Book CLUB Compass reviews four new titles

PREDICTION MACHINES: THE SIMPLE ECONOMICS OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

AJAY AGRAWAL, JOSHUA GANS AND AVI GOLDFARB

Prediction Machines addresses the often negative misconceptions regarding artificial intelligence (AI), including the inevitability that it will replace humans in the job market.

Using economics, the authors argue that instead of generating intelligence, AI lowers the cost of prediction. By that by increasing the certainty of prediction, they say, AI also helps leaders make better decisions and reduce costs, highlighting humanity’s continued and pivotal role in an AI-enabled future.

256 pages, Harvard Business Review Press, April 2018, US$19.49 (hardcover)

THE MECHANICAL PATIENT: FINDING A MORE HUMAN MODEL OF HEALTH

SHOLOM GLOUBERMAN

In The Mechanical Patient, author Sholom Glouberman argues that current healthcare practice centers around a chemical/mechanical view of the body, largely ignoring social and relational aspects of health. In short, people need more than exercise and proper nutrition; they also need loving relationships, good friends and a viable social context.

Glouberman backs the growing movement of people searching for more humane healthcare management, introducing patients and families to a better understanding of the social and relational aspects of health.

192 pages, Taylor & Francis Group, June 2018, US$55.20 (hardcover)

LOST IN MATH: HOW BEAUTY LEADS PHYSICS ASTRAY

SABINE HOSSENFELDER

Is the belief that theories must be natural and beautiful hindering physics’ journey to major theoretical breakthroughs? Author Sabine Hossenfelder demonstrates why she believes that a preoccupation with beauty must be set aside to make way for objectivity and testable theories.

Lost in Math proposes that the way in which scientists create theories must be re-evaluated, and that only by allowing for disorganization can science finally discover the truth of physics.

304 pages, Basic Books, June 2018, US$26.51 (hardcover)

PRIMATE CHANGE: HOW THE WORLD WE MADE IS REMAKING US

VYBARR CREGAN-REID

In Primate Change, author Vybarr Cregan-Reid considers how the human body has adapted in the 200 years since the agricultural revolution.
Primate Change charts the evolution of the human body, changes in DNA and the health implications of modern lifestyles. With observations that range from the prevalence of prescription drugs to why our feet have grown by an average of two sizes over the past four decades, Cregan-Reid suggests simple ways to reverse damage from common modern lifestyles.

276 pages, Crown House Publishing, October 2018, US$19.65 (paperback)

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