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Re: [ontolog-forum] What is "understanding" - was: Building on common gr

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 30 Mar 2008 00:39:24 -0400
Message-id: <47EF197C.2090001@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Pat and Pat,    (01)

I agree with the comments by Pat H.  The word 'understand' is
sometimes used in a metaphorical sense; e.g., "This system
understands Python."  But when we're talking about AI systems,
it's best to avoid loose metaphors and focus on exactly what
kind of processing the system is doing.    (02)

PC> And I do want to use an ontology that can support human-level
 > understanding.  So that requires not only building the ontology,
 > but building the language processing system that will demonstrate
 > that it is useful for that purpose.    (03)

As I've said before, Cyc is the biggest and most extensively
tested and developed formal ontology on the planet.  What would
your proposal do that Cyc cannot do today?  I don't know anyone
who would claim that Cyc has reached anything similar to human-
level understanding.  What are you proposing that is different
from Cyc?  How would it accomplish what Cyc has not?    (04)

PC> I haven't figured out how to do a few person-centuries of work
 > in my spare time, but language understanding is the ultimate goal
 > that *orients* the work.    (05)

Cyc has done several person-centuries of work, and the ability to
augment their knowledge base by reading the same kinds of books
that people read was always one of their goals.  They have had
many top-notch linguists working with them.  Yet they haven't
achieved that.  What are you proposing that they haven't done?    (06)

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