The Open Cognition Project
We're undertaking a serious effort to build a thinking machine.
That is, our long-term goal is the creation of an advanced Artificial General Intelligence system, with cognitive capability at the human level and (we hope) ultimately beyond. Out strategy is straight-forward:
- Perform incremental research and development in many key areas.
- Develop a software infrastructure, consisting of various useful and usable parts.
- Develop detailed plans (subject to ongoing revision based on what we learn as we proceed!)
- Assemble a team of thinkers, writers, technologists, developers and scientists able to carry this out.
This last point cannot be underemphasized:
We want you to be a part of the team!
There are many opportunities, many ways in which you can participate!
The OpenCog project provides key components and a platform for AI R&D. We hope that the platform will be appealing to students, scientists and system integrators. Don't be fooled: AI, and the theories underlying it, are quite complex. This complexity is reflected in the system components. If we could see a way of making it easy and simple to use, we would. So far, results are mixed.
- App developers and system integrators are invited to contribute standard API's and interfaces to the existing systems. We think that there are several interesting technology pieces, including the AtomSpace knowledge store, the MOSES machine learning system, and the ghost avatar system.
- Students interested in AGI are encouraged to pick specific subject areas, focus and drill deep into them.
- Scientists are encouraged to use OpenCog as a research platform. This includes the exploration of knowledge-representation systems as a form of programming (the Atomese programming language), the unsupervised learning of natural structure, focusing on natural language, and the duality between neural network ("deep learning"), distributional and symbolic approaches to knowledge representation.
The Getting Started page provides more details.
The OpenCog community operates as a virtual "AI Lab", with several modes of communication:
- Real-time chat (IRC, Matrix, Slack)
- Issues & Trouble Tickets (Github issues)
- Short-form prose (Twitter, Scuttlebutt, Diaspora*)
- Long-form prose (the mailing list, Wiki, Blog)
Here's how to participate:
- Slack: opencog.slack.com. Invites are found here
- IRC: the #opencog channel on freenode (not used very much these days as slack tends to be used instead)
- Mailing List: email@example.com
- Github: The project repos
- Blog: The OpenCog Brainwave Blog
- Wiki: You are on it, right now.
- Events: A list of past and upcoming meetings and events
Please be aware of the rules of etiquette when interacting with others.
There are also some feeds:
- OpenCog Foundation News, a feed of occasional news items from the OpenCog Foundation organizational website.
- Github source revisions in ATOM feed format
One place to start is with the Hands On With OpenCog tutorials. Or just take a look at the code on GitHub. Jump straight in, by attempting some of the quick tasks or the not so quick tasks. Some guides that should be helpful:
- Getting Started as an OpenCog Developer
- Infrastructure Documentation
- Building OpenCog
- Code Maturity Guide
- Assorted Ideas for Further Development (and an Early 2017 Ideas Page)
- Map of the wiki site
Participating in the project will be almost impossible, without a good grounding in theory. Here's some ways to get that:
- OpenCog By Way of Wikipedia -- all the theory you need can be found on Wikipedia!
- Ben Goertzel's book, Real World Reasoning, formatted as a wikibook, for online reading.
- Background Publications from Ben and others.
The project is very much inspired and supported by Dr. Ben Goertzel, who has been writing about, promoting and planning AGI for decades. Without him, none of what's been discovered or built would have been possible. The project is formally hosted by the OpenCog Foundation.