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Guest Post: 5 Highly Recommended Books on Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI)

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The following is an article submitted by Harsh Arora, a freelance blogger and writer who shares a similar interest in artificial intelligence, futurism, and the future of the human race. To Mr. Arora, I sincerely thank you for this submission and your continued support.


We would first of all like to welcome all types of readers to our blog – newbies who are just interested about these buzzwords and also experts on the subjects who would like to extend their existing knowledge on the matter. Having established that, it is also imperative to not only define these two concepts (AI and ML) but also to differentiate between them. Although these terms are used synonymously, they are in fact different from one another. AI is the broader level concept where we feed the machine with data and then expect it to take decisions based on that data. ML on the other hand is a subset and application of AI where we feed machines with data and allow them to learn on their own.

Following are the books we recommend for you to learn more about them:

Machine Learning for Absolute Beginners: A Plain English Introduction – Oliver Theobald

It’s easy to see which part of our reader base this particular book is targeted towards. You may be a complete outsider to the world of ML and still be able to understand the granular technical aspects of it through this book. Oliver Theobald assumes no background of programming or coding on the behalf of the reader and allows you to learn right from scratch. It is not only the perfect book for newbies but also experts in the field because it tries to explain the basic concepts in a very coherent and distinct manner. This books not only helps you learn about the concepts of ML but also allows you to unlearn and then relearn them, something is really important for such a subject matter.

The Hundred-Page Machine Learning Book – Andrew Burkov

This is once again a book that will interest not only beginners but also experts in the field. Andrew has really been able to simplify the concepts of ML into basic and easily comprehensible set of cliff notes. With just 100 pages at his disposal, he has really captured the over-arching essence of ML. Though, of course it is not a deep dive into the subject matter like some of our other recommendations, it is however a wonderful summary of it. It is perfect for people who want to understand this technology and its implementations and implications in the real world.

Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach (3rd Edition) – Stuart Russell & Peter Norvig

Stuart Russel is one of the sharpest minds working in the field of AI and is a faculty at University of Berkeley. Additionally, he is an Oxford graduate and also holds a PhD from Stanford. In his third edition of the book, Stuart decided to collaborate with Peter Norvig who is currently the R&D Director at Google. Collaboratively, they have created a well-researched and well-defined approach towards understanding modern AI. This book is perfect for students of under-graduate or graduate level courses or even for laymen with the basic understanding of the fundamentals of AI. This long-anticipated edition of its best-seller predecessors offers the most up-to-date and comprehensive understanding of the theory and practice of artificial intelligence.

Machine Learning – Tom M. Mitchell

This is a classic book in which the author has covered the techniques and concepts of the numerous fields and unified them to provide in depth view of ML. Some of the subjects covered include re-enforcement learning, inductive logic programming and genetic algorithms. Tom has tried to simplify these complicated concepts through a clear and explanatory way of writing. At the same time, he has used tools such as case studies and relevant examples to provide a comprehensive overview. Lastly, there is no knowledge of the complex ideas that he has assumed on the part of the reader.

Superintelligence – Nick Bostrom

If you are familiar with the work of Mr. Nick Bostrom, you know you are in for a treat with this book. He takes a different approach to not only explain the artificial intelligence but also the effects it has on our existence. Nick believes that self-aware machines are potentially a bigger threat to humanity than climate change. He has authored over 200 books and his writing forces you to take him seriously in this seemingly sci-fi piece of literature. He helps us understand how the most intelligent form of life i.e. now humans have governed the fate of existence since the dawn. However, with a species (sort of) that has the potential to be smarter than us, what chance is there that they won’t dominate us?

Artificial Intelligence for Humans (Fundamental Algorithms: 1) – Jeff Heaton

If you are planning to build a career in artificial intelligence, this should be your starting off point and you should read it from cover to cover. Jeff Heaton cover several topics in depth such as clustering, distance metrics, dimensionality, linear regression, error calculation and hill climbing. The book takes you through the actual mathematical calculations that you can compute yourself and also see the real-world applications of. However, to build a career in this industry, you must not only understand the basic principals of AI but also of algebra and computer programming. This book will build on those concepts through various computer languages such as C, Java, C#, R and Python.

These books are some of the best in the market and will be perfect for people of all knowledge levels of AI and ML. Given that the industrial revolution 4.0 is upon us and almost all technology is slowly being integrated with it, it is suggested that we all learn more about it. However, it is completely up to you to form opinions about whether or not this technology will be harmful to humans in the long run. Additionally, we also suggest you read up on a few other technologies that are prevalent in this 4.0 era such as IOT, Blockchain and Cloud Computing.

