Jerry M. Mendel

Prof. Jerry M. Mendel,
University of Southern California,USA,

Why Have Fuzzy Sets Made Almost No Impact on AI, and Can This be Changed?

This keynote talk answers two questions that should be of great importance to the attendees of FUZZ-IEEE 2021:

  1. Why have fuzzy sets made almost no impact on AI?; and,
  2. Can this be changed?

The first question is based on the almost zero coverage of fuzzy sets in the very widely used AI textbook by Norwig, as well as Lotfi Zadeh’s belief that fuzzy sets were always a part of AI. My answers to this question will be provocative and soul searching, but will also be constructive.

The second question is based on this speaker’s belief that the AI community is not fully aware of the full potential of fuzzy sets, since there has been no motivation for the AI community to use them. My answers to this question will be based on the many developments about fuzzy sets and fuzzy systems that the AI community has not been made aware of or has not followed because of long-held beliefs that fuzzy sets and systems were of no value to AI.

It is hoped that this talk will open dialogs within the fuzzy logic community that focus on how to remedy this situation.


Jerry M. Mendel (LF’04) received the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, Brooklyn, NY. Currently, he is Emeritus Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. He has published over 580 technical papers and is author and/or co-author of 13 books, including Uncertain Rule-based Fuzzy Systems: Introduction and New Directions, 2nd ed., Perceptual Computing: Aiding People in Making Subjective Judgments, and Introduction to Type-2 Fuzzy Logic Control: Theory and Application. He is a Life Fellow of the IEEE, a Distinguished Member of the IEEE Control Systems Society, and a Fellow of the International Fuzzy Systems Association. He was President of the IEEE Control Systems Society in 1986, a member of the Administrative Committee of the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society for nine years, and Chairman of its Fuzzy Systems Technical Committee and the Computing With Words Task Force of that TC. Among his awards are the 1983 Best Transactions Paper Award of the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society, the 1992 Signal Processing Society Paper Award, the 2002 and 2014 Transactions on Fuzzy Systems Outstanding Paper Awards, a 1984 IEEE Centennial Medal, an IEEE Third Millenium Medal, a Fuzzy Systems Pioneer Award (2008) from the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society. His present research interests include: type-2 fuzzy logic systems and computing with words.