on 15 December 2002
After studying 'Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs' by Abelson & Sussman, I continued with 'Artificial Intelligence, a Modern Approach' (AIMA) by Russel & Norvig, and this book by Norvig. And I have to tell you that I'm impressed. Being practically illiterate concerning A.I. and Lisp not so long ago, I can't image having better companions and my road towards hopefully one day mastering both. This book in particular established my love for Lisp, and it is without doubt an invaluable book.
The AIMA book by Russel & Norvig, and this book by Norvig are perfect companions, where the first one has a theoretical approach and the latter 'fills in the blanks' when it comes down to actually implenting these wonderful A.I. concepts and techniques, and doing so in Lisp in particular. The very first book I mentioned shaped my capability of seeing some of the beauty in how these A.I. concepts are implemented in Norvig's ample Lisp code in his Book. The underlying concepts of the Lisp and Scheme languages are however also covered in Norvig's book, but not nearly as deeply. Everything else one needs to know about Lisp is covered more than well enough to support the significant leap forward.
on 24 January 2001
This book belongs to the kind of books that opens your mind. Like classical books from Ritchie, Wirth or others, this book introduces to a particular dimension in programming. IA programs are explained in a very accurate way, diffucult concepts are explained without being simplified, and all code runs perfectly and it's written in a wonderful way. It should be definied as a "mind-on" approach more than "hands-on". As Norvig explains, that's both a book on AI and a book on Lisp. In effects, you learn both of them, even better than studying on Graham's classic on Lisp or on more canonical AI introduction. Famous programs (from Eliza to Macsyma, Mycin and further) are explained in datail. That's a book that every researcher or developer should keep under his pillow.
on 19 February 2015
OK, the title makes it appear as if this is an AI book. It is, but it's also accidentally the best introduction to programming and structured thinking that money can buy. It introduces data oriented programming by working through classic AI examples, building from Eliza to the game of Othello. The code is in Lisp, but this is easily translated to your favourite variant (Scheme / Clojure).