Kenneth Haase
504 Edgewood Street NE · Washington, DC 20017
+1(617) 512-6867

What Excites Me I'm fascinated by human learning and understanding; inspired to make individuals and communities both smarter and wiser; and working to create frameworks, services, and applications which apply advanced computation to human concerns.
Some Things I've Done Artifical intelligence, electronic reading interfaces and standards, database and knowledge base algorithms and implementation, natural language processing, machine learning and discovery, information retrieval, knowledge representation, programming language design and development, intelligent multimedia databases, expert system development, environments for children's game design.
Some Career Highlights

Completed MIT PhD at the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. My thesis, supervised by Marvin Minsky and advised by Patrick Winston and Thomas Kuhn, was on computational models of discovery, invention, and creativity.

Associate Professor at the MIT Media Laboratory, executing and supervising research in knowledge representation, intelligent information retrieval, and natural language understanding, advanced multimedia databases, augmented news systems, and visualization of very large scale conversations.

Founder of beingmeta (inc) developing platforms, products and capabilities for advanced content and knowledge management and delivery, especially semantic search, community tagging, and social reading.

Founder, director, and advisor for a variety of European advanced R&D laboratories and centers, particularly in Germany, Brussels, Finland, and Ireland. This included serving as the Director of Media Lab Europe, the Dublin-based European spin-off of MIT's Media Laboratory.

Bedford St. Martin's (a division of Macmillan) deployed the search technology which I developed at beingmeta as the central component in two of their flagship undergraduate e-textbooks. I was the lead on the deployment of the technology of which two generations were deployed in production over several years, serving tens of thousands of students.


Doctor of Philosophy in Artificial Intellgence 1990
Massachussetts Institute of Technology
Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
“Exploration and Invention in Discovery”
Marvin Lee Minsky

Master of Science in Computer Science 1986
Massachussetts Institute of Technology
Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
“TYPICAL: An Implemented Approach to Type Specification and Inference”
Marvin Lee Minsky

Bachelor of Science 1984
Massachussetts Institute of Technology
Department of Philosophy & Linguistics
“ARLO: Another Representation Language Offer”
Marvin Lee Minsky

Work Experience 

Founder & President
August 2001 to Present  beingmeta, inc

Founded beingmeta to commercialize research work begun at MIT and market it to media enterprises and other sectors. Involved in business planning and operations, marketing and fund-raising, and product development.

Chief AI Officer
March 2018 to May 2019 Sorcero, Inc

As part of the leadership team of Sorcero, an education and training company, I was involved in architecting the application of artificial intelligence into training and learning processes. For much of the time, I also oversaw the deployment of prototypes and pilots in AWS, drawing on my experience at beingmeta.

Senior Software Developer
HISP US March 2006 to March 2009 

I (through beingmeta) joined the global team developing and maintaining DHIS2, a large open-source Java/SQL application used to track health data and spending across most of the developing world. Especially focused on support for outbreak surveillance and data validation in the State Department funded DATIM program of PEPFAR.

Consulting Software Architect
Clear Methods, inc March 2006 to March 2009 

Consulted on design, implementation, and integration issues for an XML-based programming language (Water) and prototyping and delivery environment (Steam XML). Contributions included updating development practices and practical enterprise integration of their existing infrastructure.

University of Tampere February 1998 to February 2005 

Working in the Department of Journalism & Mass Communication, I helped design and advise on research programs in media technology as well as helping to shape undergraduate and graduate activities toward new technologies and philosophies of communication.

Senior Research Scientist
Media Lab Europe (Dublin) October 2003 to September 2004 

Led and executed research in common sense reasoning, especially focused on using analogy to provide robust adaptability to knowledge systems.

Acting Director
Media Lab Europe (Dublin) November 2002 to October 2003 

Served as acting director of a joint research venture between MIT and the Irish government. In addition to overall operational and fundraising responsibility (assisted by a strong team), I was responsible for scientific direction and vision as well as instituting structures for research evaluation and critique.

Visiting Professor
University of California, Irvine January 2001

Visting professor jointly hosted by UC Irvine's School of Arts and School of Engineering, working on creative synergies between the two programs.

