Paradigms of Artificial Intelligence Programming by Peter Norvig

When the time came to choose the next computer science textbook that I would partake in, I decided to build on my previous readings of Lisp and Prolog books and learn about Artificial Intelligence programming. Historically both Lisp and Prolog were used a great deal in this realm. Since Common Lisp is my favorite language and you can write a Prolog interpreter in Lisp with minimal effort, naturally an AI book that uses Common Lisp would be the perfect fit for me. Perhaps the best book that fits this criteria is Paradigms of Artificial Intelligence by Peter Norvig.

PAIP was written almost twenty years ago but it is still very much relevant as an advanced Common Lisp programming book. Norvig has a great CL style and explains his reasoning and the history about the techniques he uses. I consider myself pretty versed in CL, but several times when reading this book I learned or rediscovered techniques that justified studying it. Much of Norvigs style can also be found in his online pdf Style Guide.

Even though this book is almost twenty years old, it still serves as a great introduction to AI programming. Chapters include paradigms about General Problem Solving, search trees, game playing and more. Of course it does not contain the latest and greatest AI research, but reading this book will give you a solid foundation of today’s AI concepts.

In conclusion, this book was a very enjoyable read and I hope to find more like it. I recommend it to all CL fans. Unfortunately if you do not know CL I would shy away from this book at first. It does have a section dedicated to learning CL, but it is far to short. For those new to Lisp, I recommend reading Practical Common Lisp first before diving into this book.

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