Open source refers to any software program that has a source code available to the public to use, share, and modify however they want. This could mean fixing bugs, improving software, or adapting it to meet specific needs. Open source technology opens the door for collaboration and the emergence of new models of software.
A program can only be labeled ‘open-source’ if it meets the standards set by ‘The Open-source Document’ which determines whether a software license can be given the open-source certification mark. This document was created by the ‘Open-source Initiative’, the corporation which monitors anything and everything related to open-source software.
With regards to artificial intelligence (AI), AI systems for problem solving, including Cognitive Computing systems, require a base collection of knowledge or corpus. Open source projects like WordNet, which catalogs words, synsets, and senses in English, can give application developers a jumpstart on building robust solutions with natural language capabilities. The same rings true for machine learning (ML), where the majority of ML libraries are available from the open source community (largely via The Apache Software Foundation).