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Re: [ontolog-forum] Requirements of computer language semantics

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 21 Mar 2009 16:30:47 -0400
Message-id: <49C54E77.20804@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Duane and Dick,    (01)

DN> Having studied Google since day 1, I have found that they do
 > offer rudimentary disambiguation where terms may have a plurality
 > of meanings.    (02)

Yes, I realize that they have been using some rudimentary semantics.
But it is not yet at the level of the kinds of semantics we have
been discussing in the forum.    (03)

RHM> I have something that might help you.  "google2mkr" is a UNIX
 > shell script which translates Google's basic output structure
 > into mKR.    (04)

As I said earlier, that kind of work is useful for information
retrieval, but more formal representations of logic and ontology
are necessary for detailed reasoning.    (05)

However, I don't want to belittle the vague level of semantics
that Google and others have exploited.  They obviously hit a
"sweet spot" that can be implemented effectively with current
technology.    (06)

Although nobody has yet discovered a "sweet spot" in formal logic
and ontology, there are many specialized applications of logic
that have proved to be valuable.  The most obvious are the
relational databases; another is the use of Prolog in companies
such as Experian, which computes everybody's credit rating.    (07)

But the biggest and most general formal semantics is Cyc, which
has been under development since 1984, while consuming far more
research dollars than it has generated in return.  I want to
encourage further R & D, but we have to avoid the danger of
pumping up the hype bubble to the point of another bust.    (08)

John    (09)

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