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Cyc Common Sense Knowledge Base

OpenCyc Advances Starting Line for Intelligent Software

Cycorp Announces Open Access to Growing Subsets of its Knowledge Base

AUSTIN, Texas. March 6, 2001.

During his keynote address "Enabling the Semantic Web" at the KT-2001 (Knowledge Technology 2001) Conference, world renowned computer scientist Douglas B. Lenat Ph.D., founder and President of Cycorp, Inc. announced that a greatly expanded version of the Cyc Common Sense Knowledge Base will be made available in open access form under the name OpenCyc. In addition, Cycorp will, for the first time, provide the Cyc Inference Engine and a suite of tools for creating knowledge-based applications. OpenCyc 1.0 will be released on July 1, 2001.

According to Dr. Lenat, this is a strong statement of support for Tim Berners-Lee and the Semantic Web. To further this critical effort Cycorp will be joining the W3C.

The Cyc ontology will be released in several formats in order to promote the widest adoption of this technology, and facilitate the seamless integration of new and existing ontologies. One format will be Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's ("DARPA") Agent Markup Language (DAML), which adds semantic statements on top of XML, and is currently being considered as a standard for the W3C Semantic Web. Cycorp's release of this latest DARPA technology may be the catalyst for the next such monumental technological innovation.

DARPA's Rapid Knowledge Formation (RKF) Project makes extensive use of Cyc. According to its Program Manager, Murray Burke, "RKF will make possible the rapid creation of semantically rich knowledge bases and enable a new generation of intelligent applications for the military. This same technology could enable a new generation of intelligent knowledge management applications for business and commerce."

According to Rod Smith, VP of Emerging Internet Technologies for IBM, "IBM is looking for technologies to enhance the networks of web services we are building using W3C web standards. OpenCyc can be used to help businesses find the right web service out of the many thousands that exist in IBM's public UDDI Business Registry."

The Cyc effort, founded by Dr. Lenat in 1984, has harnessed 500 person-years of effort and constructed the largest and most heavily used common sense Knowledge Base in the world. This technology is universally recognized as the only viable solution for common sense reasoning, a necessary component for open-ended natural language interfaces.

Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive. "XML and 'The Semantic Web'."

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