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  • Writer's pictureMichael DeBellis

Using an LLM to help build ontologies: The Basic Formal Ontology (BFO) Assistant

I wanted to add some definition comments to an ontology I'm building today. I like to follow standards as much as possible and I remember BFO has a specific standard for how to describe classes and I think other entities. I tried looking through the BFO book and manual I have but I'm impatient and when I couldn't find it right away I tried Google. That didn't work either so I tried ChatGPT. That didn't work either but it was closer.


Then I remembered seeing a new feature of a Wizard to create intelligent assistants on the Open AI developer page. So I created an assistant and fed it the Building Systems with BFO book and the BFO specification. It was very easy. Of course at this point I was also finding more interesting things to do than write documentation.


I asked the BFO Assistant "What is the appropriate format for writing definition comments in BFO?" That didn't work either. I mean it was actually a good answer but not exactly what I was looking for. See below.


I refined my question a bit with an example from my best recollection of what the standard was and that worked! I got exactly the information I was looking for:



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