Imperatives for environmental and societal sustainability are challenging designers to consider factors that had been previously given little attention. The Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) Spring Symposium on Artificial Intelligence and Sustainable Design, held March 21-23, 2011 at Stanford University, focuses on the challenges of sustainable design and the role that artificial intelligence (AI) plays in understanding and achieving sustainability. The presumption is that the increased complexity of design necessitated by a desire for very long-term planet sustainability, to include cradle-to-cradle design, requires application of and advances in AI. NSF funds are supporting travel, subsistence and registration of symposium participants. The symposium and follow-up discussion will elaborate current and future research directions at the intersection of AI, design, and sustainability. We anticipate that the AAAI Symposium proceedings and the nascent AI and Sustainable Design community will be of interest outside of AI and computing. Sustainable design is a topic of importance to society; bringing this topic to the attention of AI researchers has the potential for advances in sustainable design that go beyond current computational and design approaches.

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was held at Stanford University from March 21-23, 2011. The symposium focused on problems and challenges of environmentally-sustainable, energy-efficient, and cradle-to-cradle design (e.g., of consumer products, commercial buildings, homes, medical equipment) and the role that Artificial Intelligence can play in sustainable design processes. The award supported travel and participation by US-based researchers who attended the symposium at Stanford. There was also an option to attend through the Second Life virtual environment, so that US participants additionally benefitted freely from insights by participants in Europe and Asia. The symposium was a first to bring together researchers in Artificial Intelligence for Design, Computational Sustainability, Design for Sustainability, and Biologically-Inspired Design. The papers of the symposium are available online [1]. The workshop was also highlighted on the blog of the Computing Community Consortium of Computing Research Association [2,3], and cited in an article in IEEE Intelligent Systems [4]. The symposium played a role in a university course on Computing for the Environment, with undergraduate students attending through the Second Life option [5]. Finally, the symposium is referenced in an education Wikibook on artificial intelligence for sustainability [6]. 1. "Papers from the 2011 AAAI Spring Symposium", Douglas Fisher and Mary Lou Maher, Program Cochairs, Technical Report SS-11-02?122 pp., ISBN 978-1-57735-494-9. 2. "A Role for Artificial Intelligence in Sustainable Design". Post (4/4/11) to the blog of the Computing Community Consortium of Computing Research Association. 3. "What can AI Offer to Biologically Inspired Sustainable Design". Post (4/22/11) to the blog of the Computing Community Consortium of Computing Research Association. 4. "Computing and AI for a Sustainable Future," by D. Fisher in IEEE Intelligent Systems, vol. 26, no. 6, Nov/Dec 2011. 5. Computing and the Environment course, Vanderbilt University. 6. Artificial Intelligence for Computational Sustainability: A Lab Companion (in development).

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Information and Intelligent Systems (IIS)
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Tatiana D. Korelsky
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Vanderbilt University Medical Center
United States
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