Hello, 2020! One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions is to read more, so as the world welcomes a new decade, Engineering360 is welcoming a new book list. Below are this year’s picks of top reads for engineers.

Source: Hannah Fry/W. W. Norton & CompanySource: Hannah Fry/W. W. Norton & Company

1) Hello World: Being Human in the Age of Algorithms by Hannah Fry

Mathematician Hannah Fry spent years studying math and has a Ph.D. in fluid dynamics. She wrote The Mathematics of Love after her successful 2014 TED Talk on the subject. Now she has written Hello World. In this book, Fry analyzes the problems humanity is facing in the algorithm age. The world relies on algorithms to make many important decisions every day. Algorithms are shaping the world, but are they shaping the world in the way that humanity needs it to be shaped? Also, when does privacy become more important than efficiency? Will algorithms cross that line? This book addresses all those questions while discussing the good, the bad and the ugly of algorithms and an algorithm-driven world.

(Source: Ravin Jesuthasan and John W. Boudreau)(Source: Ravin Jesuthasan and John W. Boudreau)2) Reinventing Jobs: A 4 Step Approach for Applying Automation to Work by Ravin Jesuthasan and John W. Boudreau

Sometimes it seems like the whole world is being automated, but when is it appropriate to add automation to a business? This book answers many questions that business owners and managers have when implementing automation. It also shows business owners how to stay on top of the latest trends without burning money or overwhelming their business. This book breaks down automation integration into four steps and gives the reader tools to identify the performance value of a job and how to reconstruct the job to integrate automation.

(Source: Sean Gerrish)(Source: Sean Gerrish)3) How Smart Machines Think by Sean Gerrish

Gerrish’s book breaks down recent developments in AI and machine learning and how they affect the world’s future. It outlines key ideas that enable intelligent machines to perceive and interact with the rest of the world. Gerrish explains the software behind many of the AI-based innovations that have emerged in the last few years. He explains the software behind self-driving cars, IBM Watson’s Jeopardy win, Netflix’s competition for a better search engine, how computers were trained to perform certain behaviors, how computers use artificial and neural networks to perceive the world and more. The book also outlines the difficulties of creating intelligent computers.

(Source: Stuart Russell)(Source: Stuart Russell)4) Human Compatible: AI and the Problem of Control by Stuart Russell

Stuart Russell worked on artificial intelligence (AI) for decades and now he is worried that it is will become too smart. His book focuses on one of the biggest questions facing humanity: what happens if humanity creates super-intelligent machines? Russell explains how AI works, how it improves lives and how to avoid AI-related disasters. He talks about how important it is for humans to keep control of AI machines, even if they become smarter than humans.

5) Blockchain 2035: The Digital DNA of Internet 3.0 by Jared Tate and Andrew Knapp

(Source: Jared Tate and Andrew Knapp)(Source: Jared Tate and Andrew Knapp)

Blockchain technology is the key to re-architecting the monetary system and internet networks, devices and systems to avoid technological doom. Blockchain is behind how nation-states, corporations and people compete and exercise power in today’s digital world. This book provides two perspectives, one from the founder of blockchain and the other is a former intelligence activist. With these two perspectives, the book addresses the technical and political implications that technology will have and how it can open an even broader world.

(Source: Steven Kotler and Peter H. Diamandis)(Source: Steven Kotler and Peter H. Diamandis)6) The Future Is Faster Than You Think: How Converging Technologies Are Transforming Business, Industries, and Our Lives by Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler

This book hasn’t been released yet but it should be at the top of any tech fan’s list. According to Diamandis and Kotler, the next ten years will see more of a tech upheaval than ever before and more tech will be created than in the past 100 years. This book is the blueprint for how the world will change in response to the next ten years of tech disruption and looks at how the accelerating technologies will impact society and daily life. The authors also answer questions about our future like; what will happen when the technologies crash together? How will legacy industries change? How will this change how humans raise kids, govern nations and care for the planet. Diamandis is a space entrepreneur and innovation pioneer. Kotler is an author and peak performance expert.

7) (Source: Daniel Davis)(Source: Daniel Davis)Upcycled Tech: Clever Projects You Can Do with Discarded Tech by Daniel Davis

This book is perfect for those looking to work on a new maker project without having to buy any materials. Davis wanted to create a book that encouraged makers to create DIY science and electronics projects at home with whatever is in their junk electronics drawer. With this book, makers can learn how to make a Wi-Fi security camera with an old cell phone, a basic 3D printer out of old computer disks and more. This is a great tech book for tinkers and makers looking for their next project.

8) Women Know Cyber: 100 Fascinating Females Fighting Cybercrime by Di Freeze and Steve Morgan

(Source: Di Freeze and Steve Morgan)(Source: Di Freeze and Steve Morgan)

Cybersecurity is a male-dominated profession. Men outnumber women in cybersecurity three to one according to a Cybersecurity Workforce report. But there are many women in cybersecurity. This book is based on the popular Twitter account @womenknowcyber. It details 100 leading cybersecurity experts around the globe who are protecting governments and businesses from cybercrime. Oh, and they’re women. Those who enjoy Electronic360’s CR4 blog, Women of the Week, will love reading all about the leading women in cybersecurity.

(Source: Sangu Delle)(Source: Sangu Delle)

9) Making Futures - Young Entrepreneurs in a Digital Africa by Sangu Delle

Mainstream media does not often portray Africa as a budding technological continent. But there are a lot of amazing innovations coming out of many African countries. Delle’s book looks at 18 entrepreneurs from 14 African countries who are creating technologies that are changing the world. Delle wanted to change the narrative about Africa by focusing on these young makers. This book also spreads knowledge about African markets and technology growth across the continent. These entrepreneurs represent what is possible and what could be scaled up in Africa.

10) (Source: Amy Webb)(Source: Amy Webb)The Big Nine: How the Tech Titans and Their Thinking Machines Could Warp Humanity by Amy Webb

While people like to think they are in control of AI and their data, they aren’t. Right now there are nine big companies that control AI and everything around it. Webb argues that these nine companies are changing the future for immediate financial gain, rather than the betterment of humanity. Webb reveals how the foundation of AI is broken and how people can save it. She argues that the big nine are inadvertently building and enabling arrays of intelligent systems that don’t share the same motivations, desires and hopes as humans do.

With this decade in its infancy, there is plenty of time to tackle this list of fascinating books. So go forth, read and learn more about the technology and people that run the world.

Want to read the lists of years past? Here is 2019 list and 2018 list.