SRI International's Artificial Intelligence Center (AIC) is one of the world's major centers of research in artificial intelligence. Founded in 1966, the AIC has been a pioneer and a major contributor to the development of computer capabilities for intelligent behavior in complex situations. Its objectives are to understand the computational principles underlying intelligence in man and machines and to develop methods for building computer-based systems to solve problems, to communicate with people, and to perceive and interact with the physical world.
Because the AIC is an integral part of a nonprofit research institute, it can carry out comprehensive and effective long-term programs. The AIC's permanent staff includes one of the largest (approximately 172 computing professionals) and most highly trained (approximately 21 percent with a Ph.D. or its equivalent) groups of AI professionals in the world. At the same time, the Center provides the stimulation and creative exchange of ideas characteristic of an academic setting by maintaining associations with universities and other research groups and by providing opportunities for students and visiting fellows from the United States and abroad to participate in ongoing projects.
The AIC manages its own computing facilities of servers, workstations, laser printers, and specialized peripherals, linked by a multigigabit network connected to the Internet via a dedicated DS3 line (100 Mbps maximun transfer rate.) The approximately 150 servers in operation in the AIC run up to the latest versions of the Solaris, Linux and Windows operating systems.
All professional staff in the AIC have personally assigned laptops or desktop computer systems. In many cases, they have both a laptop and desktop system at their disposal.
The AIC has established a nucleus of long-term projects in the core areas of artificial intelligence, including: planning and problem solving; computer vision, image processing, and computer graphics; natural-language processing; AI engineering tools and languages; distributed systems; expert and knowledge-based systems; discourse and communication; multisource information integration; automatic theorem proving and program synthesis; and autonomous robots.