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Re: [ontolog-forum] standard ontology

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 2009 22:52:38 -0500
Message-id: <499A3486.70704@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Ali,    (01)

That is one of my greatest fears:    (02)

AH> I fear ontology is going the way of AI in the 1980's, with
 > a lot of promise, but little to show for it.  Too many of my
 > (smart) friends are turned off by ontologies because so much
 > of what is out there is .... disappointing / infantile?    (03)

The periodic boom-and-bust cycle has plagued AI from its earliest
years (1950s and '60s).  Those cycles result from two tendencies:    (04)

  1. Making wild extrapolations from toy examples.    (05)

  2. Failing to address practical applications (AKA low-hanging fruit)
     that could bring in enough ROI to pay for the research.    (06)

Tendency #1 leads to inflated expectations by the funding agencies,
and tendency #2 produces nothing useful in return.    (07)

These two tendencies have been repeated again and again over the past
half century, and people are still repeating them today.  I won't
give any examples, in order to protect the guilty.    (08)

Although I want to see more research in AI, I keep asking annoying
questions whenever I see, hear, or smell tendencies #1 and #2.    (09)

John    (010)

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