hovers at around 52.8%, while the total market cap of all cryptocurrencies is presently valued at $230,548,537,071 USD.

As our technical analyst Graeme Tennant noted last week, cryptocurrency markets remained stagnant ahead of what appeared to be imminent volatility – noting a clear reversal signal above Bitcoin’s $5800 USD support zone.

Our sentiment analysis, courtesy of Remy Stephens, noted that while sentiment on Bitcoin itself remained neutral, the altcoin market had taken a bullish term with support rallying for Basic Attention Token, Wanchain, and Bulwark – among other projects.

The US SEC is expected to resume its course and offer a verdict on yet another Bitcoin ETF proposal by the 30th of September. More broadly, US regulators have announced the continuation of ‘Operation Cryptosweep’ – a joint endeavor that has probed some 200 ICOs and cryptocurrency firms.

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Tom Lee’s prediction on Bitcoin’s future: $25,000 USD by the year-end

Tom Lee of Fundstrat has offered more optimism on how he sees the future of Bitcoin’s market.

At the beginning of the month, the Bitcoin analyst claimed that he thinks that Bitcoin is the “best house in a tough neighborhood” and that investors should stay focused on the leading cryptocurrency and his confidence in Bitcoin remains ever stable.

In an interview last week on CNBC’s Trading Nation, Lee declared that he thinks that the financial end of the year will see cryptocurrency “explosively higher,” than it is at present. He suggests this after taking a correlation between Bitcoin and emerging markets.

In January, Lee predicted that Bitcoin would be valued at $25,000 USD by the end of the year and in March, Lee forecast that Bitcoin would be reaching $91,000 USD by the year 2020, and maintained his prediction regarding the end of the year’s mark. A couple of months later, the financial expert announced that he was lowering his prediction for the year-end value to a still remarkable $22,000 USD.

Now, the Fundstrat CEO is claiming that he “still think[s] it’s possible” that the cryptocurrency’s price could swell up to $25,000 USD, taking the relationship between Bitcoin’s price and BlackRock’s iShares MSCI exchange-traded fund (ETF) as a marker on which to base his prediction.

Lee pointed out that there is an “important correlation” in their markets:

Both really essentially peaked early this year, and they both have been in a downward trend… Until emerging markets begin to turn, I think in some ways that correlation is going to hold and tell us that sort of the risk on mentality is those buyers aren’t buying Bitcoin.”

The well-known Bitcoin advocate known for his bullish stance is looking at the market and seeing a shift in favor of cryptocurrency and the Wall Street market. We will know whether or not his predictions come to fruition in a mere four months from now.

Currently, Bitcoin has seen a 0.62% increase in day-on-day trading an is sitting on a $6,750.727 USD valuation.

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Does Dash have what it takes to be a frontrunner in the cryptomarket?

The current market is sending many a-token to sinking values and few coins are managing to stay positive in the current downturned digital business. In this, we are looking to see whether the Dash is managing to outrun the bear market.

At the beginning of the year, the token was sitting as in the eleventh position of most valuable cryptocurrency by market cap on January 7th and was trading at a value of $1,334.78 USD. In January, it was totaling a market cap of $10,415,498,427 USD.

Moving ahead to the current state of affairs, Dash has dropped to the thirteenth most valuable cryptocurrency and is trading for $183.95 USD, with a total market cap of $1,523,552,858 USD.

To put it in statistical form, the network has lost a whopping 86% of its trading value over the past eight months, while its market cap has similarly diminished by approximately 85%.

Transaction fee estimates

According to calculations based on the network’s average transactions, the network’s fees will see a value of 0.00019 DASH/KB per high priority transaction, (1-2 blocks) 0.0001 DASH/KB per medium priority transaction (3-6 blocks) and 0.00007 DASH/KB for a low priority transaction (more than 7 blocks).

An unusual partnership

Although it is not a breaking story, it is still worth remembering that the network positioned itself as the frontrunner for a Zimbabwean cryptocurrency in the partnership struck with KuvaCoin.

At the time, Dash Core CEO Ryan Taylor stated that the company could flourish in the African nation:

“I have been advocating for quite some time the potential benefits Dash can provide to economies with less stable currencies, and Zimbabwe seems a prime location for these benefits.

This project, in particular, is well-researched with value propositions, branding, and go-to-market strategies tailored to the local market. Combining the ideal network – Dash – with a well-considered strategy should lead to a high probability of success.”

Looking to the future

With the markets being in the current space they are in, we can’t predict with ease how tokens might perform. If we take a look only at the last month, Dash has taken been on the up since the weekend and has seen a positive trajectory after taking a major dip at the beginning of the month.

At press time, Dash trades at $183.55 USD.

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How to become an expert in Behavioural Economics

What does it take to become an expert?

The short answer is a combination of theory backed up by a lot of practice. 10,000 hours to be exact if you believe Malcolm Gladwell. 

