RE: Hardware Progress: $212/GFlop/s

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Wed May 07 2003 - 09:43:21 MDT

Stephan Reed:
> Likewise this year we have a team of programmers working on generalized
> semantic integration of relational databases. The objective of our work
> is to make structured information from databases and web services appear
> to be Cyc assertions for the purpose of deductive inference.

I am pretty skeptical that this can be done in a meaningful and generalized

I've just gone through a long process of mapping a bunch of biology
databases into Novamente's semantic structures... and it was not a
straightforward task, it required a lot of human intelligence and some
biological knowledge too, to get the mappings right.

Of course, one can simply map the relational algebra of an RDB into
predicate logic [or probabilistic combinatory term logic, in Novamente's
case]. This may lead to something interesting, sometimes. But it will very
very rarely lead to anywhere near the most natural logical representation of
the RDB structures.

Of course, a smart enough AI can read in the RDB in a simplistic
mathematical way, and then on its own learn a better reprsentation,
reformulating the RDB-derived knowledge intenrally. Novametne is not that
smart yet, and I don't believe Cyc is either...

But maybe you don't really mean a "generalized" way? I mean, if you're
looking at a restricted class of DB's (say, transactional DB's that back-end
web servers; or DB's that come with Siebel systems) you may be able to do
something "generic" across that class. Even there, though some special-case
translator tweaking will probably be needed for each DB you process, unless
the DB's are *really* regimented (as in the case of Siebel DB's).


-- Ben G

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