John F. Sowa wrote:
> That inference doesn't seem to be convincing:
> PC> One thing we learned from the Cyc project (and also from SUMO) is
> > that an ontology developed by one group will have great difficulty
> > gaining adoption by those who did not participate in its creation.
> > Cyc had the additional disadvantage of being proprietary for its
> > first 15 years (i.e. **not open**) and is still partly proprietary.
> For many years, Cyc was being supported by sponsors who received
> copies of all the code and who had the opportunity to send some
> of their personnel to Austin to take courses and work with the Cyc
> developers. The companies who supported it received a license to
> use any or all of that material, royalty free, in any of their
> Lenat gave a talk to Bill Gates at one time and convinced him to
> sign up as a sponsor. But after a couple of years, they dropped
> their license, even though they would have had the right to package
> any or all of Cyc in any or all MSFT products -- royalty free.
> Around that time I also spoke with somebody in MSFT research,
> and I asked him what people there thought about Cyc. He said
> that the were not impressed with its potential. (Of course,
> that might be a biased view by somebody who was working on
> a different approach.)
> I also spoke with the manager of the AI department at a large
> corporation that had been a sponsor of Cyc from the beginning.
> While I was visiting there, I also got a demo from a person
> who was using Cyc for his project. After that demo, I asked
> the manager what they thought of their investment in Cyc.
> He replied "Every person who had ever spent any time working
> with Cyc has been fired, and I don't think it's a coincidence."
> A few weeks after that visit, I sent an email note to the
> person who showed me the demo, and the note bounced back
> with an "address unknown" response.
> The companies who signed up for Cyc paid a lot of money for it,
> and they had employees who learned how to use the system. But
> apparently, they weren't able to build any useful applications
> that the companies considered profitable or even promising.
> That experience does not give me any confidence that another
> Cyc-like or SUMO-like project on a bigger scale will produce
> a high return on investment. For years, I had been telling
> Lenat that he should devote more time to work with customers
> to develop useful applications. But he kept saying that he
> didn't want to "dilute" his research by working on applications.
> I still believe that Cyc is a valuable resource, from which
> we have all learned a great deal. But one thing we learned is
> that an unfocused research effort is not likely to discover a
> pot of magic applications at the end of the rainbow.
I agree. (01)
I hope that we can focus a bit on how to build a successful project
rather than on how to induce support for unfocused research.
I have an intuitive sense that the numbers being thrown about might be
correct but I am not sure how to take these vague assertions and turn
them into a winning proposal for a client who has a KM problem and money
to spend on it. (02)
I have 2 situations (in 2 different industries) where the problem is
expressed as KM but the only practical solution being considered is
e-Learning. I am not adverse to providing an e-Learning solution (that
is our core business) but I think that there is a potential to introduce
ontology and start the clients on the road to a more complete solution. (03)
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