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Re: [ontolog-forum] Ontologies for hybrid connectionist-semantic systems

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 03 Dec 2010 20:09:28 -0500
Message-id: <4CF994C8.4070207@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Leo,    (01)

> Of course OWL was designed for AI work.    (02)

No.  It was designed for the Semantic Web.  Tim B-L consistently
said that the goal of the Semantic Web was not AI or NLP, and
most AI researchers vomit when they are forced to look at OWL.    (03)

I agree with the following statement:    (04)

> The entire description logic paradigm comes out of AI.    (05)

Yes, but DL technology, which has been available for 30 years,
is only one of many ways for representing and reasoning about
ontology.  And the recommended way of using DLs was for hybrid
systems that combine the DLs with other reasoning methods.    (06)

> And it's been used for NLP too.    (07)

Hierarchies of concept types are very important for NLP,
but there are two serious limitations of OWL:    (08)

  1. For representing hierarchies, OWL is overkill.  There are
     vastly simpler and more efficient tools for the kinds
     of hierarchies used in NLP.    (09)

  2. OWL is too limited to represent and reason with the
     information expressed in NLP.    (010)

Hybrid systems that use simpler tools for the hierarchies and
richer tools for representation and reasoning are far more common.    (011)

Today, Google does more machine translation than any other
company on earth, but they do not use RDF or OWL.    (012)

PowerSet is a large NLP company designed for question/answering,
and they were bought by Microsoft, but they do not use RDF or OWL.    (013)

Experian, one of the three largest credit bureaus, uses Prolog
for everything.  In fact, they bought Prologia -- the company
founded by Alain Colmerauer, who implemented the first version
of Prolog.    (014)

We have to counter the knee-jerk reaction that OWL is the
default ontology language.  It's useful for some purposes,
but its rate of adoption is very slow.    (015)

John    (016)

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