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Re: [ontolog-forum] STANDARD ONTOLOGY: USECS: The Catalog of World Entit

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 21 Jul 2015 10:32:03 -0400
Message-id: <55AE57E3.7090908@xxxxxxxxxxx>
On 7/20/2015 3:37 PM, Azamat Abdoullaev wrote:
> Special thanks must be given to John Sowa for his strong commitment
> to the cause.    (01)

Thanks for the recognition.  As I said, I have been impressed the by
work you have done on this project.  But I have also said that there
are very serious questions about the possibility of having a standard
ontology of any kind.    (02)

 From "Crystallizing theories out of knowledge soup", published in 1990,
http://www.jfsowa.com/pubs/crystal.htm    (03)

> The goal of a single ontology that encompasses all of knowledge is
> unattainable. When multiple domains are combined, either the result
> is inconsistent because the terms have different definitions in
> different domains, or the terms are so vaguely defined that it
> is impossible to reach specific conclusions about anything.
> Instead of having a single consistent knowledge base about everything,
> it is better to construct small knowledge bases for specific problems.
> The raw material for constructing those knowledge bases would be a
> primordial knowledge soup that would contain everything, but in a
> hopelessly inconsistent form.    (04)

That brief summary is just as true today as it was in 1990.  A lot has
happened since then, but all the new developments have confirmed that
observation.  For more recent updates on those issues, see    (05)

 From 2006, "The challenge of knowledge soup":
http://www.jfsowa.com/pubs/challenge.pdf    (06)

 From 2014, "Why has AI failed?  And how can it succeed?":
http://www.jfsowa.com/talks/micai.pdf    (07)

I'll grant that having resources such as lexicons and encyclopedias
can be helpful in providing a road map of connections and pathways
through the knowledge soup.  But all such systems have to be living
and growing systems -- preferably by automated or semi-automated means.    (08)

You can standardize terminology, but in every branch of science,
technology, business, and the arts, the definitions of those terms
and the theories about them are always in constant flux.    (09)

At IBM, there was a very useful term 'functionally stabilized', which
meant "obsolete system" for which no updates or revisions will be made.    (010)

John    (011)

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