Re: Tomorrow is a new day

From: Stephen Reed (
Date: Fri Nov 05 2004 - 07:54:49 MST

Cycorp revenues, mostly from U.S. government sponsors, are an order of
magnitude higher than the numbers mentioned here. Over the last three
years, our staff has numbered between 50 and 70. We have a mix of
programmers (some advanced degrees), philosophers and linguists. About
half the staff have completed their PhDs. Because working to create an AI
is highly satisfying, our founder/owner Doug Lenat has been able to retain
an outstanding staff at reasonable salaries in Austin, Texas. It helps
that the working environment is highly academic compared to say IBM or
Dell. We do not scrimp on hardware, and are moving to AMD64 white box
servers. We are a linux shop and that saves on software license fees.

We are able to win contracts that are mostly aligned with core tasks that
we want to do, and unlike some companies that compete with us for U.S.
government contracts, we have a single ongoing software system (Cyc) that
is enhanced by the contract tasks.


On Thu, 4 Nov 2004, Michael Roy Ames wrote:

> I would concur with Michael Wilson on IT staffing costs. Today I just got
> home from an employee brainstorming day with Enkon, the company I work for
> (in Canada). The per employee remuneration cost is between $50 and $70K
> U.S. for high-quality and motivated staff. Bare subsistence pay is 1/3rd of
> those figures, depending on where you live.
> Michael Roy Ames
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Michael Wilson" <>
> To: <>
> Sent: Thursday, November 04, 2004 15:30
> Subject: Re: Tomorrow is a new day
> "J. Andrew Rogers" wrote:
> > Marc Geddes wrote:
> >> So at least $US 300 000 per year.
> >
> > Double the amount of money for the same setup, and
> > you might be in the ballpark.
> My last company had twelve inexperienced but talented staff,
> plus some experienced part time directors and consultants,
> plus state of the art workstations and a modest server farm.
> We spent about $420,000 in total during the year that we were
> fully operational. Since people are prepared to be underpaid
> just to work in the games industry, the salaries were probably
> comparable to people doing it for the ethics rather than the
> salary. If you want to hire top-notch staff off the shelf,
> inhabit prestige offices and and a serious compute cluster,
> triple that. If you want to do it in a tech hot spot and use
> industry best practices and high-powered consultants, double
> it again. Add the cost of a supercomputer if you think AGI
> needs one. Fortunately the SIAI project doesn't need marketing,
> distribution, customer support (shame, the seed AI helpdesk
> would be an amusing experience) or any of those other near/post
> deployment inconveniences.
> * Michael Wilson
> ___________________________________________________________ALL-NEW Yahoo!
> Messenger - all new features - even more fun!

Stephen L. Reed                  phone:  512.342.4036
Cycorp, Suite 100                  fax:  512.342.4040
3721 Executive Center Drive      email:
Austin, TX 78731                   web:
         download OpenCyc at

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:00:50 MDT