CYC Project

Started by Doug Lenat in 1984, the CYC project (short for enCYClopedia) attempts to codify human common sense knowledge into a vast knowledge base. The idea is that an AI inference engine will be able to use access to the knowledge to perform human-like reasoning. OpenCyc is an open source version of the technology that now includes links between Cyc concepts and Wikipedia articles.

Cycorp – [cyc.com]

“The driver of the power of intelligent systems is
the knowledge the systems have about
their universe of discourse, … Cyc has
not only the world’s largest knowledge base,
but the best represented from a technical
point of view.” ~ Edward Feigenbaum, January, 2001
the Cyc knowledge server

The Cyc Knowledge Server is a very large, multi-contextual knowledge base and inference engine developed by Cycorp. Cycorp’s goal is to break the “software brittleness bottleneck” once and for all by constructing a foundation of basic “common sense” knowledge–a semantic substratum of terms, rules, and relations–that will enable a variety of knowledge-intensive products and services. Cyc is intended to provide a “deep” layer of understanding that can be used by other programs to make them more flexible.

“Once you have a truly massive amount of
information integrated as knowledge, then
the human-software system will be superhuman,
in the same sense that mankind with writing
is superhuman compared to mankind
before writing.” ~ Doug Lenat, June 21, 2001

Cycorp is a leading provider of semantic technologies that bring a new level of intelligence and common sense reasoning to a wide variety of software applications. The Cyc® software combines an unparalleled common sense ontology and knowledge base with a powerful reasoning engine and natural language interfaces to enable the development of novel knowledge-intensive applications.

The Cyc Foundation
– [cycfoundation.org]

The Cyc Foundation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the enrichment and utilization of the open source portions of the Cyc knowledge base—the world’s largest repository of machine-readable, common-sense knowledge. In this role, we will work with others to expand these resources, educate developers and increase general awareness of the potential applications of the technology.

OpenCyc – [opencyc.org]

OpenCyc is the open source version of the Cyc technology, the world’s largest and most complete general knowledge base and commonsense reasoning engine. OpenCyc can be used as the basis of a wide variety of intelligent applications such as:

* rapid development of an ontology in a vertical area
* email prioritizing, routing, summarization, and annotating
* expert systems
* games

to name just a few.

Release 2.0 of OpenCyc includes:

* The entire Cyc ontology containing hundreds of thousands of terms, along with millions of assertions relating the terms to each other, forming an ontology whose domain is all of human consensus reality.
* NEW! 100,000+ “broaderTerm” assertions, in addition to the previous generalization (subclass) and instance (member) assertions, to capture additional relations among concepts.
* English strings (a canonical one and alternatives) corresponding to each concept term, to assist with search and display.
* The Cyc Inference Engine and the Cyc Knowledge Base Browser are now Java-based for improved performance and increased platform portability.
* Documentation and self-paced learning materials to help users achieve a basic- to intermediate-level understanding of the issues of knowledge representation and application development using Cyc.
* A specification of CycL, the language in which Cyc (and hence OpenCyc) is written.
* A specification of the Cyc API for application development.
* Links between Cyc concepts and WordNet synsets.
* NEW Links between Cyc concepts (including predicates) and the FOAF ontology.
* NEW! Links between Cyc concepts and Wikipedia articles.

SEE ALSO:
Humans are Informavores
What Comes After Minds?

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