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What do Joe DiMaggio and birth control pills have to do with AI? And what does a lost submarine have to do with the future of robotics? AIQ is a book written by two statistics professors who attempt to use major moments in the history of war, sports, and data science to demonstrate how AI shapes the world today.

AIQ uses plain English to explain mathematical concepts that underlie the major artificial intelligence trends today, including pattern recognition, prediction, and simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM). The original hardcover was released in 2018, and the paperback is out today.

Sprinkled throughout the book are tidbits from business history, such as how Netflix developed its recommendation algorithm and how Google made its image classification model Inception.

The book also contains important figures in data science history such as Abraham Wald, a Jewish refugee whose work on conditional probability helped guard fighter pilots from getting shot down in World War II, knowledge that plays a role in recommendation engines today.

Then there’s Henrietta Leavitt, whose work as a “computer” in the 1800s made it possible for Edwin Hubble to measure the size of the universe. Her prediction rule, devised to identify stars, is applied by Apple, Facebook, and Google today.

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