10 Most Influential Tech Books in 2024

Most Influential Tech Books

In a world where reading rates are declining and our reliance on technology continues to grow, compiling a list of the 10 most influential tech books of 2024 may seem…ironic. Nevertheless, books remain a valuable medium for sharing information. In fact, with platforms like TikTok curating visually appealing lists tailored to every type of reader, the enthusiasm for books shows no signs of slowing down.

(Plus, it may be worth mentioning reading from paper has been shown to aid in memory retention compared to reading on the web.)

With more than 4 million books published each year, it’s hard to keep up with what’s capturing the interest of specific circles. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the 10 most influential tech books. Whether you’re a seasoned tech guru or simply curious about technological advancements like AI or microchips, here are some of the best tech books your BookTok feed may be overlooking.

Rewired: The McKinsey Guide to Outcompeting in the Age of Digital and AI

Rewired: The McKinsey Guide to Outcompeting in the Age of Digital and AI

Dubbed the ultimate playbook for managing businesses in the age of AI, “Rewired” is McKinsey & Company’s guide for organizations that want to stay cutting-edge but don’t quite know how to — yet. Based on an analysis of 200 large-scale digital and AI transformations, the McKinsey group argues that most organizations lack the necessary capabilities for continuous information.

But “Rewired” reveals secrets to long-term success in the digital era. It’s the go-to guide for business leaders aiming to rewire their companies to stay relevant digitally and ahead of the curve. McKinsey also has several resources for the studies its authors based this research on so you can dive even deeper into its findings. Get your copy of “Rewired” from Barnes & Noble or Amazon.

More About “Rewired”

  • Authors: Eric Lamarre, Kate Smaje, and Rodney W. Zemmel
  • Published In: 2023
  • Length: 368 pages
  • Topics: AI and digital transformation, organizational rewiring

Unmasking AI: My Mission to Protect What Is Human in a World of Machines

Unmasking AI: My Mission to Protect What Is Human in a World of Machines

AI bias is not a new issue. It’s been extensively explored and researched for years now, with findings only highlighting the apparent racial bias algorithms tend to have against non-white people, for example. Dr. Joy Buolamwini, founder of the Algorithmic Justice League — a digital advocacy nonprofit focused on raising awareness about AI’s societal impacts — provides a personal perspective on this topic in her debut book, “Unmasking AI.”

In “Unmasking AI,” Buolamwini emphasized the way we program computers only mirrors our own societal biases. She also confronts uncomfortable truths about how the tech industry’s practices contribute to racism, sexism, colorism, and ableism overlapping in AI systems. You can get a copy of “Unmasking AI” from Random House.

More About “Unmasking AI”

  • Author: Joy Buolamwini
  • Published In: 2023
  • Length: 336 pages
  • Topics: AI ethics, bias, societal impacts

Code to Joy: Why Everyone Should Learn a Little Programming

Code to Joy: Why Everyone Should Learn a Little Programming

Code to Joy” is a humorous, optimistic, and refreshing outlook on everything introductory to programming. Author and computer scientist Michael L. Littman argues that computer programming is as accessible a skill as reading, so this book is designed to be digestible to anyone, whether they’re novices or experienced programmers curious about a new language.

“Code to Joy” covers the fundamental components of how we tell computers what to do. Each chapter covers a different topic, including loops, variables, and conditionals. Littman’s website also has accompanying resources, including links to programming elements and running your Google Apps script. You can get a copy of “Code to Joy” on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

More About “Code to Joy”

  • Author: Michael L. Littman
  • Published In: 2023
  • Length: 232 pages
  • Topics: Programming concepts, optimism with human-machine interaction

Deep Learning With Python, Second Edition

Deep Learning With Python, Second Edition

Python is one of the easiest (arguably most creative) programming languages to learn, but everybody needs a teacher to get started. That’s where “Deep Learning With Python (Second Edition)” comes into play. This revised and expanded edition released four years after its first edition incorporates updated content and new insights from brand-new research.

For example, “Deep Learning With Python” dives into software advances like automated language translation and image recognition, which are newer technologies in recent years. The second edition is also tailored for novices, making this beautifully illustrated version a deep dive into Python for all levels of expertise. You can get a copy from the “Deep Learning With Python” publisher, Manning.

More About “Deep Learning With Python”

  • Author: François Chollet
  • Published In: 2021
  • Length: 504 pages
  • Topics: Python coding, deep learning from first principles

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power

“Let there be a digital future, but let it be a human future first.” Writer and social psychologist Shoshana Zuboff emphasizes this line of thinking in her book “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism.” In it, Zuboff points out that tech giants like Google and Amazon have developed business models centered around what Zuboff calls “surveillance capitalism,” a new form of capitalism aiming to control and direct behavior through predictive analytics.

Surveillance capitalism is much more than tracking your data to create tailored advertisements. Zuboff illustrates through real-life examples the implications of surveillance capitalism and its effects on society, reminding us to keep human values and autonomy at the forefront amid technological advancements. Get a copy of “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism” on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or any major book retailer.

