A large knowledge-based system
Cyc is a very large, multi-contextual knowledge base
and inference engine
, the development of which started at the Microelectronics and Computer Technology Corporation
(MCC) in Austin, Texas during the early 1980s.
Over the past eleven years the members of the Cyc team, lead by Doug Lenat
, have added to the knowledge base a huge amount of fundamental human knowledge: facts
, rules of thumb, and heuristics
for reasoning about the objects and events of modern everyday life.
Cyc is an attempt to do symbolic AI
on a massive scale. It is not based on numerical methods such as statistical probabilities, nor is it based on neural networks
or fuzzy logic
. All of the knowledge in Cyc is represented declaratively
in the form of logical assertions
. Cyc presently contains approximately 400,000 significant assertions, which include simple statements of fact, rules about what conclusions to draw if certain statements of fact are satisfied, and rules about how to reason with certain types of facts and rules. The inference engine
derives new conclusions using deductive reasoning
To date, Cyc has made possible ground-breaking pilot applications in the areas of heterogeneous
database browsing and integration, captioned image retrieval
, and natural language processing
In January of 1995, a new independent company named Cycorp was created to continue the Cyc project. Cycorp is still in Austin, Texas. The president of Cycorp is Doug Lenat
The development of Cyc has been supported by several organisations, including Apple
, and Microsoft
Unofficial FAQ (http://robotwisdom.com/ai/cycfaq.html).