CSAIL, short for Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, is the name for an entity created on July 1, 2003, when MIT's Laboratory for Computer Science (LCS) and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (AI Lab) were merged. The original split between LCS and AI occurred in the 60s, due to differences in vision between Minsky and Corbato in solving the problem of advanced computing. The two laboratories continued to occupy the same building in Technology Square, near Kendall Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

In the late 90s, there was increasing collaboration between the two labs as a result of Project Oxygen, MIT's initiative to advance pervasive computing. Soon, it became clear that the goals of the labs were in good alignment and that maintaining two labs was not necessary or feasible. There was a brief period of searching for a new name for the amalgam. When nothing particularly interesting came out of the search process, they stuck to the plain vanilla CSAIL.

CSAIL is now located in the Ray and Maria Stata Center, built on the ruins of MIT's famed Building 20, at the intersection of Main Street and Vassar Street.