The Short:

Researches across the globe are making daily advances towards the development of human level artificial intelligence, but sadly the algorithms and the software that represent these advances often remain hidden within researcher's computer labs, out of reach for others to review and build upon.

Enter OpenCog, an entire website dedicated to the development and distribution of artificial intelligence tools, software, and resources that are open source and freely available for anyone to use and modify.  Opencog's ultimate goal is to develop true human level artificial intelligence, but even if Opencog fails to achieve this most ambitious of goals the project still seems poised to bring many other significant benefits to the AI community.

Opencog was only recently launched in 2008 and at present appears to have a small following.  The project offers the promise of an open and novel approach to developing and sharing new advances in AI, and it will be exciting to see it evolve and gain momentum in the coming years.

The Long:

Opencog is led by prominent AI scientist Ben Goertzel who will be presenting the opencog project at the Singularity Summit 2008.  Opencog is a multifaceted project with multiple goals and initiatives.  One of the most prominent components of the project is called the opencog framework.  From the opencog website:

The OpenCog Framework, which is part of the The OpenCog Project (a platform to build and share artificial intelligence programs), includes components for procedural and declarative knowledge representation (AtomTable), task scheduling (CogServer), AI algorithm containers (MindAgents), XML data import and export, connectors to instant messaging and virtual world systems, and other facilities. MindAgents and other add-ons under active development explore a wide variety of AI techniques including evolutionary program learning, probabilistic inference and reasoning, natural language processing, and others.

The OpenCog Framework will be released under an OSI-approved free software license in Summer 2008. To get involved, please post to the OpenCog general mailing list at http://groups.google.com/group/opencog/.

Interested C++ developers or other technically inclined individuals, please drop in at #opencog on IRC.freenode.net.

Here is an image showing where the the opencog framework sits on the computing stack:

Opencog is also developing a collection of specific AI tools (e.g. learning and reasoning components) to be used in creating AI systems.  From the site:

The key tools initially provided as part of OpenCog are

  1. The RelEx natural language comprehension system
  2. The MOSES probabilistic evolutionary learning system
  3. The PLN (Probabilistic Logic Networks) framework
  4. A system for Economic Attention Allocation and associative memory
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