Visiting Associate Professor
MIT Media Laboratory September 1998 to August 2001 

Visiting Associate Professor of Media Arts and Sciences, exploring issues in large-scale knowledge bases, intelligent multi-media systems, and computer understanding of unrestricted natural language text.

StarLab (Brussels) December 1997 to June 1999 

Consulted on the establishment of a new multi-disciplinary laboratory — StarLab — chartered as a long-term research laboratory by the European Commission. During most of 1997 and 1998, I was based in Brussels, assisting in the creation of the StarLab, while continuing a consulting relationship with the MIT Media Laboratory.

MIT Media Laboratory October 1997 to September 1999 

Consulted on European initiatives and research in Machine Understanding, continuing work described below.

Founding Scientific Director
Klaus Tschira Foundation (Stiftung) June 1997 to October 1997

Founder and initial scientific director of the "European Media Laboratory" for the Klaus Tschira Foundation in Heidelberg, Germany. Work involved establishing structures and mission for the laboratory, making affiliations with local universities, and meeting with prospective industrial sponsors. I left the laboratory, having started several new initiatives, when negotiations broke down between the KTF and MIT.

Project Leader
News In the Future Program June 1991 to June 1997 

Project leader for News In the Future program, responsible for managing $500,000-$700,000 of research (out of approximately $2,000,000) for a consortium of publishers and technology companies interested in future news and information systems. Responsibilities included fundraising, sponsor presentations and workshops, managing graduate student research, and numerous other tasks.

MIT Media Laboratory January 1990 to June 1997 

Professor of Media Arts and Sciences exploring issues in large-scale knowledge bases, intelligent multi-media systems, and computer understanding of unrestricted natural language text. Teaching included courses in Artificial Intelligence programming, the content-based description and manipulation of media, and storytelling in new media. Co-architect of prototype undergraduate curriculum in Media Arts and Sciences.

Software Projects

a language and framework for intelligent semantic processing at scale, including support for very large knowledge bases, versatile text processing, non-deterministic (Prolog-style) programming, microservice deployment, web development, and natural language processing. Kno and its scripting language Knox (a variant of Scheme) are especially optimized for modern CPU architectures, efficient multi-threading, and very fast search and set operations. A novel FFI interface allows Kno modules and applications to transparently use libraries and services from Python. Kno is the successor to FramerD, a platform orginally developed at MIT and subsequently reimplemented at beingmeta.
a large general-purpose knowledge base constructed, originally at MIT, from a variety of public domain sources. BRICO provides the foundation for both meaning-aware interfaces (such as Babelvision) and rich language-based understanding and search (for example). BRICO's name comes from the French word bricolage which describes a composition of disparate pieces and was used by Piaget to describe how children came to understand the world.
is a novel e-book reader designed to be plugged in to web-based HTML e-books. Written using web standards including modern Javascript, client-side storage, HTML, and CSS, Metareader translates the affordances of physical books to device-based reading and provides modern versions of powerful UX innovations such as tables of content, marginal annotation, and editorial indexes. In particular, MetaReader provides: on-device searching based on both concepts (structured tags) and plain text; fine-grained annotations of book content which could be persisted and shared through external web-based APIs; browsing and discovery tools based on text's narrative structure and amplified by search; and meta-publishing and social reading where annotations provide the basis of conversation, instruction, and commerce. The reader also has it's own intelligent layout engine (written in Javascript) which honors the book's structure and narrative flow in structuring the display of book content. MetaReader makes use of modern browsers' offline storage and the features of mobile OSes to provide app-like functionality in a mobile browser.
an online store for the next-generation of online long-form reading. It included APIs for saving, organizing, and sharing the annotations and discussions created by readers. In addition to maintaining a personal bookhself of uploaded or open source texts, it includes (in alpha) an online publishing environment and e-book store. One novel feature was the ability of third parties to create (and sell) collections of annotations and additional content which readers could apply to purchased books. This system used cryptographic "proofs of purchase" (implemented as JSON web tokens, JWTs) in an effort to ensure that this added value was only available to readers which had actually purchased the original content.
a high-speed natural language processing engine, it is based on optimizing finite state machines, which combine a weighted hand-coded grammar with a weighted lexicon to analyze English natural language text. The weighting of the grammar and the lexicon can be trained on sample corpora, but Shortcut's turn-key accuracy is high and easily adjusted for domain specific language or terms. In addition, it readily out-performs competing technologies (such as Spacy) by an order of magnitude.
a portability and utility library written in modern C for Unix-based platforms, providing portable UTF-8 handling, lightweight network client and server functions, an exception handling framework, pathname manipulation, streaming character-encoded i/o, and portable event logging. libu8 also provies locale-independent wrappers for many system calls and libraries, including file access, resource usage, time functions, and cryptographic functions.

