Book Review: AI at the Edge

I bought the eBook AI at the Edge. But you can download a free copy from LinkedIn. In short? Don’t waste your money. But for free?

Cut To The Chase

Don’t waste your money. I am not even sure this book is worth your time if you get the free download. Read more for why.

Why Was I Reading This?

My day job is all about Edge Devices. And the world is full of the promise of AI. And my own whale song project. So of course I am interested!

What the Book Is

The LinkedIn blurb about this book say this:

‘AI at the Edge’ guide is a practical compass for engineers, product managers, and tech leaders. Discover how Edge AI transforms IoT devices, harnessing previously discarded sensor data. This guide is your end-to-end companion, navigating data collection, model optimization, and beyond. Edge AI is not just a tool; it’s a roadmap for solving real-world problems responsibly and effectively.

There are three chapters with examples on GitHub:

  • Chapter 11 Code: Use Case: Wildlife Monitoring
  • Chapter 12 Code: Use Case: Food Quality Assurance
  • Chapter 13 Code: Use Case: Consumer Products

What This Book Isn’t

In my opinion this book isn’t a very practical book. There’s realy no AI here that I see - that isn’t hidden behind a proprietary tool. The examples mandate the use of the Edge Impuse Studio. This should have been really called out up front.

The three examples - and a lot of the overall theme of the book - is a cookie-cutter “follow the template” approach that is really short on details. This book would have been vastly better in my opinion had it focussed on one example and really done it well. Then the details could have been really explored. Algorithms. Libraries. HOW to clean the data. Almost anything other than telling me AGAIN the overll process flow they recommend.

What was really disappointing was the lack of “edge” in this book. The whole point of edge is embedded systems and this book dodged that. Sure, there was some discussion. All talk. I would have loved to see that one example and go into the choice of hardware and interfacing and data collection. Using a mobile phone is really cheating. That’s really not edge.

By the cover this is an O’Reilly book. I bought it for that reason. I trust them. Well, I did.

My Opinion

This is a marketing book by Edge Impulse. The whole point seems to be to drive folks to their tooling. Please ignore the man behind the curtain and all that. O’Reilly usually does better.

I’d ask for my money back if I could.

NOTE: this is my own opinion. I’m sure ohers found tis book useful.