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Unlocking the Power of Commonsense Reasoning: An Overview

How to Unlock the Power of Commonsense Reasoning for Your Business

If you’ve ever watched a robot attempt to navigate a room filled with obstacles or tried to teach a computer program to recognize the nuances of human language, then you know the limitations of traditional AI. Despite significant advances in the field, machines still struggle with tasks that come naturally to the human brain, such as common sense reasoning.

But what exactly is common sense reasoning, and why should you care? In short, it’s the ability to draw logical conclusions based on everyday knowledge and experience, without relying on explicit rules or pre-programmed information. And if you’re running a business that depends on accurate data analysis or complex decision-making, mastering this skill could give you a major competitive edge.

In this post, we’ll explore the benefits of commonsense reasoning and share tips on how to integrate it into your workflow.

What is Commonsense Reasoning, and Why is it Important?

According to the Cognitive Computation Group at MIT, commonsense reasoning “deals with the implicit knowledge that people have about everyday situations and events.” This knowledge includes a broad range of information about how the world works, from basic physics and causality to social norms and context-dependent behavior.

For humans, this type of reasoning is so integral to our daily lives that we often take it for granted. We know, for example, that drinking a glass of water will quench our thirst, or that putting on a coat will keep us warm in cold weather. We don’t need to be explicitly taught these facts or follow a set of rules to understand them – they come naturally to us through experience and observation.

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Machines, on the other hand, are notoriously bad at this kind of reasoning. They struggle to make logical inferences from incomplete or ambiguous data, and often make errors that seem obvious to humans. For example, a robot might walk straight into a chair because it didn’t recognize it as an obstacle, or a language model might misinterpret a statement because it doesn’t understand the subtle nuances of human communication.

However, recent advances in natural language processing, machine learning, and other AI techniques have made it possible to train machines to reason more like humans. These systems can analyze vast amounts of data to identify patterns and relationships, and use that information to make educated guesses about how the world works. By integrating commonsense reasoning into your business operations, you can leverage these capabilities to gain deeper insights, make better decisions, and improve overall performance.

How to Incorporate Commonsense Reasoning into Your Workflow

If you’re interested in harnessing the power of commonsense reasoning for your business, here are a few key strategies to consider:

1. Invest in AI tools that incorporate commonsense knowledge

One of the easiest ways to start using commonsense reasoning is to implement AI tools that are specifically designed to incorporate it. Some examples of such tools include the Cyc knowledge base, which contains over 16 million facts about the world, or the AllenNLP framework, which uses neural networks to reason about natural language text.

By using these types of tools, you can take advantage of the vast amount of commonsense knowledge that’s already been compiled and tested, without having to start from scratch. This can streamline your workflows and improve the accuracy and efficiency of your data analysis.

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2. Train your own AI models with commonsense data

If you have specific use cases that require specialized knowledge, you can also train your own AI models with commonsense data. This could involve gathering information from a variety of sources, such as public databases or user-generated content, and using it to train your models to recognize patterns and relationships.

For example, if you run a retail business, you might train your model to recognize common product attributes, such as color, size, and material, and use that information to predict customer preferences or optimize your inventory management. Or if you run a healthcare organization, you might train your model to recognize symptoms and risk factors for different diseases, and use that information to improve diagnoses and treatment plans.

3. Combine human expertise with AI tools

Finally, it’s important to remember that while AI can be incredibly powerful, it’s not a panacea. To truly leverage the benefits of commonsense reasoning, it’s important to combine the strengths of human expertise with the capabilities of AI tools.

This might involve hiring data analysts or subject matter experts who can help you identify key patterns and relationships in your data, and work with your AI tools to develop effective solutions. Or it might involve implementing collaborative workflows that involve both humans and machines in decision-making processes.


Commonsense reasoning is a critical skill for both humans and machines, and has the potential to revolutionize the way businesses operate. By incorporating commonsense knowledge into your workflows and leveraging the power of AI tools, you can gain deeper insights into your data, make better decisions, and improve overall organizational performance.

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To get started, consider implementing some of the strategies we’ve outlined above, and don’t be afraid to experiment and iterate as you go. With a little bit of creativity and persistence, you can unlock the true potential of commonsense reasoning and achieve new levels of success for your business.


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