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Overview sticky icon

When people communicate, they rely on a large body of shared common sense knowledge in order to understand each other. Many barriers we face today in artificial intelligence and user interface design are due to the fact that computers do not share this knowledge. To improve computers' understanding of the world that people live in and talk about, we need to provide them with usable knowledge about the basic relationships between things that nearly every person knows.

In 1999, we began a project at the MIT Media Lab to collect common sense from volunteers on the internet. Ten years later our project has expanded to encompass many different areas, languages, and problems. Currently, the English site has over a million sentences from over 15,000 contributors.

ConceptNet 5

Hi folks! We're getting ready to release ConceptNet 5!

Special Issue on Common Sense and Intelligent Systems

Subject: ACM TiiS special issue on Common Sense for Interactive Systems

Call for Papers

Special Issue of the
ACM Transactions on Interactive Intelligent Systems

Main submission deadline: April 27th, 2011



Ideally, computers should be able to interact with users at a
higher level than they do now, by understanding our goals, our
problems, and the social procedures by which we live. But to do
so, they must have access to a wealth of information about the

New names for our Python packages

Years ago, we made a decision to put all our Python packages in a common namespace called csc. To put it simply, this did not work well. Today, we have finally undone this decision by deprecating the csc namespace and renaming every single one of our modules. Python programmers, please learn from our mistake and never make a namespace package.

If you upgrade our software, you'll get more straightforward names for our modules. The new releases are ConceptNet 4.0.0, Divisi2 2.2.0, csc-utils 0.6, and a new package called simplenlp 0.9.

The new names to import are:

  • csc.conceptnet → conceptnet
  • csc.divisi2 → divisi2
  • csc.nl → simplenlp
  • csc.util → csc_utils
  • csc.corpus → conceptnet.corpus
  • csc.lib → conceptnet.lib
  • csc.django_settings → conceptnet.django_settings
  • csc.pseudo_auth → conceptnet.pseudo_auth
  • csc.webapi → conceptnet.webapi

There's still a package called csc, and basically what it's there for is to make your old code keep working. When you import something from csc, this package will find the new name of the package and import everything from there.

Read on for more details, including how to update your installation.

Applying common-sense computing to an "NLP Challenge"

A blogger named Joseph Turian recently posted a challenge about finding semantically-related terms based on a very noisy data set. The results will be evaluated by humans.

This sounded like exactly what our techniques are good at.

The input data was certainly as noisy as promised. It was basically a corpus of .uk Web pages, run through a very unreliable phrase detector and reduced down to unique phrases.

Divisi at SciPy 2010

Catherine and I are currently at SciPy 2010, presenting Divisi, our Python SVD toolkit.


This month MIT's OMCS has had a visitor from Scotland and the Isle of Skye, Erik Cambria.

Reminder: CSK

Just a reminder that everyone should be working on their symposium papers! [deadline extended to May 21st!]


We moved to Github from Launchpad.

Although Launchpad is more well-branded, Github is faster and has more of the features we need.

It also fits our release cycle better. So head on over to github and add yourself!

CSK-10: Common Sense Knowledge

Doug Lenat, Ben Van Durme, and I are running a common sense AAAI symposium! Deadline May 14th. You should submit.