About me: Harsh Arora is a proud father of four rescued dogs and a leopard gecko. Besides being a full-time dog father, he is a freelance content writer/blogger and a massage expert who is skilled in using the best massage gun.

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Publishing Efforts Update: ANOTHER REJECTION

A while back, I announced that I had submitted a manuscript for what I’d hoped would be my third published novel. I’d submitted it to the same publisher that had previously published my first two novels, “Passion Relapse” and “Rescued Hearts.” I hoped to continue building a larger catalog with them in the name of building a stronger partnership.

Well, I’m sorry to say that I heard back from them and the news was not what I had hoped. For the second submission in a row, I got a rejection letter. It wasn’t a mean one. The editors I work with are incredibly considerate and given all the submissions they get, they’ve been wonderful to work with every step of the way. Unfortunately, they just couldn’t get behind my story.

It is disappointing. I had high hopes for this manuscript. I wrote it with the intention of making it a real niche title that would’ve appeal to a specific segment of the erotica/romance market. I thought that would give it more appeal than the last manuscript I submitted. I guess I was mistaken.

I’m not sure what I’ll do with this or the other one they rejected. I’m still struggling to find other publishers who are willing to hear me out. However, I am not discouraged and I still intent to keep submitting.

As I write this, I’m putting what I hope to be the finishing touches on my next manuscript. This one is a bit more general and should appeal to more romance fans. It has many similar elements to “Passion Relapse” and “Rescued Hearts.” I have high hopes for it and hope to submit it soon. I also have another draft that I’m hoping to finish in the coming weeks.

In any case, I have plenty of sexy stories to tell, including more sexy short stories. This is a setback, but it’s not a defeat.

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“Rescued Hearts” Cover Revealed!

Before I get too distracted by beer, fireworks, and barbecue, I have a quick announcement to make about the upcoming release of “Rescued Hearts.” I still haven’t gotten the second round of edits from Totally Entwined Group, but as far as I know, the release schedule I recently announced is still on track.

That process is moving along in as efficient and sexy way as possible. Just like “Passion Relapse,” there is a larger method to the sexiness. Earlier this week, Totally Entwined Group and I took another step in that process. They sent me the cover art for “Rescued Hearts.” If you thought the cover of “Passion Relapse” was hot as hell, then you might want to get some spare panties.

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As a sexy book cover, it checks all the boxes. It’s hot, it’s romantic, and it offers some sexy hints about what this sexy story holds. Like “Passion Relapse,” there’s a lot of passion and some of it gets pretty heart-wrenching. Unlike “Passion Relapse,” though, “Rescued Hearts” will follow a different kind of struggle.

This isn’t a story where two people just find each other, get sexy, and that’s it. Finding each other is hard enough, but there are other obstacles that Mary Ann Scott and Peter Rogers never had to face in “Passion Relapse.”

As I noted in the teaser announcement for this book, “Rescued Hearts” is about two people who have a lot of forces working against them. It’s not just that they have obstacles. There are actual, conscious forces trying to keep them apart. Finding love is hard enough. Finding it when you’re constantly worrying about those forces finding you is that much harder.

That said, it’s because the forces involved are so strong that the love and sexiness in “Rescued Hearts” has so much meaning. It’ll get your heart racing as much as your genitals. In terms of erotica romance, can you think of a better combination?

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Announcement: “Rescued Hearts” Release Schedule

It’s been an exciting couple of weeks for me. Not only has summer arrived, thereby allowing me to spend more time naked, but I received word from Totally Entwined Group that they’re going to publish my second novel, “Rescued Hearts.”

This is another huge deal for me. Earlier this year, I celebrated one major milestone in my aspiration to become an erotica/romance writer. Thanks to Totally Entwined Group, I got my first novel, “Passion Relapse,” published. It’s a huge step for me because there’s only so much of an audience you can build through self-publishing.

Prior to “Passion Relapse,” I had a half-dozen other books I had self-published through services like Lulu. Being a nobody with no fanbase or audience, that really limits my ability to succeed. That’s why I need the support of a publisher and that’s why I’ll be forever grateful that Totally Entwined Group took a chance on me.

Working with them has been great and they seem to enjoy my presence just as much because they’re willing to publish more of my work. I’m already hard at work with them, editing my manuscript and giving “Rescued Hearts” the kind of polish that will make it that much sexier.

