Good non-technical resources for understanding machine learning

This will be a living post with links to resources I think are useful (or, in some cases, that I simply want to remember to look at) for non-ML-pros who want to understand machine learning and how it will change [work/society/etc]. Full disclosure, I worked on much of the HBR content. And while I vouch for a lot of the links below, like I said, some I haven’t yet read.

Overviews of machine learning or AI

An introduction to statistical learning (textbook)

Machine learning 101.

Andrew Ng: What Artificial Intelligence Can and Can’t Do Right Now

A visual introduction to machine learning

An NBER introduction to AI.

McKinsey’s introduction.


What Everyone Needs to Know About AI (book)

Andreessen Horowitz’s primer on AI and AI playbook

This MIT Technology Review article contains a fantastic plain english description of deep learning.

This slightly violates the non-technical rule, but there are many great MOOCs, several of them on Coursera. Andrew Ng’s classic ML course; his deep learning courses; and many more.

Intro to neural networks in 20 minutes 

Introduction to machine learning, Google News Initiative

The economics of machine learning

The single best starting point (and in book form)

Here is an NBER conference on the topic.

Big picture, trends, etc.

This CB Insights report is good on the VC-backed ML ecosystem.

Shivon Zilis’s various mappings are great comprehensive looks at the companies involved.

Benedict Evans on the next 10 years.

The New York Times on the “Great AI Awakening”

Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee with the big picture

For managers

How to spot a machine learning opportunity even if you aren’t a data scientist

What every manager should know about machine learning

How to tell if machine learning can solve your business problem

Visualizing algorithms



Slightly different, but a good short tutorial on predicting who died in the Titanic

Other lists of links

from HBR ($)

The best ML resources.

On bias and social impact.

Events, newsletters, etc.

Data Elixir newsletter

Tech Review’s The Algorithm newsletter

Conference: Machine Learning and the Market for Machine Intelligence

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s