AI Rising

Nils J. Nilsson
Computer Science Department
Stanford University


Serious work toward artificial intelligence (AI) began about fifty years ago. In this talk I review what I think are the major milestones of our first half-century and make some guesses about what might lie ahead. In the spirit of millennial appraisals, I will survey what I think are the most important things we have learned about AI in the last fifty years. Are these lessons sufficient to produce human-level artificial intelligence within the next fifty?

About the Speaker

Nils J. Nilsson, Kumagai Professor of Engineering (Emeritus) in the Department of Computer Science at Stanford University, received his PhD degree in electrical engineering from Stanford in 1958. He spent twenty-three years at the Artificial Intelligence Center of SRI International working on statistical and neural-network approaches to pattern recognition, co-inventing the A* heuristic search algorithm and the STRIPS automatic planning system, directing work on the integrated mobile robot, SHAKEY, and collaborating in the development of the PROSPECTOR expert system. He has published five textbooks on artificial intelligence. Professor Nilsson returned to Stanford in 1985 as the Chairman of the Department of Computer Science, a position he held until August 1990. Besides teaching courses on artificial intelligence and on machine learning, he has conducted research on flexible robots that are able to react to dynamic worlds, plan courses of action, and learn from experience. Professor Nilsson served on the editorial boards of the journal Artificial Intelligence and of the Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research. He was an Area Editor for the Journal of the Association for Computing Machinery. He is a past-president and Fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence and is also a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was a founding director of Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, Inc. In 1993, he was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences.
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Last modified: Thu Sep 23 11:00:06 PDT 1999