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Re: [ontolog-forum] What is "understanding"

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 02 Apr 2008 12:26:33 -0400
Message-id: <47F3B3B9.3060904@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Pat,    (01)

I don't know what you're holding your breath for.    (02)

 > I just don't want to hold my breath until that [Cyc
 > becomes public] happens.    (03)

Many companies had Cyc for years, and they couldn't
use it for anything that was worth the investment.    (04)

 > Do you really think that what Microsoft works on is
 > a good measure of what is worthwhile?    (05)

I mentioned Microsoft as only one among several companies.
In particular, Microsoft had a license in the early 1990s
to take anything they found useful from Cyc and use it in
their products without paying further royalties.  I don't
know what they did, but they dropped the funding for Cyc.    (06)

Another large company, which I shall not name, had been
one of the investors in Cyc from the very early days.
While I was visiting them, I asked the manager of the
AI department what his group was doing with Cyc and
what he thought about it.    (07)

His response was "It's funny that every person who had
spent any time working with Cyc has been fired.  And I
don't believe that's a coincidence."    (08)

When I visited there, I had spoken with one person who
implemented a small demo using Cyc.  A couple of months
later, I sent him an email note to ask a question.
But the email bounced back -- invalid userid.    (09)

As I said, there is lots of evidence that terminologies
with few axioms are extremely valuable, and there is
evidence that low-level domain-oriented ontologies are
also valuable.  I think that the OOR is very promising
as an open-ended repository for high, low, and middle
level ontologies.  I suggest that we wait to see what
patterns of usage develop.    (010)

I don't see any urgency in pushing for something that
people couldn't use effectively even when they had it.    (011)

John    (012)

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