Chris Riesbeck photo and contact information


Chris Riesbeck is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Northwestern University. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford University in 1974. His dissertation was on natural language understanding.

He has done research on case-based reasoning, memory-based language understanding, and intelligent interfaces for knowledge acquisition and teaching.

Professor Riesbeck has been a visiting scholar at the Institute for the Study of Semantics and Cognition in Switzerland and at the Center for Human Information Processing at the University of California in San Diego, and was a research scientist in computer science at Yale University for 15 years.

What is AI?

Anyone who works in Artificial Intelligence should be able to define what that means. If you Google "define:artificial intelligence" or visit AAAI's site, and you'll see lots of definitions, mostly oriented around the notion of computers doing things that require intelligence.

These definitions are clearly inadequate, for at least three reasons:

So here's the true definition of AI, the one that gets at the heart of what we do and why:

Artificial Intelligence is the search for the answer to the fundamental question: Why are computers so stupid?

It's left as an exercise for the intelligent reader as to why this definition addresses the three weaknesses listed above.