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A systematic ontology of concepts, projects and resources relevant to AGI.

List all Mind Ontology pages

A systematic ontology of concepts, projects and resources relevant to Artificial General Intelligence

Browse the sub-ontologies (below) for the actual contents!


On Adding New Top-Level Sub-ontologies

The initial set of 7 top-level sub-ontologies was chosen with considerable thought. Please put in a comparable amount of thought -- and, if you like, discuss on the AGI email list (see below) -- before adding a new top-level sub-ontology. Thanks!

Venue for Discussion

The appropriate venue for discussing issues related to the Mind Ontology is the AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) email list, which you can sign up for via http://www.agiri.org/email/


This Mind Ontology was initially created by Ben Goertzel in November 2006, with the goal of building a common language for discussing Artificial General Intelligence and Cognitive Science.

A major inspiration was the Gene Ontology (see http://www.geneontology.org), which is a systematic categorization of genes according to their functions.

A motivating observation was that discussions between individuals with different perspectives on AGI and cognition are often difficult as much because of lack of common terminology as because of differing points of view.

Major Sources

Most of the initial Mind Ontology was drawn from three sources:

(Other major sources may be listed here as becomes relevant as the Mind Ontology grows. Minor sources from which bits and pieces of information are derived need not be listed here, but may be listed on the relevant pages.)

For Those Who Wish to Augment or Modify the Mind Ontology

The comments in this section are mostly relevant to people who want to contribute to the Mind Ontology via adding new entries or substantially improving existing ones. They describe the current "design ideas" underlying the Mind Ontology, which are of course open to discussion and change.


Many of the topics treated in the Mind Ontology are matters of hypothesis or theory rather than fact, at this stage.

The Mind Ontology is not intended to represent any highly specific theory of mind, intelligence or AGI. Of course, some theoretical assumptions are built into its very construction (for instance, if you believe the essence of intelligence is a mystical vital force, then doubtless you will find all this talk about specific components of intelligence to be "much ado about nothing"). But the intention is that the theory-specificity of the Mind Ontology should be minimized.

Thus, if you find yourself disagreeing with something in the Mind Ontology, and it is a matter of hypothesis/theory rather than fact or formal definition, you are encouraged to add a concise and well-formulated summary of your own perspective to the relevent entries, or to construct new entries indicating your own perspective. References to publications or websites bolstering or reflecting your perspective will be much appreciated as well.

However, you should not remove others' content simply because you disagree with their theories or hypotheses. Rather, you should add your own views and explicitly present them as alternatives. This may be tricky to do in some cases where different conceptual approaches are wildly different and may even imply wholly different ontological structures. But even so, this is the right approach, in terms of building a collective understanding of the nature of artificial and biological mind and intelligence, which is the point of this Mind Ontology.

Semantic Conventions

Before modifying or augmenting the Mind Ontology, please read a bunch of entries carefully (both long and short ones; both abstract and concrete ones; etc.), to get a sense for the overall style and formal conventions.
Each entry in the Mind Ontology should contain

  • some content describing some term of relevance to AGI or cognitive science, including text and/or other media and/or embedded links to other sources
  • some links to other Mind Ontology entries, in a section titled Mind Ontology Links (which should always begin with a link to this page, the root of the Mind Ontology)
  • potentially, a separate section titled Links, containing hyperlinks leading outside the Mind Ontology

The links in the Mind Ontology Links section should use the following semantic link types (The best way to get a sense for the use of these is to look at existing pages, of course).

e.g. Event is a supercategory of Action
e.g Action is a subcategory of Event
e.g. OpenCog Cognition Engine is associated with NARS

Every page, except this one and the top-level sub-ontologies directly listed on this page, should have at least one Supercategory link. This guarantees that all pages can be reached from this page by following Supercategory links. Some pages may have no other links but the one required Supercategory link, which is just fine.

As conventions to maximize navigability of Mind Ontology Links, the following are suggested:

  • list links in the following order: Supercategories, then Subcategories, then Associations
  • within each category, list links alphabetically

Furthermore, there is a suggested "meta semantic link" called Orthogonal, to be used to indicate the case in which different sets of subcategories denote orthogonal subcategorizations. For an example of the usage of this, see the Mind Ontology Links section of the Mind entry.


For an earlier draft of a Mind Ontology, based on a different organizational principle (basically just the start of a glossary), see Prior Draft AGI Ontology. Integration of this older draft into the current Mind Ontology is a pending task.