June is the date when Walton, Massachusetts-based artificial intelligence supremo AICorp will launch its KBMS or Knowledge Base Management System expert systems building tool in Europe. The company – formerly Artificial Intelligence Corp – started design work on the system in August 1986, and has conducted extensive on-site tests within a four client KBMS consortium in the US, where the product has been available in full production form since March. AICorp claims that KBMS is the only AI-based system on the market to combine the four founding tenets of artificial intelligence: goal-directed reasoning or backward chaining; data-driven reasoning or forward chaining; object oriented reasoning; and hypothetical reasoning. An added commercial bonus is the integration with the KBMS of AICorp’s natural language system Intellect, which enables the user to convey specifications to the programmer through an English language interface. The company is now busily involved in setting up appropriate marketing machinery for the product’s arrival in Europe; it established a UK subsidiary in January (CI No 868), when it bought out its joint sales partner, Information Builders and now plans to establish similar sales and support subsidiaries in France and Germany. Equally significant and appropriate are the comapny’s attempts to break down the mystique surrounding artificial intelligence: a series of seminars examining the subject, the market, and the role of KBMS are planned on both sides of the Atlantic between April and May. A UK forum for demonstrating the product and assesing its market potential has already been provided in the shape of the UK Intellect Users consortium, which took place earlier this month in London; two thirds of some 30 executives invited to join the conference apparently found the system very interesting.
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