The Book of Why
The New Science of Cause and Effect
A pioneer of artificial intelligence shows how the study of causality revolutionized science and the world
'Correlation does not imply causation.' This mantra was invoked by scientists for decades in order to avoid taking positions as to whether one thing caused another, such as smoking and cancer and carbon dioxide and global warming. But today, that taboo is dead. The causal revolution, sparked by world-renowned computer scientist Judea Pearl and his colleagues, has cut through a century of confusion and placed cause and effect on a firm scientific basis. Now, Pearl and science journalist Dana Mackenzie explain causal thinking to general readers for the first time, showing how it allows us to explore the world that is and the worlds that could have been. It is the essence of human and artificial intelligence. And just as Pearl's discoveries have enabled machines to think better, The Book of Why explains how we can think better.
Praise for The Book of Why
Judea Pearl has been the heart and soul of a revolution in artificial intelligence and in computer science more broadlyEric Horvitz, Technical Fellow and Director, Microsoft Research Labs
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.
Modern applications of AI, such as robotics, self-driving cars, speech recognition, and machine translation deal with uncertainty. Pearl has been instrumental in supplying the rationale and much valuable technology that allow these applications to flourishAlfred Spector, Vice President of Research, Google, Inc.
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 startPedro Domingos, professor of computer science, University of Washington, author of The Master Algorithm
Have you ever wondered about the puzzles of correlation and causation? This wonderful book has illuminating answers and it is fun to readDaniel Kahneman, winner of the Nobel Prize, author of Thinking, Fast and Slow