That effort now has a time frame. My editor has sent me a release schedule for “Rescued Hearts.” Even though I released “Passion Relapsea couple months ago, much to my elation, I want to get more of my sexy work out there. I want to be able to say that I had two published novels in 2017. If this current time frame holds, I’ll be able to say that with a smile on my face and a boner in my pants.

For those of you who got a taste of “Passion Relapse” and liked what they read, here’s the schedule. Plan your private time and your panties accordingly.

Pre-Order: 12th September, 2017
Early Download: 26th September, 2017
General Release: 24th October, 2017

Again, I’m going to work as hard as I can to keep this schedule with Totally Entwined Group. The editing process can be intensive. I actually had to rewrite huge chunks of “Passion Relapse” before it ever came out. I’m expecting “Rescued Hearts” to be every bit as intensive. As such, I have faith that it’ll be just as worth it.

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Emma Frost: The Future Of Female Villains?

Not long ago, I dedicated several posts to the defining traits of villains and why Walter White was such a game-changer, beyond getting Bryan Cranston more Emmys than he’ll ever need. I could’ve done many more posts because quality villains are every bit as integral to any story as a quality hero. Just look at Batman’s rogues gallery, and the number of cos-players that dress as them, for proof of that.

In these discussions, I kept things fairly general and if I did, I singled out a specific character like Walter White or Magneto. Well, recent events and ongoing trends have inspired me to re-address the issue of villains from a different angle. Specifically, I’d like to talk a bit about female villains.

Quickly, take a moment and recall your favorite female villain of all time. Chances are it’ll take you a moment and not just because a great many female villains made us both scared and horny at the same time. It may also be difficult because some female villains don’t exactly carry themselves as villains. Catwoman may be a thief, a deceiver, and the subject of one of the worst comic book movies of all time, but she’s not an outright villain.

Female villains are one of those difficult concepts to flesh out and not just because men can’t resist turning female villains into sexy anti-heroes, some more egregiously than others. It’s just one of those elements that either gets under-used or overlooked.

Well, as is often the case with the ever-changing/insanely-erratic tastes of pop culture, that may be changing. At a time when a new generation of strong female characters, badass female superheroes, and women who just do more than give the male characters something to obsess over, it was only a matter of time before female villains caught up.

Now I generally suck at making predictions. I’m the same guy who was convinced that Cleveland Cavaliers would never win the NBA championship last year. I’m not proud of the things I had to do for the bets I made on that game, but it does show that everybody, including aspiring erotica/romance writers, can be dead wrong. With this, however, it’s not just a prediction. It’s based, in part, on an observation.

As most regular readers of this blog already knew, I love comic books and superheros. Specifically, I have a special affinity for X-men comics. So it should come as no surprise that I follow the events of the X-men comics very closely. Well, this past week, something pretty damn major happened in the X-men comics and it has to do with this woman.

Her name is Emma Frost. Trust me, she’s even sexier than her fan art would imply. She’s a prominent character in the X-men comics and has had numerous roles throughout the series for over 30 years now.

At times, she’s been a devious villainous vixen. At others, she’s been a cunning heroic vixen. In every role she’s in, she generally makes it a point to be sexy as hell. She doesn’t mind getting naked, she doesn’t mind having sex, she doesn’t give half-a-tortoise fart about what anyone things. In short, she’s a perfect blend of Regina George and Wonder Woman.

Now Emma Frost is somewhat unique in that she’s had so many roles, but she’s never defined herself completely as a hero or villain. She hasn’t even been an anti-hero. If you were to do the villain’s journey test I laid out in a previous post, she wouldn’t complete it, but she would come pretty damn close.

The same goes for the hero’s journey. She would check some boxes, but not all. She’d just look a million times sexier than anyone else on that journey.

Why is this important? Well, in a major X-men crossover event that just concluded recently, Emma’s role changed again. After a clash between the X-men and the Inhumans, one Marvel built up over the course of two years, Emma crossed a line that effectively sealed a new fate for her. She’s a villain now. However, she’s a very different kind of villain.

What do I mean by that? Why is that even relevant? Well, to answer that, think back to what I said about listing your favorite female villains. Go back to that list again. Exactly how many of those villains are refined, well-rounded, complex characters? Chances are your list will shrink considerably or outright disappear.

That’s because female villains have a history of being annoyingly flat. Going all the way back to the Wicked Witch of the West, they rarely had many compelling traits. Most of the time, they were just evil witches or devious vixens. Basically, just think of every evil female character in a James Bond movie. That’s the extent of the depth female villains usually get.

