Library Update for the School of Informatics

Friday, March 02, 2007

AAAI new name

Alan K. Mackworth
President, AAAI

As our world becomes smaller, scientific communities are becoming increasingly international. National scientific societies are evolving to serve their international constituencies, and in doing so, have come to reconsider their roles, their purposes, their images, their identities, their 'branding' and, consequently, their names. This is such an occasion for AAAI as it embarks on its second quarter century.

AAAI's membership has strong international representation. The same is true of the contributors to, and attendees of, AAAI, and AAAI-sponsored, conferences, symposia, tutorials and workshops. A large fraction of our membership and an even larger fraction of conference paper submissions are from authors based outside the U.S. Beyond the annual conferences held in North America, much of AAAI's mission, activities, and membership are not well-characterized by the label "American." In short, our original name does not reflect our dual roles, national and international, in the global AI community.

Following this line of reasoning, the AAAI Executive Committee recommended changing the name of our organization from the "American Association for Artificial Intelligence" to the "Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence." This proposal drops the adjective "American" from the organization's name but retains the AAAI abbreviation, logo, and 'brand.' More importantly, the mission of the organization does not change. The new name simply reflects current reality and removes potential limitations imposed by the old name as we move forward in an increasingly global scientific environment. We have consulted with many of our sibling AI societies. We have no plans to change the scope or location of our activities as a consequence of the name change.

The proposal initially received enthusiastic support from the AAAI Executive Council (unanimous with one abstention), and the Strategic Planning Committee, consisting of all past presidents and current presidential officers of AAAI. We then put it to a vote of the membership, which approved the proposal. The Executive Council has subsequently unanimously endorsed the name change.

The membership at large shares our enthusiasm for this exciting new face for AAAI. We have complied with the regulations governing organizations such as AAAI in carrying out this name change. I would like, in particular, to thank our Executive Director, Carol Hamilton, and all our staff, for taking on the additional burden of executing the name change proposal in addition to all their regular duties. So I am delighted to report that, effective March 1, 2007, AAAI is now the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence.



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