Amarel begins the interview with a discussion of his interest in artificial intelligence (AI) and his early research in the field while at Radio Corporation of America. He provides a brief overview AI research at Carnegie-Mellon University and Stanford University in the 1960s and his establishment of the computer science program at Rutgers University in the early 1970s. Amarel also discusses the relationship of AI to computer science. The bulk of the interview concerns the Information Processing Techniques Office's (IPTO) support of research in computer science and artificial intelligence. The primary topics of this discussion are IPTO and Amarel's recruitment as director in 1985, the importance of strategic computing, the creation of the Information Science and Technology Office (ISTO) and the budgeting process for ISTO. Amarel concludes with his thoughts on current directions in AI research.