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John McCarthy plays chess with a computer

John McCarthy, a computer scientist who is credited with creating the term "artificial intelligence," plays chess against a computer in this photograph from 1966. | Chuck Painter

Stanford University is one of the pioneers in AI. Legendary computer scientist John McCarthy, credited with coining the term “artificial intelligence,” launched one of the early university AI labs at Stanford in 1965, and by the early 1970s, the university was a hotbed of research in this new field. In this first wave of AI scholarship, faculty were focused on pursuing generality in the models of cognition, and out of Stanford labs came computer-generated music and art, and early robotic arms.

In a second wave of interest in the 1980s, Stanford scholars began experimenting with neural networks, and more recently, deep learning advances that have allowed researchers to develop more sophisticated language learning models and computer vision. 

Today Stanford AI has broadened to a multidisciplinary field, drawing experts in medicine, psychology, economics, law, art, and humanities. 

In this video, Stanford HAI professors Fei-Fei Li, Chris Manning, and others describe the history of Stanford AI and what the future holds for this technology.

Stanford HAI's mission is to advance AI research, education, policy, and practice to improve the human condition. Learn more.

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