Recently, the National Science Foundation (NSF), along with five other U.S. government agencies, launched the Building the Prototype Open Knowledge Network (Proto-OKN). This $20 million initiative, will provide funding opportunities towards building a prototype version of an integrated data and knowledge infrastructure called an open knowledge network.
An open knowledge network (OKN) is a publicly accessible, interconnected set of data repositories and associated knowledge graphs that will enable data-driven, artificial intelligence-based solutions for a broad set of societal challenges. In 2018, the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) partnered with the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) to bring together the community and produce a 20-Year Roadmap for Artificial Intelligence. The report emphasized a need for open knowledge networks in order to satiate AI’s need for vast amounts of data, in addition to describing key characteristics that the community considered desirable in such a public network.
NSF will fund projects to prototype scalable, cloud-based technical infrastructure to address challenges across healthcare, space, criminal justice, climate change and many other fields. The Proto-OKN funding opportunity will support translational research projects in the following categories:
Theme 1 – Proto-OKN Use Cases: Projects in this category will develop a knowledge graph or “node” to provide data-centric solutions to various societal challenges like equity, social care, justice, climate change, disaster management, health communications, supply chains and financial risk analysis.
Theme 2 – Proto-OKN Fabric: Projects in this category will develop and deploy the necessary technologies to provide “interconnecting fabric” to link the knowledge graphs developed by Theme 1 teams.
Theme 3 – Proto-OKN Education and Public Engagement: One awardee will create educational materials and tools for people or organizations interested in engaging with the Proto-OKN.