May 2, 2015

OpenCyc Advances Starting Line for Intelligent Software – Press Release

Publication Date:  Tue, 03/06/2001

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 after DARPA’s invention of the Internet.

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.

About Cycorp

Since 1984, Cycorp, Inc. headquartered in Austin, Texas has been the leading supplier of formalized common sense software and has developed the world’s largest common sense knowledge base. Cycorp during its 17 year history has predominantly focused on government R&D contracts which has allowed it to develop and refine its common sense knowledge base and bring it to the point of commercialization. Cycorp plans to utilize this common sense knowledge base to create a new global knowledge utility, which will bring major changes in the coming years to software and systems development. The Cyc family of products comprises an immense multi-contextual knowledge base, an efficient inference engine, a set of interface tools, and a number of special-purpose application modules running on Unix, Windows NT, and other platforms.


DARPA, located in Arlington Virginia, is the central research agency for The United States Department of Defense. Over the years, DARPA has initiated technology innovations that have changed the world. DARPA was the original developer and funding source for the Internet; what became the World Wide Web was then called the

About IBM

IBM’s Business Registry can be found at