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Thursday, January 08, 2009

CYC is Posting Snippets of Knowledge

I see that the CYC company is now twittering. CYC was started in 1984 by Douglas Lenat. Their site has some demos. Have followed its progress since then and even visited them in Austin several times to see what value they might provide our enterprise.

Originally their goal was to create a complete knowledge database that could act as an encyclopedia (thus 'cyc') that could be used by any application as a domain knowledge repository. For example, you might include pieces of knowledge about manufacturing specifications in a knowledge base, then later use it to understand how new products might be created. Has some similarities to the ultimate goals of the Semantic Web. Some examples of the kinds of work they do in the CYC blog. Such as advanced query systems in specific domains that can reason in complex ways.

Now they have a Twitter post you can follow where some system is posting a 'nugget' of generated knowledge about every 15 minutes. These appear to be in the domain of foreign policy. Imagine the number of these statements that you would need to build a complete knowledge base in this domain. Then you would have to update it constantly. It is unclear where this experiment is going, but they say to stand by for more details.

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