More About “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism”

  • Author: Shoshana Zuboff
  • Published In: 2018
  • Length: 704 pages
  • Topics: Surveillance capitalism, power struggles in the digital age

The Myth of Artificial Intelligence: Why Computers Can’t Think the Way We Do

The Myth of Artificial Intelligence: Why Computers Can’t Think the Way We Do

The Myth of Artificial Intelligence” by tech entrepreneur Erik J. Larson offers a reassuring perspective on AI’s impact on our lives. He argues that since Alan Turing’s time, there’s been a misconception that AI can achieve human-level intelligence or superintelligence. But while AI may indeed replace human labor for tasks like data entry and some forms of automation, Larson goes against the notion that AI will ultimately replace human intelligence.

AI primarily relies on mathematical thinking, such as inductive reasoning. In contrast, human intelligence is far more gray and complex, involving contextual understanding and experienced-based decision-making. You can learn more about Larson’s points by getting a copy of “The Myth of Artificial Intelligence” from Barnes & Noble, Bookshop, or Amazon.

More About “The Myth of Artificial Intelligence”

  • Author: Erik J. Larson
  • Published In: 2021
  • Length: 320 pages
  • Topics: AI limitations, human intelligence

Survival of the Richest: Escape Fantasies of the Tech Billionaires

Survival of the Richest: Escape Fantasies of the Tech Billionaires

There are dozens of dystopian movies and TV shows where the elite rich with the right connections are protected from the harsh realities of civil wars or apocalypses. (Media mimics real life: Mark Zuckerberg is reportedly constructing a compound in Hawaii with an underground bunker.) “Survival of the Richest” is a book that dissects the issue of social disparity in a time of crisis. More specifically, theorist and author Douglas Rushkoff critiques how tech elites may be sitting a little too pretty in Silicon Valley.

The book tells the story of how Rushkoff attended a meeting on a private island with five of the world’s wealthiest men. They wanted his opinion on surviving an event that may render the world unlivable. “Survival of the Richest” critiques the ethos of capitalism by highlighting how the billionaire mindset prioritizes wealth accumulation instead of systemic issues that these top percenters could help solve without impacting their lifetime earnings. Find “Survival of the Richest” on W. W. Norton.

More About “Survival of the Richest”

  • Author: Douglas Rushkoff
  • Published In: 2022
  • Length: 224 pages
  • Topics: Critique of Silicon Valley culture, technology-driven escapism

The Coming Wave: Technology, Power, and the 21st Century’s Greatest Dilemma

The Coming Wave: Technology, Power, and the 21st Century’s Greatest Dilemma

We’ve all heard of doomsday preppers, the ones with bunkers and basements filled with toilet paper, canned goods, and water jugs. “The Coming Wave” isn’t as extreme as the traditional prepper, but it’s still a wake-up call that many of us may be passively avoiding: The novel explores the critical pivot the human race is about to embark on thanks to technological advances — and let’s be honest; we’ve all worried about just how smart tech will get.

In “The Coming Wave,” author and AI entrepreneur Mustafa Suleyman discusses the “containment problem.” This problem involves managing powerful technologies to control them and avoid harmful outcomes. Suleyman also includes a glossary of these theories so you can dive right in. You can get “The Coming Wave” on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, and other book retailers.

More About “The Coming Wave”

  • Author: Mustafa Suleyman
  • Published In: 2023
  • Length: 352 pages
  • Topics: Technology revolution, ethics, the role of AI in society

Chip War: The Fight for the World’s Most Critical Technology

Chip War: The Fight for the World’s Most Critical Technology

Just as electricity replaced whale blubber and oil became the new gold of the 1900s, microchips emerged as the new oil of the 21st century. As the recipient of the 2022 Financial Times Business Book of the Year award, “Chip War” by economic historian Chris Miller dives into the rise of microchips in our social and economic times.

“Chip War” discloses that China spends more money each year importing chips than it spends importing oil, putting the U.S. military superiority and economic prosperity at risk. In turn, the U.S. is no longer the #1 chip manufacturer. While microchips have revolutionized modern daily life, their production carries environmental impacts, national security vulnerabilities, and potential implications for global trade dynamics. Get your copy of “Chip War” on Amazon.

More About “Chip War”

  • Author: Chris Miller
  • Published In: 2022
  • Length: 464 pages
  • Topics: Geopolitical and economic implications of microchip technology

Reality+: Virtual Worlds and the Problems of Philosophy

Reality+: Virtual Worlds and the Problems of Philosophy

If “The Matrix” is one of your favorite movies, then “Reality+” by Australian philosopher David Chalmers may be right up your alley. In his debut novel, Chalmers presents a theory positing that virtual reality is genuine reality. In other words, it explores how physical reality and the expanding realm of virtual worlds, including the metaverse and possible alternative realities, can merge seamlessly.

“Reality+” also draws parallels to René Descartes’ skepticism about reality — as in, how can we claim to know anything with absolute certainty? — and explores the idea that we don’t know for a fact that we’re not living in a simulated world like Neo and the Matrix. Perhaps most shockingly, “Reality+” also argues that individuals can lead meaningful lives amid the universe of a combined real and virtual reality. Get “Reality+” on Amazon, Penguin, or W. W. Norton.

More About “Reality+”

  • Author: David Chalmers
  • Published In: 2022
  • Length: 544 pages
  • Topics: Virtual reality, philosophy

Spruce Up Your 2024 Reading List

Whether you lean toward cozy romcoms or immersive high-fantasy worlds, there’s a good chance one of our 10 most influential tech books is going to pique your interest and leave you curious about tech and society. Let these reads spark your curiosity and happy exploring!