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One of the frequently discussed applications of artificial intelligence in motion control is the replacement of a standard proportional plus integral (PI) speed controller with a fuzzy logic (FL) speed controller. Regardless of all the work, it appears that a thorough comparison of the drive behavior under PI and FL speed control is still missing. This paper attempts to fill in this gap, by providing an in-depth comparison of operation of a vector-controlled permanent-magnet synchronous motor, using at first an experimental rig. Speed responses, obtained under PI and FL speed control, are recorded and compared for a variety of operating conditions. The transients studied include response to a large step speed command from standstill with nominal inertia and an increased inertia, response to small step speed reference change, and response to step load torque application. The transient behavior is examined for various initial speed settings, so that a thorough comparison is enabled. Experimental results are further supplemented with a set of simulation results, obtained using a different permanent-magnet machine and a different FL controller. Better generalization of the results is enabled in this way. It is shown that superiority of the FL speed control is less pronounced than it is often portrayed in the literature on the basis of limited comparisons. Indeed, in a number of cases, PI speed control provides a superior speed response.