Why A Book On AI Got Amitabh Kant Hooked
A description of Bombay in its many moods. A look at why the U.S. and China are racing for the pole position in artificial intelligence supremacy. A literary classic that narrates the lives and troubles faced by fisherfolk. These are some themes that comprise the reading list of Amitabh Kant, chief executive officer of NITI Aayog, the government’s policy think tank.
“I like Amitav Ghosh’s books for the way the tale unravels,” Kant told BloombergQuint. While Ghosh is at the top of his reading list, another favourite book of his is in Malayalam, Bhima-The Lone Warrior, which Kant describes as “beautifully written and easy to understand”.
Here’s a look at his reading list.
AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley And The New World Order, By Kai-Fu Lee
This book, Kant said, “gives a vivid description of artificial intelligence and the struggle for supremacy between U.S. and China”. It talks of how artificial intelligence will affect economies and their workforces, he said.
“This book is contemporary to what my job is all about,” he said.
The White Tiger, By Aravind Adiga
“I like this book for its writing style. Characters are portrayed beautifully in this story,” he said.
The Ibis Trilogy, By Amitav Ghosh
Amitav Ghosh’s books narrate well-woven stories, he said. “Makes for a gripping read.”
Gun Island, By Amitav Ghosh
The latest book I am reading right now is Gun Island, Kant said. “This is a story which straddles the worlds of displacement, transition and hope.”
Shantaram, By Gregory David Roberts
This book, according to Kant, is “passionately written” and “brings to mind a vivid description of Bombay”.
Maximum City, By Suketu Mehta
Again, I like this book for its writing style, he said. “It captures the essence of Bombay in its many moods.”
Chemmeen, By Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai
When I was a part of the Kerala cadre I had read these Malayalam books, Kant said.
Chemmeen talks about the life of fishermen and their daily struggles.
Bhima-The Lone Warrior, By Gita Krishnankutty And MT Vasudevan Nair
This book, in Kant’s words, is “very intricately written” and “readable by a common man”.
A Passage To India, By EM Forster
“I read this just out of school,” he said. This book talks about the British rule and the Indian independence movement.