Artificial Intelligence Deals Programming Reading Material

Get started with Python and AI with 3 books for only a dollar!

Covers of the books “Transformers for Natural Language Processing,” “Machine Learning with PyTorch and SciKit-Learn,” and “Artificial Intelligence with Python.”
Banner for “The SocialCode x Tampa — Embracing the AI Revolution.”
Are you in Tampa on Thursday, September 7th? Join me and other Tampa AI enthusiasts at The SocialCode x Tampa for an AI panel and networking event!

The current “best bang for your buck” deal on AI ebooks is the 3-book version of Humble Bundle’s Machine Learning and AI 2023 book bundle, which is available for a mere one US dollar for the next 16 days.

I already own one of the three (Artificial Intelligence with Python, Second Edition), but I’m not going to complain about getting two new-to-me books at 50 cents each!

The books are:

  1. Artificial Intelligence with Python, Second Edition, by Alberto Artasanchez and Prateek Joshi. This book is a great introduction to artificial intelligence via TensorfFow and Python, and great companion for the other two books in this one-dollar set.
  2. Machine Learning with PyTorch and Scikit-Learn, by Sebastian Raschka, Yuxi (Hayden) Liu, and Vahid Mirjalili. PyTorch offers both neural networks and tensors, Scikit-Learn provides a collection of machine learning algorithms, and this book walks you through both.
  3. Transformers for Natural Language Processing, Second Edition, by Denis Rothman. The “T” in ChatGPT is “transformer,” and this book covers them extensively. I’m looking forward to the exercise where you use Hugging Face to pretrain a RoBERTa model from scratch.

Are you looking for an economical way to become an AI development expert? Spend a buck on these three books, get any computer made in the past dozen years with plenty of RAM (SODIMMS for old computers are pretty cheap these days), and do the exercises in the books. We’re early enough into the new AI age that if you do all these, you’ll be ahead of most aspiring AI developers out there.

Find out more about these books and this deal!

Deals Programming Reading Material

Manning ebooks, print books, and videos are on sale until July 31!

From now until midnight Eastern time (UTC-4) on July 31st, Manning’s books and videos on software development and technology are selling at greatly reduced prices:

  • ebooks: $22.99 instead of $39.99
  • print books: $29.99 instead of $49.99
  • videos: $19.99 instead of $29.99

Check the out at

(I’m not affiliated with Manning in any way, other than I own some Manning books and get their announcement emails, which is how I found out about this.)

Artificial Intelligence Reading Material Video

Douglas Hofstadter, “Gödel, Escher, Bach” and his take on the state of AI today

Collage featuring the cover of “Godel, Escher, Bach,” Douglas Hofstadter, and Amy Jo Kim.

If your curiosity about artificial intelligence goes beyond bookmarking those incessant “10 ChatGPT prompts you need to know” posts that are all over LinkedIn, you should set aside some time to read Douglas’ Hofstadter’s Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid and watch his new interview.

Gödel, Escher, Bach

I might never have read it, if not for Dr. David Alex Lamb’s software engineering course at Queen’s University, whose curriculum included reading a book from a predetermined list and writing a report on it. I’ll admit that I first rolled my eyes at having to write a book report, but then noticed that one of the books had both “Escher” and “Bach” in the title. I had no idea who “Gödel” was, but I figured they were in good company, so I signed up to write the report on the book I would later come to know as “GEB.”

I’ll write more about why I think the book is important later. In the meantime, you should just know that it:

  • Helped me get a better understanding of a lot of underlying principles of mathematics and its not-too-distant relative, computer science, especially the concepts of loops and recursion
  • Advanced my thinking about how art, science, math, and music are intertwined, and inspired one of my favorite sayings: “Music is math you can feel
  • Gave me my favorite explanations of regular expressions and the halting problem
  • Taught me that even the deepest, densest subject matter can be explained with whimsy
  • Provided me with my first serious introduction to ideas in cognitive science and artificial intelligence

Yes, this is one of those books that many people buy, read a chapter or two, and then put on their bookshelf, never to touch it again. Do not make that mistake. This book will reward your patience and perseverance by either exposing you to some great ideas, or validate some concepts that you may have already internalized.

At the very least, if you want to understand “classical” AI — that is AI based on symbol manipulation instead of the connectionist, “algebra, calculus, and stats in a trench coat” model of modern AI — you should Gödel, Escher, Bach.

A new Hofstadter interview!

Posted a mere three days ago at the time of writing, the video above is a conversation between Douglas Hofstadter and Amy Jo Kim. It’s worth watching, not only for Hofstadter’s stories about how GEB came to be, but also for his take on current-era large language models and other generative AI as well as the fact that he’s being interviewed by game designer Amy Jo Kim. Among other things, Kim was a systems designer on the team that made the game Rock Band and worked on the in-game social systems for The Sims.

Watch the video — I’ll write more about it later.

Deals Programming Reading Material

Get these 5 books for 1 dollar at Humble Bundle!

There’s a Humble Bundle deal going on for the next nine days at the time of writing: the Popular Programming Languages book bundle, featuring books by O’Reilly. There’s a “15 books for $25” version of the deal and a “10 books for $18” version.

If you’re still iffy about parting with that much money, you might be interested in the $1 deal, which gets you these five books:

Once again, the deal is here, and it’s good for the next nine days at the time of writing.

Deals Reading Material Security

Humble Bundle’s deal on cybersecurity and forensics books from CRC Press

Screenshot of Humble Bundle’s “Cybersecurity and Forensics” bundle page

The latest interesting book bundle from Humble Bundle is the Cybersecurity and Forensics Bundle, which gets you 19 cybersecurity and cyberforensics books by CRC Press for a mere $25 — that’s just $1.32 per book!

As I write this, you have 17 days before this deal disappears. If you need books on cybersecurity and forensics, get these now!

Click here to go to Humble Bundle’s Cybersecurity and Forensics bundle page.

Reading Material Tampa Bay

Made in Tampa

Made in Tampa is a site all about the unexpected, thriving tech and startup scene here in “The Other Bay Area, on The Other West Coast.” It’s been growing for the past decade, and that growth has only accelerated in the post-COVID, highly-networked, increasingly work-from-anywhere world, and Made in Tampa is here to cover it.

Their latest installment is about an accordion-playing techie whom you might know, but you should make sure to check out their other pieces, including:

Keep an eye on not just Tampa Bay, but also Made in Tampa!

My thanks to Amanda Kern for the wonderful interview and write-up, and to Jason Allen for setting this up!

Artificial Intelligence Deals Programming Reading Material

Humble Bundle’s deal on No Starch Press’ Python books

Banner for Humble Bundle’s No Starch Press Python book bundle

I love No Starch Press’ Python books. They’re the textbooks I use when teaching the Python course at Computer Coach because they’re easy to read, explain things clearly, and have useful examples.

And now you can get 18 of their Python ebooks for $36 — that’s $2 each, or the cost of just one of their ebook, Python Crash Course, Third Edition!

Check out the deal at Humble Bundle, and get ready to get good at Python! At the time of writing, the bundle will be available for 20 more days.

Banner for Tampa Artificial Intelligence Meetup

Consider these books recommended reading for the Tampa Artificial Intelligence Meetup, which is now under my management, and holding a meeting later this month!