How does knowledge get added to Cyc?

Cyc already has more than 90% of the knowledge that our new clients will ultimately use, but we do need to add pieces of domain knowledge and proprietary client information to have robust and customized applications. In this FAQ, we will quickly review the four primary methods by which knowledge is added to the knowledge base.

1. Knowledge is hand-crafted by an ontologist.

Cycorp is staffed by Ontological Engineers, typically philosophy Ph.Ds who are trained in making careful distinctions, converting natural language to higher order logic, and translating this into CycL, the epistemological language for Cyc. This method is used for most projects, especially early on. Ontologists are also available to deal with especially tricky cases after a given product is deployed. However, Cycorp ultimately wants to hand the reins over when a product is deployed, empowering customers to use other methods for adding to the knowledge base as necessary.

2. Knowledge is pulled in from structured or semi-structured data.

Certain documents, databases, and other sources may contain knowledge that is useful and structured enough to scrape in to the knowledge base. This is less common than the following.

3. Knowledge is accessed by connecting to, and/or modifying, a database.

One of Cyc’s greatest strengths is its ability to act as an interlingua between disparate data sources. We can connect to your data where it lives natively, and understand that data just as a new employee would. You simply need to tell Cyc how to connect to the data source, how it is structured, and what the data means. Adding data sources is a simple process that we have developed specialized tools for. In this way, clients can easily augment the knowledge base by adding data sources, or modify it by changing the contents of existing data sources.

4. Knowledge is entered using specialized knowledge addition tools.

As mentioned in (1) above, Cycorp aims to provide software solutions rather than long term professional services. To this end, we generate customized tools that enable those with little to no Cyc training to expand the knowledge base. We have a number of these tools available for demonstration upon request.

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