Thoughts about knowledge representation

From: Gene Michael Stover

To: “usual guys”

When: 2021 December 11

This file is at and

Greetings, programs! (I think that should become my trademark opening.)

I'm sure that I sent you guys an early version of a thoughtful essay rant about how artificial intelligence practitioners should be sure to return to knowledge representation in the near future. I may also have talked about some implementation ideas for a symbolic, general purpose knowledge representation system.

Since then, I've been reading a lot about knowledge representation & had a realization.

If a person (me) wants a problem solver in a box, then traditional databases are fine. Yeah, we need more data, need to think about the schema, need to combine databases, so it's a tall order, but it's still traditional databases.

For example, if I want a problem solver in a box that finds the cure for cancer (or cures for many kinds of cancer), then I don't need a database schema that can represent “Jack used to wish that Jill thought he was hotter than Frank”, nor do I need an A.I. algorithm that can infer from that Jack's motivations for that wish & speculate why Jack no longer wishes it.

For problems like finding new drugs, I suspect we need...

Since I would like to make a contribution, even if it's tiny such as proof-reading documentation for machine-learning libraries for Python programmers, this realization leaves me wondering what I could do to help.