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You Look Like a Thing and I Love You: How Artificial Intelligence Works and Why It's Making the World a Weirder Place
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You Look Like a Thing and I Love You: How Artificial Intelligence Works and Why It's Making the World a Weirder Place

4.43  ·  Rating details ·  60 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Discover the book that Malcolm Gladwell, Susan Cain, Daniel Pink, and Adam Grant want you to read this year, an "accessible, informative, and hilarious" introduction to the weird and wonderful world of artificial intelligence (Ryan North).
"You look like a thing and I love you" is one of the best pickup lines ever... according to an artificial intelFRIDAY"
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published November 5th 2019 by Voracious
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Lucas Wiman Yes, it has cartoons in it that are adorable and also contain a lot of the jokes. I wouldn't recommend this as an audiobook.
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Sep 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun, irreverent guide to the world of artificial intelligence from the woman behind the fantastic AI Weirdness blog. The book's central premise can be summed up in a sentence: artificial intelligence is more widespread than we think... but it's also pretty stupid. Hence the many funny, charming and even cute examples of machine-generated oddness throughout: recipes that call for 'liquid toe water'; a list of Halloween costumes that includes 'Panda Clam' and 'Failed Steampunk Spider' (I actually want to ...more
Alex Sarll
I have to be very careful when I check Janelle Shane's AI Weirdness blog, because it has more than once left me laughing so much I couldn't breathe with its lists of an artificial intelligence's efforts to generate new entries in a given category – if you've somehow not seen any, I'd particularly recommend the paint colours and the names for guinea pigs. This book does draw from those lists, not least in the title – an AI-suggested chat-up line, and TBH one which would probably work on me. But m ...more
Nov 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy in return for my unbiased review!

This book provides an excellent summary of AI and how it works. It's written in a funny and easy going style, with absolutely adorable sketches. Seriously, it's worth reading this for the AI doodles. They made me burst out laughing a few times.

Moreover, as someone with almost no knowledge about AI, I can say confidently that this book manages to be clear and understandable, even if you don't kn
Aaron Mikulsky
Nov 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book was a quick read with not a lot of meat. I’ve captured the nuggets below that highlight my findings from the book. I would not waste my time reading the book, but it’s ok if you know nothing about AI and ML.

More and more of our lives are being governed by algorithms.
Sometimes AI is only a small part of a program while the rest of it is rules-based scripting. Other programs start out as AI-powered but switch control over to humans (CSC from chat bot to humans or self-drivin
Nicky Drayden
Nov 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm legit scared of murderbots now, so thanks? Great read. Fascinating insight into the best and worst AI has to offer.
Oct 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, first of all, You Look Like A Thing and I Love You is a pick up line AI came up with and as far as pick up lines go it’s actually pretty good. And hilarious. Pretty good and hilarious is an apt way to describe this entire book, actually. Especially if, like me, you’re interested in AI and find autocorrect hysterical. Because, as it turns out, advancements in robotics, specifically robotic intelligence are nowhere near as…well, as advanced as you might think. Or hope. Which, personally, I f ...more
Nov 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
First, I’d like to thank Hachette Audio, Janelle Shane, and for allowing me to listen to this audiobook for free.

This audiobook is under five hours long and gives a great explanation of AI (artificial intelligence) for those who don’t know much about it already. The narrator uses a very nice robot voice to represent the AI. Explanations use everyday language and gives meanings for computer/programming terms. Somewhere, I read that this book was almost like a “Astrophysics for People in
Lucas Wiman
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is really a pretty impressive achievement: it's very funny, informative, topical and the cartoons are cute too. The writing style is somewhat reminiscent of Randall Monroe (author of xkcd and "What If?"), though with fewer digressions into unrelated subjects. The audience for this book is really quite broad: I think even top experts will get something out of reading it, but it's also appropriate for anyone who wants to learn more about AI or just read a funny book.

