The Department of Machine Intelligence was founded in July, 2002, which is the first department in spearheading teaching and research in Intelligence Science and Technology in China. The foundation of the department takes a solid support from its basis, the Center for Information Science (CIS) at Peking University, which was established about two decades before the department. In the 80s of last century, information science began to spring up, and in 1985, the Center for Information Science (CIS) was established as the first cross-disciplinary research center of Peking University. The center was initially proposed by two Members of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Prof. CHEN Mingde and Prof. SHI Qingyun, and was established with the support from more than 10 institutes at Peking University, including the Department of Mathematics, the Department of Computer Science, the Department of Radio Electronics, the Department of Psychology, the Department of philosophy, the Department of Biology, the Department of Chinese Language and Literature, the Department of Information Management, the Institute of Computer Science & Technology, the Institute of Remote Sensing, etc. The center takes the advantages of the comprehensive multiple disciplines of Peking University, emphasizing to be characterized with the deeply interdisciplinary researches. Based on the center, the proposal for setting up the National Laboratory on Machine Perception (NLMP), the first national laboratory established in Peking University, was put forward and approved by the State Development Planning Commission of China in 1986, and put into operation in 1988. From then on, around the major of Signal and Information Processing, programs for Master Degree, Ph.D Degree and Post Doctor were launched. And researches on interdisciplinary directions including Machine Vision, Machine Audition, and Intelligent Systems etc. were carried out consistently for about 30 years. Fruitful research achievements were acquired, such as on fingerprint identification, auditory mechanism and cochlear implant, national spatial information infrastructure, etc. Many research achievements have reached the international advanced level, and dozens of national and provincial level awards were achieved. A number of national key projects/programs were undertaken, such as the National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program), the National High Technology Research and Development Program of China (863 Program), the National Key Technologies Research and Development Program of China, the Key Program of National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Key Program of National Social Science Foundation of China, etc. Meanwhile, a large number of outstanding talents in the field of information science were trained.
Under the background that Intelligence Science became the most perspective and promising discipline direction in 21st century, the Department of Machine Intelligence was founded taking the Center for Information Science as the basis in 2002, which was proposed by Prof. HE Xingui, a Member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering. Except that placing particular emphasis on more challenging Intelligence Science and Technology, program for Bachelor Degree was also set up and was qualified in 2003, which is the first such kind of program in China, and began to enroll undergraduates since 2004. And after it is qualified in the major of Intelligence Science and Technology to confer Master Degree and Ph.D. Degree in 2008, the complete and integrated talents training architecture was fully established, which was awarded the “National Excellent Teaching Team” and “Beijing Excellent Teaching Team” by the Ministry of Education of China and Beijing City respectively in the same year.
Currently, there are 28 faculties in the department, including 18 professors, 10 associate professors, among which there is 1 Member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, 1 Cheung Kong Scholar Chair Professor, 1 winner of National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars, 1 IEEE Fellow, and 2 winners of National Science Fund for Outstanding Youth Scholars. Around key directions in Intelligence Science and Technology such as Intelligent Perception, Machine Learning, Intelligent Data Analysis, Intelligent Computing, Intelligent Robotics, etc., fundamental research and application-oriented fundamental research were carried out with the particular emphasis on theories, methodologies, and applications in key domains。During past three decades, more than 500 Undergraduate students and more than 1000 graduate students were trained, who have made great contributions to the research and application in Intelligence Science and Technology, and continue devoting themselves in the area with fruitful achievements.