Stuart Russell

Digital Library

ACM AAAI Allen Newell Award

USA - 2022


For fundamental contributions to artificial intelligence, especially in bounded rationality, probabilistic reasoning, and ethical AI

Stuart Russell has made a series of foundational contributions to Artificial Intelligence, spanning a wide range of areas such as logical and probabilistic reasoning, knowledge representation, machine learning, reinforcement learning, and the ethics of AI.

Early in his career, Russell defined and studied the concept of bounded optimality, a formal and practical replacement for perfect rationality. This work was recognized by the 1995 IJCAI Computers and Thought Award, one of the most prestigious awards in AI. 

Russell helped educate generations of AI researchers through his AI textbook, entitled Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach (coauthored with Peter Norvig). It is the preeminent textbook for AI, with a unifying perspective connecting AI to fields such as statistics, operations research, and economics. It has been used over decades to train AI students in more than 1500 universities all over the world. 

Russell?s work on the unification of logic and probability theory led to a formal language called Bayesian logic, one of the leading formulations of probabilistic programming. He then used Bayesian logic to create the NETVISA global seismic monitoring algorithm, which can reliably detect and accurately localize nuclear explosions, thus providing a verification capability for the UN Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.

Russell is one of the most influential figures worldwide in addressing important ethical issues in AI, working to promote beneficial uses of AI and to prevent harm with a wide range of measures, from technical solutions to advocacy work, and to education and dissemination initiatives. He is a leader of the international campaign to ban lethal autonomous weapons systems (AWS). For this campaign, he addressed the UN in Geneva, wrote an influential commentary in Nature, organized an open letter from the AI community, and co-wrote the short film Slaughterbots, which has won international awards and has been viewed by over 75 million people. He also created the Center for Human-Compatible AI at the University of California at Berkeley in 2016 and published the book Human Compatible: AI and the Problem of Control in 2019. The book lays out a new conceptual foundation for designing AI systems that are guaranteed to be beneficial to their users.

Press Release

ACM Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award

France - 2005


For outstanding contributions to computing education by placing the teaching of artificial intelligence on a statistical and quantitative foundation, and for dedicated mentoring of students and junior researchers in his field.

Professor Russell has made many seminal contributions to the field of artificial intelligence research. He is best known for applying rigorous mathematical and quantitative approaches to his formulation of systems that can display intelligent behavior and learn from past experiences. Mathematical logic and probabilistic methods are the cornerstones of his approach to Artificial Intelligence.

Professor Russell, after his undergraduate education at Oxford University, received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1986. He joined the Berkeley faculty in that year, where he is now the Smith-Zadeh Professor in Engineering and leads the Center for Intelligent Systems. He has won numerous awards in his field, including the Computers and Thought award in 1995, and is a Fellow of the ACM and the American Association for Artificial Intelligence.

Russell is widely known for creating a dynamic research group among his students and post doctoral researchers, many of whom have gone on to become young leaders in the field. He has supervised the research of over 45 undergraduate students, graduate students, and post docs, who now populate industry, industrial research, and university departments.

Russell is an inspirational teacher, teaching both graduate and undergraduate courses in Artificial Intelligence. He has also co-taught an innovative Introduction to Theoretical Computer Science course developed with his theory colleagues at Berkeley.

Perhaps Russell's most significant contribution to teaching beyond the classroom is his seminal textbook, written in partnership with Dr. Peter Norvig, and entitled Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach. This book brings Russell's research insights and approach into the classroom, and it has revolutionized the teaching of artificial intelligence around the world. The book is in use in 940 universities in 91 countries, and can rightly be called the premier textbook in the field.

ACM Fellows

USA - 2003


For contributions to AI and machine learning.