The MIT Knowledge Futures Group (KFG), a joint venture of the MIT Media Lab and the MIT Press, develops and deploys technologies that form part of an emerging open knowledge ecosystem. The partnership, the first of its kind between a leading publisher and a world-class research lab, promotes and builds technologies that will transfigure our relationship with information.
We are a community of technologists, information creators, and scholarly publishers that is committed to addressing a core set of pressing and complex issues within research-intensive institutions. Our goal is to develop open tools, infrastructure, and transparent business models that will bend the arc of knowledge creation and consumption toward equity and independence.
The KFG serves as a test kitchen and staging platform for the development of open source technologies, standards, and aligned open access publications. Our goal is to develop and deploy projects that enrich our open knowledge infrastructure and encourage greater institutional ownership of that infrastructure.
In our vision of the future, universities and researchers play a leading role in designing and sustaining our knowledge systems. We firmly believe that it is essential for universities, and core to their mission, to assert greater control over systems for knowledge representation, dissemination, and preservation. The KFG is committed to designing and building next generation technologies that serve the public interest. We develop and promulgate enduring movement-building models that will influence how information is produced and knowledge is attained.
Knowledge is, after all, the greatest legacy of human progress, and only unmediated access to knowledge will ensure that we can address the urgent global challenges of the 21st century.
The KFG is responsible for the ongoing development of PubPub, an open authoring and publishing platform initially developed as a Media Lab project. PubPub socializes the process of knowledge creation by integrating conversation, annotation, and versioning into short- and long-form digital publication. PubPub is home to over 400 communities, as well as distinctive works published by the MIT Press including the Journal of Design and Science, the Harvard Data Science Review, Frankenbook, and books from the <strong>Ideas series.
The KFG is also incubating The Underlay, an open, distributed knowledge store architected to capture, connect, and archive publicly available knowledge and its provenance. The Underlay provides mechanisms for distilling the knowledge graph from openly available publications, along with the archival and access technology to make the data and content hosted on PubPub available to other platforms.
In addition, the KFG will serve as a convening forum for the local open knowledge community and will host occasional workshops to share developments on internal and external projects.
The MIT Press and the Media Lab have a long history of collaboration, beginning with celebrated designer Muriel Cooper, who was the Press's first art director and later a founding faculty member of the Media Lab. Both the Press and the Lab reflect the values of MIT, an institution that places a premium on experimentation, invention, and open information access.