September 4, 2023
This week in The History of AI at AIWS.net – Judea Pearl publishes “Probabilistic Reasoning in Intelligent Systems”
This week in The History of AI at AIWS.net – computer scientist Judea Pearl published Probabilistic Reasoning in Intelligent Systems in 1988. The book is, according to the publisher, about “the theoretical foundations and computational methods that underlie plausible reasoning under uncertainty.” The book covers topics such as AI systems, Markov and Baynesian networks, network propagation, and more. The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) hailed the book as “[o]ne of the most cited works in the history of computer science” and that it “initiated the modern era in AI and converted many researchers who had previously worked in the logical and neural-network communities.”
1988 falls under the end of the second boom of AI, with the promotion of the Strategic Computing Initiative, Japan’s Fifth Generation, and other counterparts from other countries. The bust that followed it, known as the Second AI winter, lasted from the late 1980s to 1993. This bust was due to the perceptions of governments and investors, who believed that the field was failing, despite the fact that advances were still made.
Judea Pearl is a renowned Israeli-American computer scientist. He is a pioneer into Baynesian networks, probabilistic approaches to AI, and causal inference. He is also known for his other books, Causality: Models, Reasoning, and Inference (2000) and The Book of Why: The New Science of Cause and Effect (2018). Professor Pearl won the Turing Award, one of the highest honours in the field of computer science, in 2011, for his works into AI through probabilistic and causal reasoning. He is a Chancellor’s Professor at UCLA.
Probabilistic Reasoning in Intelligent Systems (1988) can be accessed through the ACM digital library, which also has other resources on computer science and AI.
Due to the impact that the book has, the History of AI initiative considers it an important marker in AI history. Professor Judea Pearl is one of the most influential computer scientists around the world. He is a Mentor of AI World Society Innovation Network (AIWS.net). Professor Pearl resides on the History of AI Board. He was honored as 2020 World Leader in AI World Society by Michael Dukakis Institute and the Boston Global Forum.