- Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory
The Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (also known as Stanford AI Lab or SAIL) is the
artificial intelligence(AI) research laboratory of Stanford University.
It was started in 1963 by John McCarthy, after he moved from
Massachusetts Institute of Technologyto Stanford. From 1965 to 1980, it was housed in the D.C. Power building (named after an executive of GTE), in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountainsoverlooking Stanford. During this period it was one of the leading centres for AI research.
In 1980, its activities were merged into the university's Computer Science Department and it moved into Margaret Jacks Hall in the main Stanford campus.
SAIL was reopened in 2004, with
Sebastian Thrunbecoming its new director. SAIL's 21st century mission is to "change the way we understand the world" [http://ai.stanford.edu/ Official website for the Stanford AI Laboratory] ] ; its researchers contribute to fields such as bioinformatics, cognition, computational geometry, computer vision, decision theory, distributed systems, game theory, general game playing, image processing, information retrieval, knowledge systems, logic, machine learning, multi-agent systems, natural language, neural networks, planning, probabilistic inference, sensor networks, and robotics.
The old SAIL building [http://www-db.stanford.edu/pub/voy/museum/pictures/AIlab/list.html#DCPOWER Photos of SAIL places and people] ] , the D.C. Power Building, was located about 5 miles (8 km) from the main campus at 1600 Arastradero Road, midway between Page Mill Road and Alpine Road. The site was on a hill overlooking Felt Lake. This area was, and remains, quite rural in nature. Combined with the rather extreme 1960s architecture of the place, this remote setting led to a certain isolation. Some people who worked there reported feeling as if they were already in the future. Unfortunately, the building was damaged during the
Loma Prieta earthquakeand the university decided to level the site. Today, the site is home to [http://www.portolapastures.org/ Portola Pastures] and is part of the Arastradero Open Space Preserve.
SAIL alumni played a major role in many
Silicon Valleyfirms, becoming founders of now-large firms such as Cisco Systemsand Sun Microsystemsas well as smaller companies such as Vicarm Inc.(acquired by Unimation), Foonly, Imagen, Xidex, Valid Logic Systems[http://www-db.stanford.edu/pub/voy/museum/pictures/AIlab/SailFarewell.html The autobiography of SAIL] , a copy of a 1991 email about SAIL, from a Stanford website] , and D.E. Shaw & Co. Research accomplishments at SAIL were many, including in the fields of speech recognitionand robotics.
SAIL also created the
WAITS operating system. At SAIL, WAITS ran on various models of Digital Equipment Corporation PDP-10computers, starting with the PDP-6, then the KA10and KL10. WAITS also ran on Foonlysystems at CCRMAand LLL. At one time, the SAIL system was a triple processor KL10/KA10/PDP-6. The SAIL system was shut down in 1991.
SAIL, the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Language, was developed by Dan Swinehart and Bob Sproull of the Stanford AI Lab in 1970 [ [http://foldoc.org/foldoc.cgi?Stanford+Artificial+Intelligence+Language Entry for Stanford Artificial Intelligence Language] from the
Free On-line Dictionary of Computing] .
MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory
* [http://ai.stanford.edu/ SAIL homepage]
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