posted Mar 30, 2016, 9:44 AM by Riguzzi Fabrizio   [ updated Mar 30, 2016, 9:44 AM ]

In the month that a European AI team made the history books, and
received headlines across the globe with a program that
comprehensively beating a grand master in the game of Go, we are
delighted to announce that, as agreed in the last General Assembly,
ECCAI has changed name to the EUROPEAN ASSOCIATION FOR AI (EurAI).

For those that were not present at the General Assembly, the rationale
for this change is as follows. Since it was founded in 1992, ECCAI's
role has expanded and developed in many different directions. The
organisation of the biennial ECAI conference is now just a small part
of a rich collection of events and activities supporting the European
AI community, including a fellows scheme, a biennial summer school, an
awards scheme, and most recently, a funding scheme to support other
events. Against this background, AI has become big business, with
headline triumphs such as IBM's Deep Blue (1996), the DARPA Autonomous
Vehicle Grand Challenge (2005), IBM's Watson (2011), and most
recently, Google DeepMind's Alpha Go (2016). AI techniques are
routinely used in systems across the world, using algorithms and
concepts developed by our community. And of course, articles on AI (of
wildly varying accuracy and value!) now appear regularly in the
international press.

With these developments in mind, and the substantially changed role
that the organisation now plays, the general consensus was that
"coordinating committee" no longer adequately described the role that
the organisation plays, and was becoming a hindrance in discussions
with the press and other international bodies.

We believe the "European Association for AI" more accurately describes
what we are: a community-led scientific organisation that works to
promote AI research and education throughout Europe, and to represent
the European AI community internationally.

In addition to the existing program of activities that ECCAI is
engaged in, we are actively investigating expanding our current role
to include the following:

* a senior members scheme

* an industrial members scheme

* public relations activities (perhaps having specific named press
  contacts for AI matters in each member state)

* greater contact and cooperation with other international bodies
  (including IJCAI, AAAI, ACM, and IEEE).

Note that for member societies, the existing subscription and other
arrangements will remain unchanged.

More details will be announced at ECAI-16 in the summer!