Norvig starts with the history of the textbook. In 1990, the textbooks were subpar. AI was changing in three ways – moving from logic to probability, from handcoded knowledge to machine learning, and from duplicating human systems toward normative systems that got the best answer no matter what. After leaving Berkeley to go to Sun, he helped write a new textbook about AI.
In software engineering, the main enemy is complexity. In AI the main enemy is uncertainty. Reasoning with uncertainty and interacting with the environment were the key points of the new AI textbook. The newest version of the textbook covers a lot about deep learning as well. The difficult part of AI is not the algorithms, it’s deciding what you want to optimize. Ethics, fairness, privacy, diversity equity, and lethal autonomous weapons are taking a more prominent place in the discussion about AI. As the field has changed, the students have also changed. AI is now a requirement rather than an elective. The newest edition streamlines the content to be more accessible.