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What are the Best Artificial Intelligence Books for Marketers?

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Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared in the Answering AI editorial section of our newsletter. Subscribe to the newsletter to get exclusive insights and resources twice weekly (usually Tuesday/Thursday), as well as select promotions.

Today’s Question: What are the best AI books for marketers?

In February 2011, IBM Watson defeated Jeopardy! Champions Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings in a historic man versus machine competition. I was awestruck. Shortly thereafter, I began my journey to understand the underlying technology—artificial intelligence—that made the victory possible.

At the time I had no idea what AI was, how it worked or what potential it held for marketing. But that all changed the following year when I read Automate This: How Algorithms Came to Rule Our World by Christopher Steiner.

Steiner tells the story of how intelligent algorithms were transforming industries, with Wall Street being the first domino to fall back in the 1980s. By 2012, when the book was published, 60 percent of all trades were executed by computers with little or no real-time oversight from humans.

Steiner stated, “Determining the next field to be invaded by bots is the sum of two simple functions: the potential to disrupt plus the reward for disruption.”

I have never looked at the marketing industry the same since reading that line. “The potential to disrupt plus the reward for disruption.” For me, the disruption of marketing through AI was inevitable. It was only a matter of time.

So, if you’re just getting started with AI, I definitely recommend Automate This to give you a broad perspective on what’s possible.

You’ll also want to check out:

  • AI for Marketers: An Introduction and Primer by Christopher S. Penn
  • Human + Machine: Reimagining Work in the Age of AI by Paul R. Daugherty and H. James Wilson
  • Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence by Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans and Avi Goldfarb
  • AI Superpowers by Kai-Fu Lee


And be sure to access our Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to AI in Marketing for additional book recommendations, as well as a collection of 100+ resources to accelerate your learning.

Have an AI question you want answered in an upcoming newsletter editorial? Submit your questions and feedback to marketing.ai@pr2020.com.

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