knowledge management (Alexander Supertramp/

DARPA wants to deliver relevant, just-in-time knowledge

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is looking for ways to deliver the right nuggets of policy and procedural knowledge to the right people at the right time, without including irrelevant or already known information.

The Knowledge Management at Scale and Speed program aims to develop technologies that can deliver sufficiently granular and relevant knowledge where it can help a user complete a current task.  This concept of “JustIN” data – just enough, just in time and just for me – is key to KMASS. The program’s goal is to create “a persistent knowledge store comprising source documents in human understandable form in multiple modalities (e.g., text, videos, presentations, etc.), augmented with appropriate tags and indexed for identification, retrieval, linking, and application that will update at the speed of task performance,” according to a DARPA proposers day announcement.

Such a system will require advances in three key complementary areas:

  • Organizing background knowledge, which may come from documents or videos created for human consumption.
  • Providing local or timely context with tags and indexing as the information is collected and ensuring data that what has been documented for one purpose can be retrieved and linked to others.
  • Disseminating the contextualized knowledge usefully, appropriately and on time, which requires that KMASS know that the data exists, where it is housed, when it will be relevant, how to retrieve it and how to identify the appropriate details in what could be a multi-page document or several minute long video.

DARPA expect KMASS to scale to a broad set of tasks and contexts across an organization so users can take advantage of the massive amount of knowledge -- doctrine, policy, procedures – that the military stores.

The KMASS proposers day will be webcast on July 7, 2021

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