Celebrating 60 years of computer science and AI research
In 2023, the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh celebrates 60 years of Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence (AI) research.
The University of Edinburgh traces the origins of its activities around AI to a small research group established in 1963, led by Donald Michie. The same year the Computer Unit was created and Sidney Michaelson was appointed its Director.
35 years later, in 1998, different activities around the science of information (including computer science, artificial intelligence, cognitive science and others) were brought together and a new Division (later changed to School) of Informatics was formed.
1963 - Donald Michie forms a research group into AI, the Computer Unit with Sidney Michaelson as a Director is created
1966 - formation of the Department of Machine Intelligence and Perception, and the Department of Computer Science
1969 - formation of the School of Epistemics (later transformed into the Centre for Cognitive Science)
1974 - formation of the Department of Artificial Intelligence
1987 - formation of the Laboratory for Foundations of Computer Science
1998 - formation of the Division (later School) of Informatics
2008 - opening of the Informatics Forum
Edinburgh computer science and AI
Edinburgh has a proud history of being at the forefront of research and education in both computer science and artificial intelligence. The 60 year anniversary is a perfect opportunity for us to reflect on the many research achievements that have originated in Edinburgh over this period, as well as the many, many students we have graduated. Computer science and artificial intelligence from Edinburgh have had significant impact in the world through both our graduates and our research, and continue to do so. The anniversary also encourages us to look forward and contemplate the future, for Edinburgh and for the disciplines more broadly. In the last decade, digital technology has progressed to pervade all aspects of our lives --- research and training in CS and AI are of increasing importance. Thus we have much to celebrate, but also much to do!
Professor Jane Hillston, FRS, FRSE
Head of School of Informatics
Highlights in the history of Edinburgh computer science and AI research
The School of Informatics celebrates these two vital areas of research that are at the core of its existence by leading on a programme of events and activities throughout 2023.
We have a programme of events aimed at academic and industrial partners.
General public are welcome to join us for public events and activities.
Teachers are welcome to get in touch to learn about our offerings for pupils.