This article is published in the October 2022 issue.

NSF Releases Open Knowledge Network Roadmap Report

Transformative advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and technology require large amounts of accurate, comprehensive data. There is a widening disparity between the types and amounts of datasets that organizations have access to. This not only hinders research, but widens the knowledge gap between entities. A commonly talked about solution is developing an open source knowledge structure that will be available to everyone and house a wide diversity of data to help address pressing issues such as economic growth, climate change, misinformation, pandemic prevention etc. Last week the National Science Foundation (NSF) released an “Open Knowledge Network Roadmap Report” as a guide towards realizing this type of infrastructure.

In February through June of 2022,  NSF with support from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, put together the “Open Knowledge Network Innovation Sprint”. The event brought together stakeholders from industry, non profits, academia and the government to discuss specific use cases, potential application areas, and user insights into establishing an open knowledge system. The findings and discussions were synthesized and written into a comprehensive roadmap.

The report outline is the following:

Section 1 introduces the vision of the OKN, including its features, functions, and benefits, and related work in this area.

• Section 2 describes the initiation of the OKN activity and the OKN Innovation Sprint process.

Section 3 describes the key takeaways related to the characteristics of the OKN.

• Section 4 describes the range of issues to be considered in creating an OKN.

• Section 5 describes considerations for taking this effort forward in an effective and sustainable way.

• Section 6 provides an overview of 17 use cases developed during the Innovation Sprint.

Section 7 describes a possible timeline for implementing a Proto-OKN.

• Section 8 provides a conclusion based on the findings of the previous seven sections.

You can read the full report here. The Computing Community Consortium has been highlighting the need for an entity that enables equal access to datasets for over a decade. It was called for in a 2010 CCC white paper From Data to Knowledge to Action, a Global Enabler for the 21st Century  and again in a 2021 CCC white paper A National Discovery Cloud: Preparing the US for Global Competitiveness in the New Era of 21st Century Digital Transformation.

NSF Releases Open Knowledge Network Roadmap Report