Here are our top ten recommendations if you are looking for the best books to read in Technology. We have made sure our list is diverse to cater to the interests of different types of readers.
1. Brief Answers to the Big Questions
Number-one New York Times best seller The world-famous cosmologist and author of A Brief History of Time leaves us with his final thoughts on the biggest questions facing humankind. "Hawking’s parting gift to humanity...a book every thinking person worried about humanity’s future should read." ( NPR ) Named one of the best books of the year by The Guardian and Wired Stephen Hawking was the most renowned scientist since Einstein, known both for his groundbreaking work in physics and cosmology and for his mischievous sense of humor. He educated millions of readers about the origins of the universe and the nature of black holes, and inspired millions more by defying a terrifying early prognosis of ALS, which originally gave him only two years to live. In later life he could communicate only by using a few facial muscles, but he continued to advance his field and serve as a revered voice on social and humanitarian issues. Hawking not only unraveled some of the universe's greatest mysteries but also believed science plays a critical role in fixing problems here on Earth. Now, as we face immense challenges on our planet - including climate change, the threat of nuclear war, and the development of artificial intelligence - he turns his attention to the most urgent issues facing us. Will humanity survive? Should we colonize space? Does God exist? These are just a few of the questions Hawking addresses in this wide-ranging, passionately argued final book from one of the greatest minds in history. Featuring a foreword by Eddie Redmayne, who won an Oscar playing Stephen Hawking, an introduction by Nobel Laureate Kip Thorne, and an afterword from Hawking's daughter, Lucy, Brief Answers to the Big Questions is a brilliant last message to the world. Praise for Brief Answers to the Big Questions : "Hawking is a symbol of the soaring power of the human mind." ( The Washington Post ) "Hawking's final message to readers...is a hopeful one." (CNN) "Brisk, lucid peeks into the future of science and of humanity." ( The Wall Street Journal ) "Hawking pulls no punches on subjects like machines taking over, the biggest threat to Earth, and the possibilities of intelligent life in space." ( Quartz ) "Effortlessly instructive, absorbing, up to the minute and - where it matters - witty." ( The Guardian ) "This beautiful little book is a fitting last twinkle from a new star in the firmament above." ( The Telegraph )
- Author: Stephen Hawking
- Genre: Audible Books & Originals, Science & Engineering, Science, Astronomy & Space Science, Astronomy
2. Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence
How will artificial intelligence affect crime, war, justice, jobs, society, and our very sense of being human? The rise of AI has the potential to transform our future more than any other technology - and there's nobody better qualified or situated to explore that future than Max Tegmark, an MIT professor who's helped mainstream research on how to keep AI beneficial. How can we grow our prosperity through automation without leaving people lacking income or purpose? What career advice should we give today's kids? How can we make future AI systems more robust so that they do what we want without crashing, malfunctioning, or getting hacked? Should we fear an arms race in lethal autonomous weapons? Will machines eventually outsmart us at all tasks, replacing humans on the job market and perhaps altogether? Will AI help life flourish like never before or give us more power than we can handle? What sort of future do you want? This book empowers you to join what may be the most important conversation of our time. It doesn't shy away from the full range of viewpoints or from the most controversial issues - from superintelligence to meaning, consciousness, and the ultimate physical limits on life in the cosmos.
- Author: Max Tegmark
- Genre: Computers & Technology, Computer Science, AI & Machine Learning, Intelligence & Semantics
3. Mistakes That Worked: 40 Familiar Inventions & How They Came to Be
The greatest discoveries are made outside the classroom! Learn all about mistakes that changed the world with this collection of the strange stories behind everyday inventions! It's no accident that you'll love this book! SANDWICHES came about when an English earl was too busy gambling to eat his meal and needed to keep one hand free. POTATO CHIPS were first cooked by a chef who was furious when a customer complained that his fried potatoes weren’t thin enough. Coca-Cola, Silly Putty, and X rays have fascinating stories behind them too! Their unusual tales, and many more, along with hilarious cartoons and weird, amazing facts, make up this fun-filled book about everyday items that had surprisingly haphazard beginnings. And don't miss Eat Your Words about the fascinating language of food! “A splendid book that is as informative as it is entertaining . . . a gem.” — Booklist , Starred Review
- Author: Charlotte Foltz Jones
- Publisher: Delacorte Press; Reissue edition (May 1, 1994)
- Genre: Children's Books, Education & Reference
- ISBN: 978-0385320436
- Dimensions: 8 x 0.28 x 8 inches
4. Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla: Biography of a Genius
Nikola Tesla (1856-1943), credited as the inspiration for radio, robots, and even radar, has been called the patron saint of modern electricity. Based on original material and previously unavailable documents, this acclaimed book is the definitive biography of the man considered by many to be the founding father of modern electrical technology. Among Tesla's creations were the channeling of alternating current, fluorescent and neon lighting, wireless telegraphy, and the giant turbines that harnessed the power of Niagara Falls.
