On Thu, Jan 26, 2012 at 9:00 PM, John F. Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> In reviewing the discussions about Big Systems, I noticed that the
> world's biggest formal ontology, which has been used in conjunction
> with very large commercial applications hasn't been discussed.
> That is Cyc. It was founded in 1984 as part of MCC and spun off
> as an independent company, CycCorp, in 1994. They had 28 years
> of continuous development. After the first 25 years, they had
> devoted 1000 person years (a full person millennium!) to the
> development. They also have a long list of publications that
> are available for download: http://cyc.com/cyc/technology/pubs
> If we really want to know what a large ontology system can do and
> how it can be used in conjunction with mainstream IT, I suggest
> that we devote an entire track of the Ontology Summit to Cyc.
> Among the many participants in Ontolog Forum, Doug Foxvog and
> Amanda Vizedom were employed at Cyc. They could present talks
> about their experience at Cyc, what lessons they learned from it,
> and how their work at Cyc compares to projects that they have
> worked on since them.
> I would expect them to give a balanced treatment of the strengths
> and weaknesses of Cyc. Many of us have had many criticisms
> about various aspects of Cyc, but any AI company that can
> stay in business for 28 years is a major achievement. We
> should try to learn as much as we can from their experience.
> Another person who used Cyc extensively back in the 1990s is
> Bill Anderson. He and his group worked on DoD projects that used
> Cyc to develop ontologies and applications. As a result of that
> experience, they started their own company, Ontology Works,
> which has more recently been renamed High Fleet.
> I would like to hear a talk by Bill about his experiences with
> Cyc and how that led him and his colleagues to found their
> own company. It would be very interesting to hear a comparison
> of the applications and methodologies used with Cyc and the
> experience they have had at Ontology Works and High Fleet.
> I would expect these talks to cover both positive and negative
> aspects of Cyc. But it would also be good to invite somebody
> who is currently working at Cyc to present their views. As
> an example, one of the biggest applications of Cyc is at
> the Cleveland Clinic:
> I also spoke briefly to somebody from the Cleveland Clinic, who
> said that there was a large "disconnect" between the methods
> used for Cyc and the mainstream IT methods that their programmers
> were familiar with. That is a very serious issue that has
> plagued many AI projects, and I'd like to hear about the issues
> from both ends: the Cyc personnel and some knowledgeable IT
> developer at the Cleveland Clinic.
> This is the kind of track that would be highly informative
> for people with a background in either or both mainstream IT
> and AI technology. And it's hard to find any ontology project
> that is bigger than Cyc.
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