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Re: [ontolog-forum] Discussion re reasoning about Time and State with RE

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 24 Aug 2014 03:36:29 -0400
Message-id: <53F995FD.5090601@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Leo and Rich,    (01)

I am most definitely *not* giving up.  And I am *not* claiming
that the task is prohibitively expensive.  But what I am trying
to say is that we have to do three things:  (1) pause to reflect,
(2) think hard, and (3) get a some idea of what our goals should be.    (02)

> What we try to do is impossible, no? And so, let's just give up, eh?    (03)

No.  Cyc has devoted 30 years, over a person-millennium of work,
and well over $100 million of research money to develop the world's
largest formal ontology.  And they have had many very good people
working on their project.    (04)

Any AI project that has been able to continue for 30 years deserves
a lot of credit.  They have developed some useful applications.  But
their ROI will not convince anyone to attempt anything similar.    (05)

> John is simply emphasizing that it is an expensive undertaking
> in economic terms (lots of person-hours, lots of dollars, thus
> lots of people, and lots of politicality).    (06)

Not quite.  I have been trying to say that we have to rethink
what *it* should be.  Some people are still claiming that we need
a universal ontology of everything.  That's another way of saying
"Let's redo Cyc, but not make the same mistakes" -- but without
any clear idea of what mistakes, if any, Cyc had made.    (07)

What I have been saying, in an elevator pitch:    (08)

  1. Cyc did a good job of defining a very large ontology.    (09)

  2. I have not seen any ideas for defining a large ontology
     that are significantly better than what was done for Cyc.    (010)

  3. Let's look at successful applications that use some
     ideas from or about ontology -- and ask (a) what made
     them successful, (b) how do they differ from Cyc, and
     (c) what lessons can we learn?    (011)

John    (012)

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