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Doug Lenat says that MCC's Cyc is 95%-100% sure of success, and that only three more years of "brain surgery" are needed before shifting to natural-language input of detailed knowledge from technical domains. 2M rules have been coded, and 200 more are added each day (at a cost of $25M over the past 9 years). 28 knowledge engineers are still putting in "common knowledge" -- and Doug is working 80 hours per week -- but Apple, DEC, Microsoft, Kodak, Interval Research, Motorola, AT&T, Bellcore, and the Bell regionals are already planning software products. Applications are expected in intelligent information retrieval, online advice services, analysis of customer preferences, database cleaning, smart spreadsheets, enterprise modeling, and re-engineering of work flows. In database cleaning, for instance, Cyc might incorporate each record into its own knowledge base and report any contradictions -- such as a son who is older than his father. I486 machines are powerful enough to run Cyc, but Alan Kay expects ROM versions of Cyc to be incorporated in all computers. [Glenn Rifkin, CW, 5/10/93, p. 104.]

Knowledge engineers in Japan often start as systems engineers, since expert systems are typically only 10%-20% of a total system. Dianne Berry says that 70% of expert-system code deals with user interface. Earl Sacerdoti recommends that a knowledge engineer plan four days of work for every day of a domain expert's time. Total productivity, including testing and evaluation, should be around three if-then rules per day. [Jay Liebowitz, PC AI, May/June 93, p. 16.]

Andersen Consulting and Rome Laboratory (Rome, NY) have a 4-year, $7M Air Force contract to develop a knowledge-based CASE tool. [Business Wire, 4/21/93. Tim Finin.]

If the Brothers Dreyfus are right, not every task can be coded in rules. Gerald Tesauro's backgammon program tied the performance of several world-class players at the World Cup of Backgammon competition. Tesauro's program was programmed entirely by machine learning. It ran on an IBM RS/6000, winning 19 games and losing 19. [EDN, 1/28/93, p. 62.]

The Cognizer Almanac has been updated. Volume 1 (500 pp.) describes 150 leading-edge companies and their products. Volume 2 (208 pp.) contains 25 tutorials on fuzzy logic, NN, GA, VR, etc. $395 plus $20 S/H. The monthly Cognizer Report is $495. Cognizer Co. (Portland), (503) 246-6464. [PC AI, May/June 93, p. 14.] (How much should I charge for TCC? :-)

See PC AI (May/June 93, pp. 46-49) for a list of companies selling object-oriented development packages and intelligent software tools. (Company addresses might be used for job leads or collaborative research.)