Summary of The Master Algorithm

How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World

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The Master Algorithm book summary
Soon, machines will learn on their own.


8 Overall

7 Applicability

9 Innovation

7 Style


That sci-fi moment you’ve been waiting for is here: Some machines are already learning on their own and even learning to program themselves. This lively, necessary report from computer science professor Pedro Domingos shows you what this transformation does for science and what it will do for human society. Machine learning is complex and the subject is conceptually dense, but Domingos explains it with clear love for his topic. He details how computers came to learn on their own; how learning algorithms function; and how competing theories of thinking and learning work. His vivid writing, anecdotes and examples help make the topic more accessible than you might expect (though the reader may have to do some heavy lifting). Domingos explains a lot, but sometimes relies too much on his illustrations. getAbstract recommends his treatise to anyone interested in how computers are revolutionizing society, in “machine learning” or in scientific development.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How “machine learning” works,
  • What five schools of thought about machine intelligence believe,
  • Why machine learning requires a “Master Algorithm” and
  • How the Master Algorithm will change the world.


The “Machine Learning Revolution”
You interact with “machine learning” every day. When Netflix suggests a movie or a search engine completes your query, that’s machine learning in action. This is revolutionary. Throughout history, if you wanted a machine to do something, you had to build...
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About the Author

Winner of the SIGKDD Innovation Award, Pedro Domingos is a professor of computer science at the University of Washington and a fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence. Readers can download the MLN learner “Alchemy” at

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