- Author: Marc J. Seifer
- Genre: Engineering & Transportation, Engineering, Reference, History
5. The Hundred Dresses
This Newbery Honor classic, illustrated by a Caldecott Medalist, is a beautifully written tribute to the power of kindness, acceptance, and standing up for what's right. Wanda Petronski is ridiculed by her classmates for wearing the same faded blue dress every day. She claims she has one hundred dresses at home, but everyone knows she doesn’t. When Wanda is pulled out of school one day, the class feels terrible, and classmate Maddie decides that she is "never going to stand by and say nothing again." A gentle tale about bullies, bystanders, and having the courage to speak up.
- Author: Eleanor Estes
- Publisher: Clarion Books; 1-Simul edition (September 1, 2004)
- Genre: Children's Books, Literature & Fiction
- ISBN: 978-0152052607
- Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.37 x 8.38 inches
6. Stuff Matters: Exploring the Marvelous Materials That Shape Our Man-Made World
Why is glass see-through? What makes elastic stretchy? Why does a paper clip bend? These are the sorts of questions that Mark Miodownik is constantly asking himself. A globally renowned materials scientist, Miodownik has spent his life exploring objects as ordinary as an envelope and as unexpected as concrete cloth, uncovering the fascinating secrets that hold together our physical world. From the teacup to the jet engine, the silicon chip to the paper clip, the plastic in our appliances to the elastic in our underpants, our lives are overflowing with materials. Full of enthralling tales of the miracles of engineering that permeate our lives, Stuff Matters will make you see stuff in a whole new way.
- Author: Mark Miodownik
- Genre: Engineering & Transportation, Engineering, Materials & Material Science, Materials Science
7. Failure Is Not an Option: Mission Control from Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond
Gene Kranz was present at the creation of America's manned space program and was a key player in it for three decades. As a flight director in NASA's Mission Control, Kranz witnessed firsthand the making of history. He participated in the space program from the early days of the Mercury program to the last Apollo mission, and beyond. He endured the disastrous first years when rockets blew up and the United States seemed to fall further behind the Soviet Union in the space race. He helped to launch Alan Shepard and John Glenn, then assumed the flight director's role in the Gemini program, which he guided to fruition. With his teammates, he accepted the challenge to carry out President John F. Kennedy's commitment to land a man on the moon before the end of the 1960s. Kranz was flight director for both Apollo 11, the mission in which Neil Armstrong fulfilled President Kennedy's pledge, and Apollo 13. He headed the Tiger Team that had to figure out how to bring the three Apollo 13 astronauts safely back to Earth. (In the film Apollo 13, Kranz was played by the actor Ed Harris, who earned an Academy Award nomination for his performance.) In Failure Is Not an Option , Gene Kranz recounts these thrilling historic events and offers new information about the famous flights. What appeared as nearly flawless missions to the moon were, in fact, a series of hair-raising near misses. When the space technology failed, as it sometimes did, the controllers' only recourse was to rely on their skills and those of their teammates. Kranz takes us inside Mission Control and introduces us to some of the whiz kids - still in their twenties, only a few years out of college - who had to figure it all out as they went along, creating a great and daring enterprise. He reveals behind-the-scenes details to demonstrate the leadership, discipline, trust, and teamwork that made the space program a success.
- Author: Gene Kranz
- Genre: Engineering & Transportation, Engineering, Reference, History
8. AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order
THE NEW YORK TIMES , USA TODAY , AND WALL STREET JOURNAL BESTSELLER Dr. Kai-Fu Lee - one of the world’s most respected experts on AI and China - reveals that China has suddenly caught up to the US at an astonishingly rapid and unexpected pace. In AI Superpowers , Kai-fu Lee argues powerfully that because of these unprecedented developments in AI, dramatic changes will be happening much sooner than many of us expected. Indeed, as the US-Sino AI competition begins to heat up, Lee urges the US and China to both accept and to embrace the great responsibilities that come with significant technological power. Most experts already say that AI will have a devastating impact on blue-collar jobs. But Lee predicts that Chinese and American AI will have a strong impact on white-collar jobs as well. Is universal basic income the solution? In Lee’s opinion, probably not. But he provides a clear description of which jobs will be affected and how soon, which jobs can be enhanced with AI, and most importantly, how we can provide solutions to some of the most profound changes in human history that are coming soon.
- Author: Kai-Fu Lee
- Genre: Engineering & Transportation, Engineering
9. Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race
The #1 New York Times bestseller The phenomenal true story of the black female mathematicians at NASA whose calculations helped fuel some of America’s greatest achievements in space. Soon to be a major motion picture starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Kirsten Dunst, and Kevin Costner. Before John Glenn orbited the earth, or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as “human computers” used pencils, slide rules and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space. Among these problem-solvers were a group of exceptionally talented African American women, some of the brightest minds of their generation. Originally relegated to teaching math in the South’s segregated public schools, they were called into service during the labor shortages of World War II, when America’s aeronautics industry was in dire need of anyone who had the right stuff. Suddenly, these overlooked math whizzes had a shot at jobs worthy of their skills, and they answered Uncle Sam’s call, moving to Hampton, Virginia and the fascinating, high-energy world of the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory. Even as Virginia’s Jim Crow laws required them to be segregated from their white counterparts, the women of Langley’s all-black “West Computing” group helped America achieve one of the things it desired most: a decisive victory over the Soviet Union in the Cold War, and complete domination of the heavens. Starting in World War II and moving through to the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement and the Space Race, Hidden Figures follows the interwoven accounts of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson and Christine Darden, four African American women who participated in some of NASA’s greatest successes. It chronicles their careers over nearly three decades they faced challenges, forged alliances and used their intellect to change their own lives, and their country’s future.
- Author: Margot Lee Shetterly
- Publisher: William Morrow; Illustrated edition (September 6, 2016)
- Genre: Politics & Social Sciences, Social Sciences
10. No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention
Netflix cofounder Reed Hastings reveals for the first time the unorthodox culture behind one of the world's most innovative, imaginative, and successful companies. There has never before been a company like Netflix. It has led nothing short of a revolution in the entertainment industries, generating billions of dollars in annual revenue while capturing the imaginations of hundreds of millions of people in more than 190 countries. But to reach these great heights, Netflix, which launched in 1998 as an online DVD rental service, has had to reinvent itself over and over again. This type of unprecedented flexibility would have been impossible without the counterintuitive and radical management principles that cofounder Reed Hastings established from the very beginning. Hastings rejected the conventional wisdom under which other companies operate and defied tradition to instead build a culture focused on freedom and responsibility, one that has allowed Netflix to adapt and innovate as the needs of its members and the world have simultaneously transformed. Hastings set new standards, valuing people over process, emphasizing innovation over efficiency, and giving employees context, not controls. At Netflix, there are no vacation or expense policies. At Netflix, adequate performance gets a generous severance, and hard work is irrelevant. At Netflix, you don’t try to please your boss, you give candid feedback instead. At Netflix, employees don’t need approval, and the company pays top of market. When Hastings and his team first devised these unorthodox principles, the implications were unknown and untested. But in just a short period, their methods led to unparalleled speed and boldness, as Netflix quickly became one of the most loved brands in the world. Here for the first time, Hastings and Erin Meyer, best-selling author of The Culture Map and one of the world’s most influential business thinkers, dive deep into the controversial ideologies at the heart of the Netflix psyche, which have generated results that are the envy of the business world. Drawing on hundreds of interviews with current and past Netflix employees from around the globe and never-before-told stories of trial and error from Hastings’s own career, No Rules Rules is the fascinating and untold account of the philosophy behind one of the world’s most innovative, imaginative, and successful companies. *Includes a PDF containing examples of Netflix Culture Maps from the book. PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.
- Author: Reed Hastings
- Genre: Business & Money, Industries, Sports & Entertainment, Entertainment