Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory

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Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory

(body, education)
(SAIL) /sayl/, not /S-A-I-L/ An important site in the early development of LISP; with the MIT AI Lab, BBN, CMU, XEROX PARC, and the Unix community, one of the major wellsprings of technical innovation and hacker-culture traditions (see the WAITS entry for details). The SAIL machines were shut down in late May 1990, scant weeks after the MIT AI Lab's ITS cluster was officially decommissioned.
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Fei-Fei Li, director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab, was on maternity leave when I visited, but she invited me to her home and proudly introduced me to her beautiful three-month-old baby, Phoenix.
In 1973, a reporter for Rolling Stone visited the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab to check up on computer hackers--"a mobile new-found elite, with its own apparat, language and character, its own legends and humor." Although much of the nation's investment capital for computer science came from military and government sources, the reporter found the hackers--the term was not yet a pejorative--mainly counter-culture types, a clan of intellectual druggies staying up all night playing and coding primitive computer games.

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