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Artificial Intelligence Turns 50

July conference will celebrate field's founding at Dartmouth

"AI@50," a conference celebrating the 50th anniversary of artificial intelligence-a field of research that was officially named by the 1956 Dartmouth Summer Research Project on Artificial Intelligence — will be held July 13 through 15 on campus. The conference will reunite four researchers who were at the original 1956 meeting, and will feature numerous current AI scholars from around the world.

Carey Heckman '76, James Moor, and Brock Brower '53.
From left: Carey Heckman '76, James Moor, and Brock Brower '53. Moor is director of "AI@50" and Heckman and Brown are steering committee members. (photo by Joseph Mehling '69)

"We expect to undertake a full exploration into the many emerging directions for future AI research, just as the College took the first steps to establish AI as a research discipline fifty years ago," says James Moor, professor and chair of philosophy and director of "AI@50."

The term "artificial intelligence" was first coined for the Dartmouth Summer Research Project on Artificial Intelligence half a century  ago. John McCarthy, then in Dartmouth's mathematics department, chose the name so that there would be no doubt about the dynamic new scientific field's objective: to simulate human intelligence.

The 2006 conference will commemorate those pioneering efforts and consider the future of AI. According to Moor, the major goal of "AI@50" will be to define and measure future prospects for AI in a modern human society that is increasingly served by computer intellect.

"Because artificial intelligence touches so many aspects of our society, this conference holds promise for productive discussions about where the field is going, how it will get there, and what important technological discoveries and ethical decisions must be made along the way," says Dartmouth Provost Barry Scherr.

Many academic and scholarly discussions as well as events for the general public are being planned. Four speakers from the original 1956 conference will be on hand: John McCarthy, professor emeritus of computer science at Stanford University; Marvin Minsky, the Toshiba Professor of Media Arts and Sciences and a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Ray Solomonoff, a visiting professor at the Computer Learning Research Centre at the University of London; and Oliver Selfridge, former chief scientist at GTE Laboratories in their Computer and Information Systems Laboratory.

Further information and registration forms are available at the "AI@50" Web site.



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Last Updated: 12/17/08