This is what makes the development with Emma Frost so intriguing. Emma Frost isn’t like Pussy Galore or the Wicked Witch of the West and not just because she looks better in a thong. As a character, she has a rich history. She even had her own comic series at one point. She has various layers as well. She’s not just out to be a total bitch and look good doing it, although she does make it look pretty damn easy.

Emma Frost has real, genuine motivations. They’re not always pure either. For a time, she was a stripper who didn’t mind using her sexuality to get ahead in the Hellfire Club, who have been major X-men villains for many years. When she was a teacher, she watched many of her students die in an attack that she had no chance to stop.

However, she has never been one to play the part of a victim. She never uses tragedy or excuses to justify her actions. She does what she thinks needs to be done and anyone who disagrees with her can just kiss her perfectly shaped ass. Hell, she could probably charge for that and it would be worth every penny.

The recent events in the X-men comics pushed her to extreme actions and for good reason. As part of the story that set up the clash between the X-men and the Inhumans, she lost someone near and dear to her. Cyclops, a character she had been romantically involved with, died in her arms. It affected her profoundly, which is saying a lot for someone who killed her own sister.

That effect leads her to do more than just lead a conflict. They put her in a position to become a hardened, but complex villain, both to the X-men and anyone else who generally pisses her off.

Her timing really couldn’t be better. Just as everyone from Disney Princesses to Taylor Swift prove that there’s a market for strong female personalities, she’s entering a domain that’s ripe for new energy. Emma Frost could very well be the first of a new push for better female villains to go along with the female heroes that every comic company and movie studio is pushing these days.

I feel like this is a trend that needs to happen. Women can kick ass as heroes. That much they’ve proven. Why not show they can do the same as villains? Emma Frost is unique in that she has the kind of complexity that allows her to be a hero when she needs to be and a villain when she wants to be. I believe there will be a market for that kind of complexity.

Sure, some parents would still prefer that their daughters dress up as Disney princesses rather than Emma Frost, if only to avoid any Honey Boo Boo comparisons, but having strong female villains still does something important. It adds balance to the greater narrative between heroes and villains as a whole.

Now I’m somewhat guilty myself of not fleshing out female villains. In my book, “The Escort and the Gigolo,” the main villain was a woman named Madam Felicity. While I did make an effort to give her some complexity, I admit she’s not more ground-breaking than a James Bond villain with boobs.

I’d like to change that in future novels. I just hope that by then, Emma Frost will have set the bar and set it high. As any X-men fan will tell you, Emma never does anything haphazardly. If she’s going to usher in a new wave of strong female villains, then she’s going to make damn sure she’s the best and looks damn sexy while doing that. For that, she’ll always have a special place in the hearts and pants of X-men fans everywhere.

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Possible Project Changes After “Passion Relapse”

Just wanted to do another quick follow up on the big news that one of my novels, “Passion Relapse,” has been accepted by a publisher. At the moment, I’m just waiting for a contract and a release schedule. Naturally, I’m as giddy as a school girl in a kitten farm. This news has already made my holiday in a big way. It may also very well affect my resolutions for 2017.

I promise I’ll get back to discussing random sexy topics, but I wanted to touch on some of the far-reaching impacts of this development in my aspiring romance/erotica career. Make no mistake. This development with “Passion Relapse” will impact my plans. It’s just a matter of degree.

Prior to this development, I had been entertaining various ideas for novels. Some were focused heavily on romance. Some were focused heavily on erotica. Some even incorporated elements of BDSM. I had no shortage of ideas and plenty of desire to develop them all. However, the success of “Passion Relapse” may require that I be more selective.

A book like “Passion Relapse” focuses heavily not just on romance, but heavy melodrama. This is not the kind of drama you’ll get in badly-acted softcore porn. The melodrama here is intended to be intense, heartfelt, and emotional. Me being a natural hugger, this kind of melodrama has a unique appeal to me. I also feel like it makes me uniquely qualified to write these kinds of stories.

As such, I intend to focus on these themes in 2017. Now don’t worry. I’ll still include plenty of sexy bits. There are more than a few in “Passion Relapse,” but if you’re looking for something of the more Hustler variety, you’ll have to be content with some of my previous works like “The Final Communion” or “The Secrets of Sadfur Island.”

That’s not to say I won’t tell stories like that. Before I got the news about “Passion Relapse,” I had been working on a novel that has romantic elements, but focuses far more on erotica elements. It doesn’t boast the same melodrama as “Passion Relapse,” but there is some drama. There are some elements for fans of love, romance, and boy bands to appreciate. A lot of those elements are just done without clothes.

