Edward Feigenbaum

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Edward Feigenbaum

Edward "Ed" Albert Feigenbaum (born January 20, 1936 in Weehawken , New Jersey ) is an American computer scientist who is commonly known as the "father of expert systems ". In 1994, together with Raj Reddy, he received the Turing Award from the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) for pioneering work in the construction and development of large-scale artificial intelligence systems , with which they demonstrated the practical necessity and the commercial potential of AI technology. Today he is Professor Emeritus of Computer Science at Stanford University .

Feigenbaum studied at Carnegie Mellon University , where he completed his studies with a doctorate under Herbert A. Simon . From 1960 to 1964 he was a research assistant at the University of California, Berkeley , where JCR Licklider recruited him for an AI research project at ARPA . a. designed the SDS 940 timeshare system with David C. Evans . In 1965 he moved to John McCarthy and George E. Forsythe at the newly founded faculty of computer science at Stanford University, retired from hardware design and soon became head of the data center there. As part of the ARPA program, he developed a. a. with the chemist Carl Djerassi and the molecular biologist Joshua Lederberg developed the first Dendral expert system and was also involved in the development of the medical diagnostic system Mycin .

Until 1992, he was Deputy Scientific Director ( Principal investigator ) of the National Computing Center for Applications of Artificial Intelligence in Medicine and Biology ( SUMEX-AIM , Stanford University Medical Experimental Facility / AI in Medicine) of the National Institutes of Health at Stanford University. He also founded the Knowledge Systems Laboratory at Stanford University and has since headed the Department of Computer Science.

Feigenbaum served as President of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence , served on the governing body of the United States National Library of Medicine, and served on the board of directors of Sperry Corporation . He has served on the computer science committees of the National Science Foundation and the National Research Council , and on an ARPA committee on information science and technology. From 1994 to 1997 he was a senior scientist in the United States Air Force . He also co-founded three applied artificial intelligence companies, IntelliCorp, Teknowledge and Design Power.

Feigenbaum's doctoral students include Douglas B. Lenat and Niklaus Wirth (Turing Award 1984).


The Feigenbaum Medal, which the World Congress of Expert Systems awards, and of which he was himself the first recipient, is also named after him. The fees for the book Computers & Thought also brought the IJCAI Computers and Thought Award into being.


  • Edited with Julian Feldman: Computers & Thought . McGraw-Hill , New York 1963
  • Knowledge Processing: From File Servers to Knowledge Servers . In: Raymond Kurzweil : The Age of Intelligent Machines . MIT Press, Cambridge 1990, ISBN 978-0-262-11121-8
  • with Pamela McCorduck : The Fifth Computer Generation: Artificial Intelligence and Japan's Challenge to the World, Birkhäuser 1984
  • with Pamela McCorduck, H. Penny Nii: The Rise of the Expert Company: how visionary companies are using artificial intelligence to achieve higher productivity and profits, London: Macmillan 1988

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