Smaller efforts

is a Javascript utility library for web applications. In addition to providing lightweight DOM utilities (akin to JQuery and its successors), fdjt provides for client-side knowledge bases and indexes based on the architecture of FramerD/Kno.
is a set of command line tools for using Amazon's S3 service as a data file repository.
is system administration tool for keeping local directories in sync with a variety of remote sources. Upsource simplifies one component of the provisioning process and is used by beingmeta for all of its cloud-based or VM-based instance provisioning.
is a Javascript library for processing and applying knodules, a lightweight knowledge and inference framework based on Aristotle's term logic.

Selected Publications

Books and Book Chapters

Hands For The Mind: How We Think With Models, work in progress.
Machine Discovery, in Machine Learning, edited by R. Forsyth, Chapman and Hall 1989.

2. Papers in Refereed Journals and Collections

Better Image Searching Through Shared Annotations (co-authored with David Tames), ACM Interactions, February 2004.
Why the Media Lab Works, IBM Systems Journal, Volume 39, Numbers 3&4, Fall 2000.
BRICO: Building an Inter-Lingual Ontology, IBM Systems Journal, Volume 39, Numbers 3&4, Fall 2000.
Do Agents Need Understanding?, IEEE Expert, February 1997.
FramerD: Representing Knowledge in the Large, IBM Systems Journal, Volume 35, Numbers 3&4, Fall 1996.
Video and Image Semantics: Advanced Tools for Telecommunications (co-authored with Alex Pentland, Rosalind W. Picard, Glorianna Davenport) in IEEE MultiMedia 1(2), (1994)

3. Papers in Proceedings of Refereed Conferences

Context for Semantic Metadata, Proceedings ACM Multimedia 2004, New York, 2004.
A Model of Poetic Comprehension, Proceedings AAAI-96, AAAI Press 1996.
Inherited Feature-based Similarity Measure Based on Large Semantic Hierarchy and Large Text Corpus (co-authored with Hideki Hirakawa & Zhonghui Xu), Proceedings of COLING 1996, pp. 508-513.
Using Semantic Knowledge for Information Retrieval, in Proceedings SIGIR-95, 1995.
Framer: A Persistent, Portable, Representation Library, Proceedings ECAI-94, 1994.
Supporting Knowledge Representation in the Large, Workshop on AI in Service and Support Applications, AAAI-93, 1993.
Cyrano-3: An Experiment in Representational Invention, Workshop on Machine Learning, International Conference on Machine Learning, 1992.
A Uniform Memory-based Representation for Visual Languages, with Anil Chakravarthy and Louis Weitzman, 1992, in Proceedings of ECAI-92.
Discovery Systems, Proceedings of ECAI-86, 1986.

4. Reviews

Too Many Ideas, Just One Word: A Review of Margaret Boden's The Creative Mind, in AI Journal, Volume 79, Number 1, December 1995.

Work Experience (Earlier)

MIT AI Laboratory October 1980 to January 1990 

Worked under the supervision of Professor Marvin Minsky on a range of research areas including automated discovery systems, agent-based approaches to reasoning, massively parallel decision networks. robot learning, and self-referential description languages.

Norton Corporation Spring 1986 to January 1990

Consulted for Norton Corporation (a multinational manufacturing support company based in Worcester, Massachusetts) on developing an expert system providing product engineering advice about Norton's product line.

