Announcing the new CBMM Memo Series

MIT AI Memo No. 1 (See link below to read full Memo)
March 10, 2014

Long before the Internet, AI Memos were written at MIT by the pioneering people who were creating the new field of Artificial Intelligence at MIT. They were read by their local colleagues and by collaborators at Stanford, CMU, and other laboratories worldwide.

As soon as I (Tomaso) arrived to the US, I started to write AI memos, The first (in ’76) was the first version of the “level manifesto” (AI memo 357 by D. Marr and T. Poggio by the title “From Understanding Computation to Understanding Neural Circuitry”). I have continued to write them as a way to circulate preprints and get feedback from a closely-knit community of researchers and friends.

I (Patrick) felt the AI Memo series was not just an essential vehicle for idea sharing internally. They were also essential to external visibility because, in the early days, there were no journals where we could publish, and then, later, there were too many journals, so the AI Memo series evolved into the way we satisfied those who wanted an easy way to see the full scope of what the Laboratory was doing.

We are now starting a CBMM Memo series with analogous goals:

  • We need a way to share preliminary versions of new results faster than we can by publishing only in traditional journals, which are in any case in the process of disappearing
  • CBMM memos fulfill nicely our commitment to NSF

-to share our work with the broader community
-to keep track in one place of our joint and cumulative results
-to create a body of work on the science and technology of intelligence

Unlike the AI Memos, the CBMM series will be online on the arXiv site (which provides a neutral time stamp) and available on our Web site.

Submission of a CBMM memo requires the following steps:

  1. Get one of the CBMM thrust leaders to be in charge of reviewing the memo.
  2. After getting the nod from the thrust leader, contact Kathleen Sullivan, email:, and request a memo number assignment and the CBMM cover template
  3. Kathleen will send you the cover page template with your memo number and arXiv submission instructions.
  4. Once you have uploaded your document to arXiv, you will receive a citation link from arXiv. Please forward this to Kathleen Sullivan, email:, who will then list your memo on the Center website

Eventually, when our Center is wildly successful, we may open up publication in the series to outside people; with CBMM possibly providing a reviewing system of the News and Views type (low threshold for publication, high threshold for visibility). If this happens, our CBMM series may become the Online Journal of Brains Minds and Machines or the Archive for the Science and Technology of Intelligence. In the meantime, we strongly encourage all of the members of CBMM — faculty, postdocs and students — to publish all of their CBMM-related work in the form of CBMM memos — ideally before a traditional publication but possibly even afterwards, so as to increase our work’s visibility across a broadest possible spectrum of readers.

Tomaso and Patrick

Tomaso Poggio, Director, CBMM

Patrick H. Winston, Coordinator for Research, CBMM


Read the original AI Memo - AI Memo No.1 online>