I agree with some of the previous reviews which criticize the book for its lack of depth, but I believe this to be an asset rather than a liability given its target audience (seniors and beginning grad. students). The average college senior typically knows very little about subjects like neural networks, genetic algorithms, or Baysian networks, and this book goes a long way in demystifying these subjects in a very clear, concise, and understandable way. Moreover, the first-year grad. student who is interested in possibly doing research in this field needs more of an overview than to dive deeply into
one of the many branches which themselves have had entire books written about them. This is one of the few if only books where one will find diverse areas of learning (e.g. analytical, reinforcment, Bayesian, neural-network, genetic-algorithmic) all within the same cover.
But more than just an encyclopedic introduction, the author makes a number of connections between the different paradigms. For example, he explains that associated with each paradigm is the notion of an inductive-learning bias, i.e. the underlying assumptions that lend validity to a given learning approach. These end-of-chapter discussions on bias seem very interesting and unique to this book.
Finally, I used this book for part of the reading material for an intro. AI class, and received much positive feedback from the students, although some did find the presentation a bit too abstract for their undergraduate tastes