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The MIT Artificial intelligence Laboratory is an interdisciplinary research entity at MIT founded in 1959, and of the most influential and accomplished in the field. The AI Lab (as it is commonly abbreviated) was originally a subdivision of Project MAC. In 2003, the AI Lab was merged with the Laboratory for Computer Science, another Project MAC descendant, to form CSAIL.
Founders included Professor Marvin Minsky, John McCarthy (who invented Lisp) and a talented community of computer programmers. In the 1950s - 1970s, they shared a computer room with a computer (initially a PDP-6, and later a PDP-10) for which they built a time-sharing operating system called ITS.
The AI Lab is currently interested principally in the problems of vision, mechanical motion and manipulation, and language, which they view as the keys to more intelligent machines.
See also: History of operating systems