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Re: [ontolog-forum] ISO merged ontology effort "MCO"

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 14 Apr 2009 15:19:20 -0400
Message-id: <49E4E1B8.7030909@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Pat and Ed,    (01)

JFS>> If Cyc has not already solved problem X with their ontology,
 >> what makes you think that your proposed ontology will solve X?    (02)

PC> Because the issue isn't the quality of the ontology.  Cyc
 > hasn't focused enough effort on developing a *publicly available*
 > application that will demonstrate the utility of the ontology.
 > Because we already have the benefit of a lot of Cyc's effort,
 > which does not have to be reproduced, we can focus on the missing
 > parts.    (03)

That is wishful thinking that has no evidence to support it.    (04)

The full Cyc research ontology plus tools has been available to
many major universities, government agencies, and corporations
(such as Bellcore, Eastman Kodak, and even Microsoft).  The
sponsors that paid the full amount had a license to incorporate
any or all of the Cyc ontology and tools in their products.    (05)

If Microsoft had found Cyc useful, they could have distributed
it as an integral part of Windows (or perhaps Visual Studio).
But they couldn't find a use for it.  Google has many talented
AI researchers and enough money to buy a license to use Cyc
in their products (or they could buy all of Cycorp), but they
haven't found any reason to do so.    (06)

To rephrase my question:  If the highly qualified researchers
at all those places were not able to find a way to use Cyc to
solve the problems of interoperability and other issues, please
state in detail how your proposal would solve those problems.    (07)

PC> Building an open community of users that can all contribute
 > to the common project is a very, very different development
 > method than that used by Cyc....    (08)

I agree that it's a different environment.  But note that the
overwhelming majority of projects on SourceForge are dead or
moribund.  The most successful projects have a very small core
of dedicated developers (often just one).  And the largest ones
such as Linux, MySQL, OpenOffice, and Eclipse have one or more
large corporations leading or supporting the development.    (09)

Things like Wikipedia are successful for a very different
reason:  every page is a totally separate project that might
refer to other pages, but has no dependencies on them.
Furthermore, the entry level expertise to create or edit
a Wikipedia entry is less than learning how to use MS Word.    (010)

EB> ... It will be primarily governed by money and politics, not
 > technical excellence, and not knowledge engineering in the field.    (011)

I very strongly agree.  The prime example is the Semantic Web.
There are some examples of good ontologies, mostly developed
by small dedicated groups.  The rest amply demonstrate the
negative progress since Aristotle.    (012)

John    (013)

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