Thursday, August 10, 2006

OpenCyc 1.0, AI in general

I noticed on Slashdot that OpenCyc 1.0 has been released. I spent a short while reading comments and realized how different my own views on AI are from many Slashdot commentators.

To me, AI is all about writing software that makes decisions given uncertain and sometimes contradictory information. AI is about modeling problem domains and working both within that model and changing the model as new information becomes available. AI is about using problem domain models to provide human users with useful, interesting, and unexpected results by matching a model of a user's inquiry. AI is about solving the game of Go: the branching complexity of the game is so great that having perfect information is not enough.

So, a tool like OpenCyc is not really a match to my personal view of what AI development is: Cyc and OpenCyc try to define ontolological knowledge of real world common sense knowledge. I appreciate decades of hard work, and I have myself spent many hours experimenting with earlier versions of OpenCyc - so kudos for the 1.0 delivery.

Still, I tend to view "AI problems" as being problems restricted to narrow domains but still made very difficult or impossible by uncertainty, missing information, and time or memory constraints on algorithms.

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