Bank of Boston August 1988 to January 1990 

Consulted on the development of advisory systems for anticipating fluctuations and significant events in a trading market. Implemented system was taught as a `case' by the Harvard Business School.

Visiting Lecturer
Vrije Universiteit Brussel January and Autumn 1987

Visiting Lecturer at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (the Dutch-speaking Free University in Brussels, Belgium), teaching courses in knowledge representation and Artificial Intelligence.

MCC (Microelectronics and Computer Consortium) 1984 to 1985

Consulted with Doug Lenat and the CYC project at MCC (the Microelectronics and Computer Consortium) on very large knowledge bases. Helped design and develop early versions of the CYCL language.

Thinking Machines Corporation June 1984 to November 1984

Worked with David Waltz and Doug Lenat at Thinking Machines Corporation, extending the `representation language language' ARLO for application to encyclopedic knowledge bases and automated discovery.

Atari, Inc. 1982 to 1984

Worked for Alan Kay and Cynthia Solomon at ATARI's research labs in Sunnyvale, California and Cambridge, Massachusetts. Developed systems and languages for describing computer animation and synchronizing music (using symbolic descriptions of musical events) to computer generated animation. Also developed a gestural user interface to operating systems and AI languages (called the `information waldo'), environments for teaching object oriented programming (in the experimental language QLOGO), and applied the knowledge representation language ARLO to representing encyclopedia level knowledge.

Cambridge Computer Animation Workshop  Spring 1983

While at ATARI, I conceived and organized, together with Ann Marion, the Cambridge Computer Animation Workshop, bringing together traditional animators, workers in computer animation, and Artificial Intelligence researchers in a discussion of what the future of animated movie-making --- in the home and in the studio --- might look like.

Research Assistant
National Bureau of Standards Summer 1980 and January 1981

Worked for Dr. James Albus on computational models of cerebellar activity for robot control. My work consisted of constructing simple mathematical models and computer simulations based on an explanation of cerebellar activity developed by Dr. James Albus. The model --- called CMAC (for Cerebellar Model Arithmetic Computer) --- specified a system that could be trained to produce smooth continuous functions of the sort needed for controlling robot motion. My work involved experimenting with and analyzing various training algorithms.

Independent Researcher
University of Maryland 1978 to 1980

Worked with Professor Charles Rieger at the University of Maryland on simulation and analysis of parallel neural networks. With the ZMOB parallel processor project, developed MICRONIVER, an assembly language package for multi-processing and continuation passing on the Z-80 processor. Also explored highly parallel semantic network implementations which supported propositional inference and multiple worlds reasoning.

Other Cool Stuff

Other interesting accomplishments over the years highlight some more of my skills and interests:

late 1970s

Microniver provided a low-level library for continuation-based or parallel processing (implemented in Z-80 assembler).

early 1980s

Cauldrons implemented part of Minsky's "Society of Mind" theory through a multi-context assertion-based reasoner that provided the assertional equivalent of "procedure calls" and inferential "memoizing."

early 1980s

An animation system providing non-programmer tools for specifying graphical animations; included the coordination of animated characters with musical (MIDI) event streams.

mid-early 1980s

The Dungeon Kit provided an environment for creating online interactive games with responsive characters and visual and audio effects. It was implemented in QLOGO, an object-oriented version of the Logo language.

mid-early 1980s and later

Various representation language languages starting with ARLO (my Bachelor's thesis in philosophy), that provided flexible inference and storage frameworks for a range of applications.

mid 1980s

The information waldo provided a direct manipulation environment for computer data and knowledge bases using a physical device thatx I designed to translate intuitive hand gestures into mouse events.

mid 1980s

TYPICAL (my M.S. thesis program) was a sophisticated type inference system embedded in Scheme which was used to represent mathematical concepts.

late 1980s

CYRANO (my Ph.D. thesis program) was a mathematical discovery program inspired by Lenat's AM and Eurisko programs (their vision, accomplishments, and shortcomings) but based partially on Ray Solomonoff's algorithmic complexity theory (which was in turn based on the work Gregory Chaitin and others (and eventually, Claude Shannon).

late 1980s

The abrasives advisor was an expert system for the custom engineering of abrasive products, codifying the expert knowledge of a key sales engineer at a large manufacturing firm. It was used extensively at the firm over many years and was implemented in Common LISP for DOS-based PCs.

early 1990s

The Fed Funds advisor was a tool for traders at a major bank's Money Market desk, using simple calendar-based heuristics to suggest possible factors influencing market fluctuations. This system was the basis of a Harvard Business School case study (it reportedly paid back many times its development costs). This was implemented in TI Scheme for DOS-based PCs.


