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Sharing knowledge is a noble and a very difficult job.
The best subject matter experts (SMEs) in arts, philosophy and technology preserve a tiny fraction of what they know and want to share.
On the other side, the learning process is so hard and expensive today that only a small percentage of population can afford discovering brilliant pieces in the growing informational noise. Subject matter experts often miss the structure, format or sequence needed to convert their knowledge into high-quality materials.
A lot of work has been done, and inventions produced [Patents 1-6], while looking for better ways to consistently create and deliver knowledge in appropriate structures.
Unlocking and capturing “tribal knowledge” to benefit corporations
Corporate knowledge or “know how” can be split into three categories:
– Structured data – in relational databases
– Unstructured data – text documents: regulations, business policies and instructions in folders and web sites
– And the biggest portion of information, which is used daily in business routine, but has never been captured is so-called “Tribal Knowledge” .
My conservative estimate of the percentages of structured, unstructured and “tribal knowledge” is 10%, 20% and 70%.
By retiring “baby boomers” or replacing “experienced and expensive” with “young and cheap” workers, corporations actively lose huge portions of Tribal Knowledge. Not only retirees, but other people leave the company for various reasons, expanding the void in corporate knowledge.
Sooner or later the business feels the pain, especially companies dealing with long-life products surrounded by an enormous volume of related rules and regulations.
The “experienced and expensive” would love to share their knowledge, but capturing Tribal Knowledge is tricky, and formalizing this information is even more difficult.
The Conversational Semantic Decision Support (CSDS) system helps to make this challenging task feasible. CSDS will transform the concept of a Corporate Knowledge Warehouse (CKW) into a working system. 
What is a Corporate Knowledge Warehouse?
The CKW is a collection of electronic materials which describe enterprise processes, not only for people but also for a machine. Formalized as the integrated ontology of connected knowledge domains, CKW can be converted into specific formats for specific purposes.
For example, they can be converted into business rules and scenarios to drive business applications, as described in the Knowledge-driven Architecture patent .
They can also be converted into educational and training materials for specific audiences. CSDS will prompt a SME for an initial structure and will help to build a conceptual graph. Then walking over the graph, it will help to create branches, while asking for examples and user stories and creating tests for each branch.
People will still be involved in the processes, but they will not need to repeat boring work, which can be done by the system. The system would engage a SME in conversations, asking to confirm a decision, fill in the knowledge gap in unexpected situations. Becoming part of daily routine, these conversations will effectively grow CKW, improving automation and productivity.
Enabling a SME as a great mentor and a wonderful teacher not only makes her or him a more valuable employee, but also a happier person.
Accelerating learning processes and keeping pace with changes in technology will address the imbalance between demand and supply.
Job stability does not lie in limiting global collaborative engineering, but in improving the ability to innovate, to learn quickly and change directions — even run ahead of the game and transforming Information Technology into Distributed Knowledge Marketplace. [2-5]
Reduce the necessity for brokerage between a student and a profession.
This is done in other industries. Smart applications such as Uber remove the necessity for brokers – receptionists at taxi stations. Smart applications directly connect consumers and producers.
Professional education will become less dependent on brokers, such as Academia and job agencies. Smart applications with CSDS will streamline professional education, directly connecting students and jobs.
These methods might also be used in regular schools!
The difference between high school and college could be less dramatic if middle and high schools included advanced subjects taught directly by SMEs from local companies.
This connection might also bring some social benefits for both parties.
Who will benefit from these changes?
First of all, the students looking for education to get the first job.
Just imagine that a consulting company which is specialized in AI directly shares its knowledge in Java and AI, and, after several months of study, offers students consulting projects. With a well-focused curriculum, it is feasible to prepare students for professional work in several months (see http://ituniversity.us ) instead of it taking several years.
Text book publishers will finally be in a position to offer templates (conversational scripts) helping authors, first of all the SMEs, to share their unique expertise in a well-structured and optimized smart cloud.
This distributed knowledge marketplace must include multiple-choice branches to satisfy requirements for individual learning differences. Improved quality of materials will simplify and accelerate the learning process.
Consulting agencies, which often have the best SMEs in a specific knowledge domain, will become invaluable knowledge resource.
Can this approach be expanded beyond the IT field?
What do you think?
This is a work in progress, and any help or feedback is highly appreciated.
- http://ITofTheFuture.com – book online on Cognitive Computing and Semantic Cloud Architecture, describes CSDS and Business Analytics Sandbox for Enterprise (BASE), Yefim (Jeff) Zhuk
- Integration-Ready Architecture and Design, by Cambridge University Press, Yefim (Jeff) Zhuk
- http://www.dataversity.net/software-semantic-evolution-and-the-next-step-part-1/ – Software Semantic Evolution: SOA and Microservices and the Next Step
- http://ituniversity.us – Internet Technology University
- http://itofthefuture.com/book/message.pdf – The message from 2040
- Knowledge-Driven Architecture | US Patent | Yefim Zhuk | Driving applications with business scenarios
- Adaptive Mobile Robot System | US Patent | Yefim Zhuk | Integrating software and knowledge engineering with robotic technologies
- Collaborative security and decision making in service-oriented environment | US and 15 European countries, Patent| Yefim Zhuk/Boeing | Turning a beautiful idea of collaborative decision into a system
- Conversational Service Knowledge Map | US Patent Pending | Yefim Zhuk | Allows developers and subject matter experts (SME) describe, find, negotiate, assemble and execute software services
- Rules Collector System and Method | US Patent | Yefim Zhuk/Boeing | Formalizing expert knowledge into rules, which can be used for solving the next problem in the expert-computer brainstorming
- Distributed Active Knowledge and Process | US Patent | Yefim Zhuk/Yahoo | Collaborative data/services