Introduction to the COMTEX Microfiche Edition of Memos from the Stanford University Artificial Intelligence Laboratory

  • Bruce G. Buchanan


The Stanford Artificial Intelligence Project, later known as the Stanford AI Lab or SAIL, was created by Prof. John McCarthy shortly after his arrival at Stanford on 1962. As a faculty member in the Computer Science Division of the Mathematics Department, McCarthy began supervising research in artificial intelligence and timesharing systems with a few students. From this small start, McCarthy built a large and active research organization involving many other faculty and research projects as well as his own. There is no single theme to the SAIL memos. They cannot be easily categorized because they show a diversity of interests, resulting from the diversity of investigators and projects. Nevertheless, there are some important dimensions to the research that took place in the AI Lab that will try to put in historical context in this brief introduction.