Reimplementations of classic AI programs (planners, parsers, story understanders, etc) written for various AI programming classes taught at the MIT Media Lab for non-engineers. All written in Common Lisp.

early-mid 1990s

An analogical window system which combined a novel prototype-based object system (Framer) with analogical algorithms to automatically create visual renderings of new data based on past renderings of similar information. This work was joint with the Visual Language Workshop at MIT and linked with their BadWindows environment. Written in C.

mid 1990s

A poetry “understander” which implemented a model of aesthetic comprehension which treated poems as analogy teaching machines whose formal structure (rhyme, meter, layout) cued semantic analogies. Written in C and the FramerD scripting language.

mid 1990s

Semantic Clay was originally conceived as an art piece during my time at UC Irvine. It was a web-based Java applet which used the BRICO knowledge base and allowed viewers to explore a space of words and meanings by exposing related terms (including across languages) as individual terms were selected or emphasized by user interaction. While there were plans to create a gesture and projection-based installation based on the software, it was never completed.

Non-Technical Experience

Presiding Clerk
Beacon Hill Friends Meeting August 1990 to June  1991

Responsible for the oversight of Meeting activities and especially for listening and guiding in the Monthly Meeting for Business, a 300-year old Quaker process for consensus decision making grounded in Quaker spirituality.

Recording Clerk
Beacon Hill Friends Meeting August 1990 to June  1991

Kept records of Monthly Meetings for Business and worked with the clerk to craft minutes which captured the "sense of the meeting" derived from worship and discussion.

Clerk, Committee on Ministry and Counsel
New England Yearly Meeting August 1990 to June  1991

Clerked the New England-wide committee on Ministry and Counsel of Friends' meetings. Responsibilities included leading meetings, organizing activities, and helping identify and set agendas.

Committee on Ministry and Counsel
New England Yearly Meeting August 1987 to June 1991

Served as a member of the New England-wide committee on Ministry and Counsel of Friends' meetings, having oversight for spiritual and corporate life of both individual meetings and New England Yearly Meeting as a whole.

Board of Directors
Beacon Hill Friends House June 1986 to June 1990

Served as a member of the Board of Directors of Beacon Hill Friends' House, a rooming house --- primarily for Boston-area students --- on Boston's Beacon Hill.

Senior Staff
The Haley House Storefront March 1985 to April 1990

Served as a "shift-head'" at Haley House, a soup kitchen storefront in Boston's South End. Responsibilities involved organizing (or co-organizing) the storefront for one day a week, including preparing food, lending a listening ear, or calming difficult guests.

Live-in Staff
The Haley House Storefront April 1988 to February 1989

Live-in staff at `Haley House.' As a member of the live-in staff, I took responsibility (together with others) for maintaining the general operation of the storefront and the broader scope of Haley House's activities.

Committee on Ministry and Counsel
Beacon Hill Friends Meeting September 1986 to September 1989

Served as a member of the Committee on Ministry and Counsel, a group within the Friends' Meeting which provides pastoral care for the Meeting and its members.

Personal Information

Age 57, married for 8 years. Born and raised in the Washington D.C. area, where I currently reside. For most of my adult life, I lived in and around Boston, Massachusetts but have also lived in Belgium, Germany, and Ireland together with extended periods in Finland, Texas, and California. A Convinced Quaker for years and have been active in local, regional, national, and international Quaker contexts.

Personal interests are philosophy, poetry, scuba diving, sailing, cooking, science fiction, and volunteer work.