Witbrock, Michael


Harnessing Cyc to Answer Clinical Researchers' Ad Hoc Queries

AI Magazine

By extending Cyc's ontology and KB approximately 2%, Cycorp and Cleveland Clinic Foundation (CCF) have built a system to answer clinical researchers' ad hoc queries. But, surprisingly often, after applying various constraints (medical domain knowledge, common sense, discourse pragmatics, syntax), there is only one single way to fit those fragments together, one semantically meaningful formal query P. The system, SRA (for Semantic Research Assistant), dispatches a series of database calls and then combines, logically and arithmetically, their results into answers to P. Seeing the first few answers stream back, the user may realize that they need to abort, modify, and re-ask their query. Besides real-time ad hoc query-answering, queries can be bundled and persist over time. Until full articulation/answering of precise, analytical queries becomes as straight-forward and ubiquitous as text search, even partial understanding of a query empowers semantic search over semi-structured data (ontology-tagged text), avoiding many of the false positives and false negatives that standard text searching suffers from.


Project Halo: Towards a Digital Aristotle

AI Magazine

Vulcan selected three teams, each of which was to formally represent 70 pages from the advanced placement (AP) chemistry syllabus and deliver knowledge-based systems capable of answering questions on that syllabus. The evaluation quantified each system's coverage of the syllabus in terms of its ability to answer novel, previously unseen questions and to provide human- readable answer justifications. These justifications will play a critical role in building user trust in the question-answering capabilities of Digital Aristotle. This article presents the motivation and longterm goals of Project Halo, describes in detail the six-month first phase of the project -- the Halo Pilot -- its KR&R challenge, empirical evaluation, results, and failure analysis.


AAAI 1997 Spring Symposium Reports

AI Magazine

The Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) held its 1997 Spring Symposium Series on 24 to 26 March at Stanford University in Stanford, California. This article contains summaries of the seven symposia that were conducted: (1) Artificial Intelligence in Knowledge Management; (2) Computational Models for Mixed-Initiative Interaction; (3) Cross-Language Text and Speech Retrieval; (4) Intelligent Integration and Use of Text, Image, Video, and Audio Corpora; (5) Natural Language Processing for the World Wide Web; (6) Ontological Engineering; and (7) Qualitative Preferences in Deliberation and Practical Reasoning.