Now I intend to finish this story. It’s already so far along that it doesn’t make sense to end it now. However, it may be one of those stories that I opt to self-publish so I can focus on building my brand around more romance-heavy novels. I already have a few ideas in mind that I hope will make your heart race and your panties moisten.

If that’s to be my slogan, so be it. If the brand of Jack Fisher novels is built around racing hearts and moist panties, then I’m okay with that. My method for building that brand will depend largely on how this new publisher I’m working with handles “Passion Relapse.” Between this novel and “Embers of Eros,” I think I have a foundation for a passionate, sexy brand and I hope to develop that brand in 2017 and beyond.

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Embers of Eros Edits COMPLETE and Possible Response

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Just thought I’d give a quick update on the status of “Embers of Eros,” the book that has proven to be quite the tease, if that’s not too fitting a term. A couple weeks ago, I finally heard back from the infrequently responsive folks at Crimson Frost Publishing. After a number of annoying delays that were neither my fault, nor theirs, they sent me the edits to “Embers of Eros.”

Well, in between blogs and contemplating new ways to apply caveman logic to this crazy world we live in, I’ve been working hard on those edits. They’ve revealed a number of style and grammar issues that I hope to refine for future books. They’ve also revealed a few loose ends that I needed to tweak, which I have.

Considering how many times I’ve read, reviewed, re-reviewed, revised, revised again, and revised one more time for the hell of it, it’s been a pretty arduous process. I can see why some writers lose their goddamn mind, but I can also see how it brings out the best parts of the creative process.

You can’t treat every piece as if it’s it were drawn from William Faulkner and Stephen King’s brain matter. You always have to be willing to improve and refine your craft. It’s never something you master. It’s just something you keep improving. If you get really good at it along the way, then it’ll show.

I want to keep getting better at my craft. I want to keep telling sexier, smarter, more romantic stories. “Embers of Eros” is just another step in that process. So after a few late nights and some overtime, here and there, I’ve finished! The edits are done and sent off to Crimson Frost for their final approval.

Now I don’t have a solid release date yet, but I’ve been told by an editor that the aim is to get “Embers of Eros” on the market by the end of the year. Given Crimson Frost’s history of gross procrastination, I’m not going to assume more than I should with that announcement. If I do get something concrete, I’ll be sure to announce it here.

I’m working with the hope that “Embers of Eros” will be my first showcase of what I can offer the world of erotica/romance. I know I have several self-published books out there already, but let’s face it. Those books aren’t going to get anyone’s panties wet if they don’t get some kind of support from a publisher.

It is my sincere hope that “Embers of Eros” gets my foot in the door, so to speak. Before I can make a career out of this passion of mine, I need to carve myself a niche. I believe “Embers of Eros” can be the first of many steps in that process. If I can make a few romance/erotica fans satisfied (and horny) in the process, I’ll consider it a success. The money would just be a nice bonus.

In addition to the edits on “Embers of Eros,” I also wanted to announce some more potentially exciting news. I want to emphasize the potential part because this is nothing concrete. This may just be me getting my hopes up and making my ass a larger target than it needs to be, but it is promising.

Another one of my manuscripts, which I’ve yet to self-publish, got a partial response from another publisher. The manuscript is for a story called “Passion Relapse,” a story I wrote shortly after “Embers of Eros.” I’ve been sending it to various romance and erotica publishers without much luck. Being so focused on “Embers of Eros,” I pretty much put it aside.

Then, on a rainy and dreary weekend, responded in a way that didn’t include an outright rejection. Just like that, I was spewing rainbows from my mouth with glee. It’s not a rejection. These days, that’s as good a news as someone in my position in the romance/erotica game can hope for.

So far, I don’t have much to go on. All I know is that someone from this publisher (who I’ll refrain from naming for the moment) has been assigned to review my manuscript. That means they didn’t just read the first few pages, roll their eyes, and throw in the trash. I have a feeling that’s farther than a lot of manuscripts get these days so I’ll take that as win.

I don’t know when I’ll hear more. Given how long “Embers of Eros” took just to get edits, I like to think I’ve gotten pretty adept at exercising patience. I’m fully prepared to exercise more, if only to hedge my bets, so to speak. If things don’t work out with Crimson Frost, then perhaps this new publisher will give me another option. At a time when my other options involve rejection letters, that’s a big fucking deal for me.

It’s an exciting time. Again, I don’t want to get my hopes up too much, but I’ll allow them get up just a little. I love writing romance/erotica. I love conjuring sexy, exotic stories to warm the loins of the masses. I’d like to be able to make a living doing so and I hope this is a small step in that process.

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