Open Mind Common Sense

With Push Singh, Marvin Minsky, and countless others

In 1999, I began what would become a twenty year undertaking to collect things people knew and computers didn't and find a way to make them easier for computers to understand. The OMCS project at the MIT Media Lab to collect common sense from volunteers on the internet.

We were the first to use crowdsourcing for artificial intelligence - I called it "harnessing the power of bored people on the internet" at the time. We were probably the first people to do digital crowdsourcing in the modern sense though crowdsourcing has been around forever.

I think of OMCS as the crowdsourced portion of ConceptNet, something we don't actively do anymore.  The English crowdsourced repository is over one million sentences from over 35,000 contributors. There are crowdsourced OMCSes in Korean, Japanese, Portuguese, and Dutch.  Working with Nihon Unisys we were running crowdsourcing in Japanese until 2016.

There have been so many people who made ConcepNet possible - our UROPs, graduate students, collaborators, partners and of course contributors. Thank you.