Re: Doug Lenat's THE BIG PICTURE

eaf@HPP.Stanford.EDU (Edward Feigenbaum)
Message-id: <>
X-Sender: (Unverified)
Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable
Date: Wed, 7 Jun 1995 23:55:49 -0500
To: (Eduard Hovy),, Doug Lenat <>
From: eaf@HPP.Stanford.EDU (Edward Feigenbaum)
Subject: Re: Doug Lenat's THE BIG PICTURE
Precedence: bulk
>The main problem is not what the rep. language looks like, it's what's
>*in* it, and how you *get* it there...

Lenat is right; and Hovy is right (see sentence above).
Computer scientists love "form" and shun "content". That's their nature.
(Lenat is a mutation.)
The observation is not new. Minsky wrote about it in his 1969 Turing Award
speech, "Form and =C7ontent in Computer Science." I wrote about it in my
Turing Award speech last March.
Comnputer scientists run away from content, but content is almost all there
is. Our many and various AI programs have great form but most of them dont
do anything very interesting because we have not given them the content
(the knowledge). As one of this list's e-correspondents put it, it's too
hard (the implication being that we should therefore run away from it).
When Diderot envisoned the idea of an encyclopedia, that too was hard. But
he did it, and then the human race had an encyclopedia of knowledge.

The content-full KB is on the critical path to machine intelligence. So
let's stop philosophizing about it, or logicizing about it. Let's just do

Ed F.

Edward A. Feigenbaum
Chief Scientist, United States Air Force

Tel: 703-697-7842
=46ax: 703-697-5154