In 1984 interested researchers at the University of Georgia formed the Artificial Intelligence Research Group. The program has grown by leaps and bounds since then. It was officially established as the Artificial Intelligence Center in 1995, and became part of the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences in 2006. The AI Center became the Institute for Artificial Intelligence in 2008.

The Institute is both a research and an instructional unit, and it administers both the Bachelor of Arts in Cognitive Science and the Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence. Institute faculty come from several departments and academic units at UGA, including Computer Science, Philosophy, Psychology, Linguistics, and Engineering. The Institute's strengths include logic programming, expert systems, neural nets, genetic algorithms, natural language processing and computational psycholinguistics.

Over the years, the IAI has received funding for research from the National Science Foundation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy, the Department of Agriculture, GlaxoSmithKline Research & Development Ltd., the Georgia Research Alliance, Centro Internacional por Agricultura Tropical, Clemson University, Medical College of Georgia, and the American Association for Artificial Intelligence. Currently IAI faculty and students are working with a variety of academic and industrial institutions on exciting research projects.