I know a
Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm a longtime follower of AI Weirdness, and this is a great book. If you are new to AI, it's easy to understand the key concepts, as Janelle makes complex topics accessible through wonderful examples. Reading this book is a fun way to get yourself familiar with the language of AI as you will inevitably be faced with it. There are killer (literally in some cases) examples, funny (if the AI isn't making the jokes) cartoons and great (if you are a human reading the book) takeaways.

I lo
Shannon Clark
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Everyone should read this funny and important book about the limits of AI. Not just technologists and company founders like myself who are building companies that may use AI but everyone who lives and works in our modern society where the impact of AI is increasingly all around us. For good and for ill. (My autocorrect on my phone for example kept trying to make ill into I’ll in that last sentence.

AI is simultaneously under and over hyped and poorly understood by nearly everyone. This is a fant
Nov 04, 2019 rated it liked it
You Look Like a Thing and I Love You by Janelle Shane is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in late October.

Ahh, this is the source for those weird-ass list of cat names and recipes. With the help of programmers, AI draws from a huge catalog of pickup lines to create their own. There's a minor hit to major miss ratio when you ask AI for its own original ideas. With its cute comic sketches, oof, people who love punnynerdy jokes and memes would adore this book.
Oct 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book isn't for everyone, but it is for people looking at our own future with AI. So, I guess it is for everyone.
This book reads easily, complex computer science is presented at a layman's level without sounding condescending... all-around a well written book.
Full on anecdotes to make (what could be) a dry subject funny at times, there are plenty of real-world examples of AI effecting our lives today.
**I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Anne Janzer
Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Our AI overlords are coming and they're ... somewhat absurd.

Whether you believe the hand-wringing or the hype about artificial intelligence, this book is both reassuring. Janelle Shane manages to make topics like Markov Chains and unintentional memorization fascinating and funny. That's an exceptional feat of nonfiction writing.

I'd recommend this book to anyone even mildly interested in better understanding all of the buzz around Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.
Oct 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is one the best book I've ever read about AI. it's well researched and humorous at the same time.
I loved the humour, the style of writing and the clarity of the explanations.
I will surely visit the author's blog and look forward to reading her further books.
Highly recommended
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
Nov 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Good collection of humorous anecdotes to deliver a high level message that AI is only as smart as the data and programming put into it.
If you know nothing about AI, this will lower your expectations of many AI promises (in a good way).
If you already know about neural networks, then there is not much here you could not get from the author's blog posts.
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simple enough that a layperson such as myself can follow, and interspersed with anecdotes and examples, this is a must-read for folks who are interested in learning more about AI.
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Charming, funny, and informative!
Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book made me laugh. Often I felt like I was commiserating with the author about the challenges of getting an algorithm to learn the right thing.
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While moonlighting as a research scientist, Janelle Shane found fame documenting the often hilarious antics of AI algorithms.

Janelle Shane's humor blog,, looks at, as she tells it, "the strange side of artificial intelligence." Her upcoming book, You Look Like a Thing and I Love You: How AI Works and Why It's Making the World a Weirder Place, uses cartoons and humorous pop-cu
“Another application that may be particularly vulnerable to adversarial attack is fingerprint reading. A team from New York University Tandon and Michigan State University showed that it could use adversarial attacks to design what it called a masterprint—a single fingerprint that could pass for 77 percent of the prints in a low-security fingerprint reader.14 The team was also able to fool higher-security readers, or commercial fingerprint readers trained on different datasets, a significant portion of the time. The masterprints even looked like regular fingerprints—unlike other spoofed images that contain static or other distortions—which made the spoofing harder to spot.” 0 likes
“An AI shown a sheep with polka dots or tractors painted on its sides will report seeing the sheep but will not report anything unusual about it. When you show it a sheep-shaped chair with two heads, or a sheep with too many legs, or with too many eyes, the algorithm will also merely report a sheep. Why are AIs so oblivious to these monstrosities? Sometimes it’s because they don’t have a way to express them. Some AIs can only answer by outputting a category name—like “sheep”—and aren’t given an option for expressing that yes, it is a sheep, but something is very, very wrong.” 0 likes
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