Among his many activities Bill Gates reserves a special place for reading. The Microsoft co-founder, from time to time, shares his suggestions with the public about books that he believes are worth reading. It does so on the occasion of periods of the year that allow you to have more time available to dedicate yourself to this activity: so, after the previous advice given in view of the summer holidays, he returned to do it in the past few hours, when the Christmas holidays are now on the horizon .
What are the books that have impressed Gates the most during the 2021 ? Here are your end-of-year tips :
- Project Hail Mary . It is a sci-fi novel written by Andy Weir, the same author of The Martian, a best-seller from which the film directed and produced by Ridley Scott (Survived – The Martian) was based. The protagonist is a high school science professor who wakes up in another star system without remembering how he got there. Gates commented on the book like this: it’s a fun read, I finished it all in a weekend.
- Hamnet . Written by Maggie O’Farrell, it starts from facts related to the life of William Shakespeare to create a fictional story. The son to whom the title of the Italian version of the book, is that of Shakespeare. Hammet died at the age of 11 years, later the playwright wrote Hamlet. Gates calls the novel moving: I particularly enjoyed reading about (Shakespeare’s) wife, Anna, who is pictured here as an almost supernatural figure.
- Klara and the sun by Kazuo Ishiguro, the same author of Don’t leave me and What remains of the day. The book tells the love story between a little girl and a humanoid robot I love a good robot story, and Ishiguro’s novel about a ‘ artificial friend ‘for a sick girl is no exception. This book got me thinking about what life could be like with super-intelligent robots and whether we will treat these kinds of machines as pieces of technology or as something more – B. Gates.
- Deciphering life. Jennifer Doudna, the Nobel Prize-winning scientist who revolutionized gene editing . Walter Isaacson’s book explores the topic of gene editing with the CRISPR technique (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) through the work of Jennifer Doudna, Nobel laureate 2020 for chemistry. Gates’ interest in this is also justified because his Foundation is directly involved in projects related to this technology. In relation to the gene editing system via CRISPR Gates states: I know him from my work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – we are funding a series of projects using technology. But I still learned a lot from this comprehensive and accessible book about the discovery by Nobel Prize-winning biochemist Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues.
A Thousand Brains: A New Theory of Intelligence . Jeff Hawkins’ essay examines the relationships between neuroscience and machine learning. Gates comments: few topics have captured the imagination of science fiction writers like artificial intelligence. If you’re interested in learning more about what it might take to create true AI, this book offers a fascinating theory.