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Re: [ontolog-forum] The Society of Mind as Internet platform

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 31 May 2013 18:28:29 -0400
Message-id: <51A9240D.1020207@xxxxxxxxxxx>
On 5/31/2013 2:00 PM, Michael Brunnbauer wrote:
> Maybe you see everything too much in the context of AI? Ontologies and
> the Semantic Web can be judged outside of this context too.    (01)

I worked at IBM for 30 years, sometimes in research and sometimes in
development.  I don't believe that there are any "natural" boundaries
between different branches of computer science and systems. Or between
theoretical and applied comp. sci.  Or between computer applications
in any field and non-computational studies in the same field.    (02)

> This report seems to be written to appease as many people as possible
> so it is no wonder that some people were disappointed.    (03)

Tim Berners-Lee had the vision to call his little project at CERN the
World Wide Web.  Many people thought that name was far too ambitious
for such a small project.  But the project rapidly grew to the point
where it proved him right. The DAML proposal is consistent with the
book he published in 1999.  Following is a quotation from it:    (04)

> I have a dream for the Web [in which computers] become capable of analyzing
> all the data on the Web  the content, links, and transactions between people
> and computers. A "Semantic Web", which makes this possible, has yet to emerge,
> but when it does, the day-to-day mechanisms of trade, bureaucracy and our 
> lives will be handled by machines talking to machines. The "intelligent 
> people have touted for ages will finally materialize.    (05)

The W3C was founded as a *result* of Tim's success.  He was the director
of the W3C, his book was very widely read, and DARPA would give him the
funding for anything he promised to do.    (06)

> Considering the [unrightful] reputation of failure AI has in the public,
> I am not surprised the the W3C did not concentrate on that aspect.    (07)

Jim Hendler, who had been working in AI for his whole career, had taken
a leave of absence for two years to work at DARPA.  Tim did not need
to ask the W3C for permission, and Jim's support was certain.  After
the proposal was approved, DARPA (and Jim) expected the DAML project
to implement what Tim wrote in the original report.    (08)

> I cannot find something about agents discovering other agents via formal
> service descriptions in the report.    (09)

Look at the citations. KQML (Knowledge Query and Manipulation Language)
was the primary source of ideas for the agents. See the KQML web site:    (010)

    KQML Papers and Presentations    (011)

Jim Hendler and the anonymous reviewers who approved the DARPA project
expected Tim (and his colleagues) to implement that proposal.  In fact,
Jim was a coauthor of the May 2001 article about the Semantic Web:    (012)

http://www-sop.inria.fr/acacia/cours/essi2006/Scientific%20American_%20Feature%20Article_%20The%20Semantic%20Web_%20May%202001.pdf    (013)

This article is consistent with the DAML proposal of 2000, but *not*
with the DAML final report.  Although it is written for a non-technical
audience, it highlights agents, and it does not breathe a word about
that totally misleading and irrelevant term *decidability*.    (014)

John    (015)

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