Knowledge Begets Knowledge: Steps towards Assisted Knowledge Acquisition in Cyc

AAAI Conferences

The Cyc project is predicated on the idea that, in order to be effective and flexible, computer software must have an understanding of the context in which its tasks are performed. We believe this context is what is known informally as "common sense." Over the last twenty years, sufficient common sense knowledge has been entered into Cyc to allow it to more effectively and flexibly support an important task: increasing its own store of world knowledge. In this paper, we describe the Cyc knowledge base and inference system, enumerate the means that it provides for knowledge elicitation, including some means suitable for use by untrained or lightly trained volunteers, review some ways in which we expect to have Cyc assist in verifying and validating collected knowledge, and describe how we expect the knowledge acquisition process to accelerate in the future.



Inference, Attention, and Decision in a Bayesian Neural Architecture

Neural Information Processing Systems

We study the synthesis of neural coding, selective attention and perceptual decision making. A hierarchical neural architecture is proposed, which implements Bayesian integration of noisy sensory input and top-down attentional priors, leading to sound perceptual discrimination. The model offers an explicit explanation for the experimentally observed modulation that prior information in one stimulus feature (location) can have on an independent feature (orientation). The network's intermediate levels of representation instantiate known physiological properties of visual cortical neurons. The model also illustrates a possible reconciliation of cortical and neuromodulatory representations of uncertainty.


Searching for Common Sense: Populating Cyc from the Web

AAAI Conferences

The Cyc project is predicated on the idea that effective machine learning depends on having a core of knowledge that provides a context for novel learned information - what is known informally as "common sense." Over the last twenty years, a sufficient core of common sense knowledge has been entered into Cyc to allow it to begin effectively and flexibly supporting its most important task: increasing its own store of world knowledge. In this paper, we present initial work on a method of using a combination of Cyc and the World Wide Web, accessed via Google, to assist in entering knowledge into Cyc. The long-term goal is automating the process of building a consistent, formalized representation of the world in the Cyc knowledge base via machine learning. We present preliminary results of this work and describe how we expect the knowledge acquisition process to become more accurate, faster, and more automated in the future.