Los Angeles Times has an article about an artificial intelligence project called ‘Cyc’ for encyclopedia which has been in existence for approximately 17 years with the goal of overcoming the ‘common sense’ problem with artificial intelligence. Namely that computers can do logic quite well, they simply lack common sense knowledge necessary for intelligence. For example, a computer has to be told that red spots on an automobile are unlikely to be caused by measles, but are a possibility in humans. However, entering common sense knowledge is a daunting challenge which now appears to be nearing a usable level with 1.4 million assertions entered into Cyc’s knowledge base. Since its inception, medical applications have been expected from this project and the prospect of semi-sentient medical record software is fascinating. The full knowledge base is only available to licensees, but a small open source version with the same inference engine Updated 6/27/01, 12:08 CST: is scheduled for release ‘late summer 2001’ under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) according to the OpenCyc website.