About the Book

The Master Algorithm

The Master Algorithm

How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World
January 2017
Not Yet Published
Trade Paperback · 352 Pages
$17.50 U.S. · $22.99 CAN · €13.99 E.U.
ISBN 9780465094271
Basic Books


Algorithms increasingly run our lives. They find books, movies, jobs, and dates for us, manage our investments, and discover new drugs. More and more, these algorithms work by learning from the trails of data we leave in our newly digital world. Like curious children, they observe us, imitate, and experiment. And in the world's top research labs and universities, the race is on to invent the ultimate learning algorithm: one capable of discovering any knowledge from data, and doing anything we want, before we even ask. Machine learning is the automation of discovery — the scientific method on steroids — that enables intelligent robots and computers to program themselves. No field of science today is more important yet more shrouded in mystery. Pedro Domingos, one of the field's leading lights, lifts the veil for the first time to give us a peek inside the learning machines that power Google, Amazon, and your smartphone. He charts a course through machine learning's five major schools of thought, showing how they turn ideas from neuroscience, evolution, psychology, physics, and statistics into algorithms ready to serve you. Step by step, he assembles a blueprint for the future universal learner — the Master Algorithm — and discusses what it means for you, and for the future of business, science, and society. If data-ism is today's rising philosophy, this book will be its bible. The quest for universal learning is one of the most significant, fascinating, and revolutionary intellectual developments of all time. A groundbreaking book, The Master Algorithm is the essential guide for anyone and everyone wanting to understand not just how the revolution will happen, but how to be at its forefront.

About the Author

Pedro Domingos is a professor in the department of computer science and engineering at the University of Washington in Seattle. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Irvine and went on to win the Best Paper Award two years in a row at KDD, the top data mining conference. He co-founded the International Machine Learning Society in 2001. He is a Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence and has received several major awards and fellowships, including a Fulbright, a Sloan Fellowship, and the National Science Foundation's CAREER Award. Domingos has held visiting positions at Stanford, MIT, and Carnegie Mellon, and is an alumnus of the Clarion West Writers' Workshop. He lives in Washington State.