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The Book of Why

The Book of Why

The New Science of Cause and Effect

A Turing Award-winning computer scientist and statistician shows how understanding causality has revolutionized science and will revolutionize artificial intelligence

“Correlation is not causation.” This mantra, chanted by scientists for more than a century, has led to a virtual prohibition on causal talk. Today, that taboo is dead. The causal revolution, instigated by Judea Pearl and his colleagues, has cut through a century of confusion and established causality–the study of cause and effect–on a firm scientific basis. His work explains how we can know easy things, like whether it was rain or a sprinkler that made a sidewalk wet; and how to answer hard questions, like whether a drug cured an illness. Pearl’s work enables us to know not just whether one thing causes another: it lets us explore the world that is and the worlds that could have been. It shows us the essence of human thought and key to artificial intelligence. Anyone who wants to understand either needs The Book of Why.
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Genre: Nonfiction / Computers / Computer Science

On Sale: May 15th 2018

Price: $19.99 / $24.99 (CAD)

Page Count: 432

ISBN-13: 9780465097616

What's Inside

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Praise

"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."—Jonathan A. Knee, New York Times
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"'Correlation is not causation.' That scientific refrain has had social consequences...Judea Pearl proposes a radical mathematical solution...now bearing fruit in biology, medicine, social science and AI."—Nature
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"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
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"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
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"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.
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"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
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"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
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Meet The Author: Judea Pearl

Judea Pearl is a professor of computer science at UCLA and winner of the 2011 Turing Award and the author of three classic technical books on causality. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

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Meet The Author: Dana Mackenzie

Dana Mackenzie is an award-winning science writer and the author of The Big Splat, or How Our Moon Came to Be. He lives in Santa Cruz, California.

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