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The Book of Why

The Book of Why

The New Science of Cause and Effect

Start asking the big questions and learn how the study of causality revolutionized science and the world.

Cause and effect: it’s at the center of scientific inquiry, and yet for decades scientists had no way of answering simple questions, such as whether smoking causes cancer. In The Book of Why, Judea Pearl and Dana Mackenzie show how Pearl’s work on causality has broken through this stalemate, unleashing a revolution in our knowledge of the world. Anyone who wants to understand how science, the human mind, or artificial intelligence works needs The Book of Why.

“Illuminating. . . a valuable lesson on the history of ideas.” —New York Times

“This book really gets you thinking about cause and effect as it applies to issues of our time. . . . Extraordinary.” —Science Friday
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Genre: Nonfiction / Computers / Computer Science

On Sale: August 25th 2020

Price: $18.99 / $23.99 (CAD)

Page Count: 432

ISBN-13: 9781541698963

What's Inside

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Reader Reviews


One of Science Friday's "Best Science Books of 2018"
"Illuminating... The Professor Pearl who emerges from the pages of The Book of Why brims with the joy of discovery and pride in his students and colleagues... [it] not only delivers a valuable lesson on the history of ideas but provides the conceptual tools needed to judge just what big data can and cannot deliver."—New York Times
"Cause and effect is one of the most heavily debated, difficult-to-prove things in science and medicine. This book really gets you thinking about cause and effect as it applies to issues of our time, such as: How come cigarettes were around for years and we never showed they were causing cancer or heart disease? The authors goes through these cases like an interrogation, and it's just extraordinary."—Science Friday
"Seriously, everyone should read The Book of Why."—Jeff Witmer, American Mathematical Monthly
"'Correlation is not causation.' That scientific refrain has had social consequences...Judea Pearl proposes a radical mathematical bearing fruit in biology, medicine, social science and AI."—Nature
"Lively and accessible...Pearl was one of the visionary leaders of the causal revolution, and The Book of Why is his crowning achievement."—Jewish Journal
"Anyone interested in probing connections between cause and effect, and their relevance for the future of AI, will find this a fascinating and provocative book. Highly recommended."—CHOICE
"Judea Pearl is on a mission to change the way we interpret data. An eminent professor of computer science, Pearl has documented his research and opinions in scholarly books and papers. ... With the release of this historically grounded and thought-provoking book, Pearl leaps from the ivory tower into the real world...Pearl has given us an elegant, powerful, controversial theory of causality."—American Mathematical Society
"Have you ever wondered about the puzzles of correlation and causation? This wonderful book has illuminating answers and it is fun to read."
Daniel Kahneman, winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences and author of Thinking, Fast and Slow
"Pearl's accomplishments over the last 30 years have provided the theoretical basis for progress in artificial intelligence... and they have redefined the term 'thinking machine.'"—Vint Cerf, Chief Internet Evangelist, Google, Inc.
"Judea Pearl has been the heart and soul of a revolution in artificial intelligence and in computer science more broadly."—Eric Horvitz, Technical Fellow and Director, Microsoft Research Labs
"If causation is not correlation, then what is it? Thanks to Judea Pearl's epoch-making research, we now have a precise answer to this question. If you want to understand how the world works, this engrossing and delightful book is the place to start."—Pedro Domingos, professor of computer science, University of Washington, and author of The Master Algorithm
"The Book of Why ... questions and redefines the building blocks of our AI systems"—
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