Ben Auffarth is the author of Artificial Intelligence in Python Cookbook, we got the chance to sit down with him and find out more about his experience of writing with Packt.
Q: What was your motivation for writing this book?
Ben: I was fascinated with artificial intelligence and machine learning from a young age from the perspective of understanding learning and cognition, and in order to make things work. I am hoping to share some of that passion with readers.
Q: How long did it take you to write the book?
Ben: From conception to publication it was close to a year.
Q: What kind of research did you do, and how long did you spend researching before beginning the book?
Ben: I made a list of what I would want to read in a book like this, and I kept updating it. The main challenge for me was to find ideas for recipes that were both feasible, but still captivating and novel enough that people would like it. I searched both for ideas and tools that people would want to learn about, and then checked if ideas and tools connected in a compelling way. I never really stopped searching and revising during the writing process.
Q: What’s your take on the technologies discussed in the book? Where do you see these technologies heading in the future?
Ben: It’s a trend for tools to become more robust and applicable to broader sets of problems, however, any true autonomy or consciousness is far off.
Q: Did you face any challenges during the writing process? How did you overcome them?
Ben: Many of my recipes were very challenging, and they took me a lot of time to polish. Even though I kept up with the schedule, it was harrowing and would have been unsustainable alongside work and family without the support of my partner, who compromised on her time, so I could dedicate time to the book.
Q: How do you see these technologies benefiting society in the long run?
Ben: We live in a time of technological and societal change, and machine learning and AI are in the center. Life will get easier for humans because of these tools, although, it comes with new challenges, and the change can be very impactful for all of us as evidenced by the political crises of our time.
Q: What advice would you give to readers learning tech? Do you have any top tips?
Ben: Technology and research is evolving at an ever accelerating pace, and if you want to keep up, you need to keep in touch with the pulse and continuously challenge yourself: visit conference, meetups, read books, do tutorials, and so on.
Q. How do you keep up-to-date on your tech?
Ben: I think about different technologies and bigger ideas, and try to follow them by reading and building my own tools.
Q. Do you have a blog that readers can follow?
Ben: I used to have a blog, but now I only post occasionally on linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ben-auffarth
Q. How would you describe you author journey with Packt? Would you recommend Packt to aspiring authors?
Ben: The editors at Packt impressed me very much. They are technically savvy, good at tweaking explanations, and pointing out weaknesses in style and expression.
You can find Ben’s books on Amazon by clicking on the cover image: