Celebrating Twenty-Five Years of AAAI: Notes from the AAAI-05 and IAAI-05 Conferences
The AI Magazine
urveying the last quarter century of AI since the founding of AAAI in his Presidential Address, Ron Brachman outlined some of the highlights of the past 25 years. Of special note was Deep Blue, the IBM computer system that beat then-reigning world chess champion Garry Kasparov. Then there was the boom and bust of expert systems companies, the times when AI was the most popular computer science major, and the 1985 AAAI conference that had over 5,500 attendees. This was followed by what is
... y referred to as the "AI Winter." "This was not a prolonged phenomenon," observed Brachman. Indeed, in the current Presidential budget for fiscal year 2006, the Cognitive Computing Systems line item is $200 million, and the proposed 2007 budget is $240 million. Adding this figure together with the National Science Foundation and other national U.S. agency budgets, "the weather is getting warmer (for AI)," concluded Brachman. "[In his Presidential Address], Ron Brachman focused on the problem of the centrifugal and centripetal tendencies of AI," says incoming AAAI President Alan Mackworth. "He emphasized that an exclusive focus on our increasingly specialized subdisciplines will not let us reach either our scientific or our technological goals. The way to overcome those centrifugal tendencies is to develop better theories of cognitive architectures and to work in integrated applications. He then pointed out," continued Mackworth, "that AAAI is perhaps the premier venue for bringing together the subdisciplines and is therefore needed more than ever. Those messages resonate strongly with me."