Knowledge Begets Knowledge: Steps towards Assisted Knowledge Acquisition in Cyc

Michael Witbrock, Cynthia Matuszek, Antoine Brusseau, Robert Kahlert, C. Bruce Fraser, and Douglas Lenat

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.


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