An effort to encode the world’s knowledge in a huge database has sometimes seemed impractical, but those behind the technology say it is finally ready.
Having spent the past 31 years memorizing an astonishing collection of general knowledge, the artificial-intelligence engine created by Doug Lenat is finally ready to go to work.
Cyc has been given many thousands of facts, including lots of information that you wouldn’t find in an encyclopedia because it seems self-evident. It knows, for example, that that Sir Isaac Newton is a famous historical figure who is no longer alive. But more important, Cyc also understands that if you let go of an apple it will fall to the ground; that an apple is not bigger than a person; and that a person cannot throw an apple into space.