Sadly, there don’t seem to be any shortcuts. You’ve got to do the work to earn the badge. 

The hardest part, is getting started on your journey. It can sometimes be so daunting that you’re not really sure where to start. However, as a wise man once said, ‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.’

With this in mind, we take a look at the fascinating but not exactly sexy sounding subject of Behavioural Economics, with some top resources to set you off in the right direction. 

5 books to read:

1) Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness by Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler

2) Thinking Fast, and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

3) Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely

4) Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade by Robert Cialdini

5) Dollars and Sense: Money Mishaps and How To Avoid Them by Dan Ariely and Jeff Kreisler

5 podcast episodes to listen to:

1) Michael Lewis on how behavioural economics change the world (Intelligence Squared)

 2) Pre-suasion with Robert Cialdini (The Art of Charm)

3) The Psychology of Advertising with Rory Sutherland (Farnam Street)

4) Dollars and Sense with Jeff Kreisler (O Behave)

5) Behavioural Economics with Greg Davies (The Financial Wellbeing Podcast)

5 twitter handles to follow:



@R_Thaler ‏



5 TED talks to watch:

1. Dan Ariely: Are we in control of our decisions?

2. Rory Sutherland: Sweat the small stuff

3. Alex Laskey: How behavioral science can lower your energy bill

4. Sendhil Mullainathan: Solving social problems with a nudge

5. Daniel Kahneman: The riddle of experience vs. memory

Alternatively, you can skip the above and take an online course in Behavioural Economics from the brilliant, charming and witty Rory Sutherland. 

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Our Top 5 Books On Artificial Intelligence

How concerned should we be about Artificial Intelligence?

Regardless of whether you believe in a doomsday scenario or a more positive vision of putting your feet up whilst obedient robots attend to your every wish, the fact is AI is here to stay.

And the pace of it’s development is accelerating, rapidly.

Whilst there is no current consensus amongst the world’s experts as to how far away we are from AI surpassing human intelligence, it is clear that almost every industry is going to be affected in the near term by increasing reliance on AI technologies.

If you’re interested in knowing how the different scenarios might pan out and what you can do to prepare yourself then these five books are a great place to start:

1. Our Final Invention by James Barrat

It’s pretty clear to whom the prize for the most alarmist title for a book about AI should go to. Barrat’s agenda is clear from the start: we should all be very concerned about the speed of development of AI and its potential impact on humanity. The author admits that he started off with a more accepting view of the potential benefits but as he probed deeper soon realised the importance of having a healthy skepticism about the future. This is a shared concern for many of the world’s top AI scientists as well as Elon Musk who named Our Final Invention as one of 5 books everyone should read about the future. As a counter balance to the techno-utopian view of ‘friendly’ AI, this book is worth your time. Even if it is a little frightening.

2. Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies by Nick Bostrom

The focus of this illuminating read is whether or not we can solve the ‘superintelligence control problem’ before it’s too late. I.e. can we design AI in such a way that when it does overtake us it’ll do so in a manner that’s benign? As the author puts it, ‘…as the fate of the gorillas now depends more on us humans than on the gorillas themselves, so the fate of our species would depend on the actions of the machine superintelligence.’ As a New York Times bestseller, this book was key in fuelling the public debate about AI.

3. Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence by Max Tegmark

Tegmark is a professor of physics at MIT and a key AI influencer. His book examines both the near-future impacts of AI on topics as diverse as jobs, law and weaponry as well as looking at how things might look once machines overtake human intelligence. Whilst some of these scenarios like ‘1984’ and ‘Zookeeper’ don’t sound particularly appetising, Tegmark argues that without our involvement early on we will have little power to shape things in a more positive direction. Given he’s a brainy physicist, it is a bit heavy going in places but the final two chapters about goal setting and consciousness make for a riveting read.

4. Deep Thinking: Where Machine Intelligence Ends and Human Creativity Begins by Garry Kasparov

What makes this book so different from the rest is the level of insight Garry draws upon having participated first-hand in the evolution of computer intelligence. At the start of his career, no computer programme could touch him. In his twilight years, the roles were reversed and his defeat by IBM’s Deep Blue in 1997 is considered a watershed moment in the development of AI. It’s full of touching anecdotes and, as a reader, you’re left feeling that Kasparov remains in the optimistic camp despite the humbling personal defeat.

5. Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach by Peter Norvig

Peter Norvig’s bestseller is used in more than 1,000 universities around the world to teach undergraduate and graduate students about AI. Fortunately, it’s also an accessible book for the layman and offers a comprehensive account of AI theory and practice. It is probably the best book for those interested in starting at the very beginning and coming away with a strong grounding in this fast changing and century defining subject.

Humans will become as irrelevant as cockroaches.

— Marshall Brain, Author and Entrepreneur

Are there any other books on AI that you’ve enjoyed reading? Please share them below. 

Original Source