Labs and Centers

Artificial Intelligence Center

One of the world's most prestigious and largest centers of AI research

SRI researchers look at BioCyc software
Two scientists with a robotic arm
SRI's SEAS software is viewed by four people
Woman using an e-reader
Autonomous robot

SRI's Artificial Intelligence Center (AIC) is one of the world's major centers of research in artificial intelligence (AI). Since its founding in 1966, the AIC has been pioneering and contributing to the development of computer capabilities for intelligent behavior in complex situations.

The AIC researches the computational principles underlying intelligence in man and machines, and develops methods for building computer-based systems to solve problems, to communicate with people, and to perceive and interact with the physical world. Activities cover most major areas of AI, including knowledge representation and automated reasoning, machine learning and analytics, multi-agent systems, robotics, and image understanding. Application areas include:

  • Understanding of text, speech, and video for intelligence analysis
  • Tracking and activity recognition in video for persistent surveillance
  • Knowledge acquisition and query systems supporting a new generation of electronic textbooks
  • Mixed-initiative planning and workflow management for military and commercial processes
  • Intelligent, personalized assistance for information and task management
  • Vision, localization, navigation, coordination, and grasping for mobile robots and human-robot interaction
  • Acquisition, visualization, and prediction of biochemical pathways in support of drug discovery and engineering new organisms

Research programs are often comprehensive and long-term. The Center's staff is one of the largest, most highly trained groups of AI professionals in the world. The AIC ensures the stimulation and creative exchange of ideas characteristic of an academic setting by collaborating with universities and other research groups, and by providing research opportunities for students and visiting fellows from the U.S. and abroad.

The AIC is the source of many seminal contributions to AI in the areas of mobile robotics (Shakey and Centibots), search (the A* algorithm), expert systems (PROSPECTOR), image understanding (the RANSAC algorithm), information extraction from texts (FASTUS), and intelligent agents (PRS).

Technology developed in the Center has been fielded in military applications, notably as part of the U.S. Army’s Command Post of the Future (CPoF), and has been licensed to several SRI spin-off ventures, such as Siri (acquired by Apple), Trapit, Tempo AI, and Desti.

News & Events

LiveScience, Feb 19, 2015

From Apple's iPhone assistant Siri (created by SRI) to the mechanized attendants at Japan's first robot-staffed hotel, a seemingly disproportionate percentage of artificial intelligence systems have female personas. Why?