The KMWorld (Knowledge Management World) and co-located sub-conferences is probably the most significant conference event of the year for Semantic Web Company. We usually send a delegation of 3-4 from Vienna, Austria, we sponsor at the highest levels for Diamond or Platinum, our team presents multiple presentations, and we meet the largest number of current customers and prospects of any event. Knowledge management and its related fields of taxonomy, search, and text analytics, remains squarely within the solutions focus of PoolParty software. KMWorld claims to be the world’s leading knowledge management event, and we would have to agree, not having found a similar conference.
This year marked the 20th annual KMWorld event, which takes place annually in November in Washington, DC. It comprises a day of multiple half-day preconference workshops and then three days of three tracks of KM sessions. Additional conference tracks (which may be registered for separately) are:
- Enterprise Search and Discovery, a single track that runs the same three days as KMWorld
- Taxonomy Boot Camp, with two tracks taking place on the KMWorld workshop day and a single track the next day.
- Text Analytics Forum, a two-day two-track event that starts after Taxonomy Boot Camp ends
- Enterprise AI World, a new single-track event this year, running the same two days as Text Analytics Forum
The keynote presentations of KMWorld on its three main days are also attended by attendees of the other conferences taking place those days. There is also a single shared sponsor exhibit hall, which had 49 booths, and some sponsors opt to additionally exhibit in the foyer on the pre-conference day or final day. Information Today Inc., the organizing company behind KMWorld, also publishes books in the field of information/knowledge management, and during the conference there was a book sale area and author book-signings.
There were a total of 962 total registrants over the days of November 6-9, 2023, including attendees, speakers, and exhibitors, with wide-spread geographic distribution coming from 34 U.S. states and over 40 countries. The conference is in-person only, and sessions are generally not recorded, except for the keynote presentations and selections from one of the KMWorld tracks.
Generative AI and LLMS and KMWorld and its Co-located Conferences
The official theme for KMWorld 2023 was “KM Joy: Thrills & Challenges of the Tech-Driven KM Journey,” which “focuses on the innovative breakthroughs and learning experiences from KM practitioners as they steer their organizations into the future.” While generative AI and LLMs (large language models) were not mentioned in the theme, it was clear that this conference theme encompassed these new technologies.
What was interesting was how the subject of generative AI and LLMs came up in presentations in each of the five co-located conferences, but the perspective and issues were slightly different in each: as the main issue in Enterprise AI World, as an important issue of LLMs Text Analytics Forum (where AI has always played a role), as something knowledge managers should work with KMWorld, as a different method for search in Enterprise Search & Discovery, and that which can be supported with taxonomies and can support taxonomy creation in Taxonomy Boot Camp.
Two of the three daily featured KMWORLD keynotes dealt with AI (including, but not limited to, generative AI). Among the 10 sponsored keynotes, eight focused on generative AI and LLMs and one was about AI in general. In the main KMWorld conference one of the tracks on one of its days had the teme “KM Joy with AI Technology?,” in which most sessions took up generative AI.
PoolParty Team Presentations
The PoolParty team gave several presentations at KMWorld 2023, including presentations on the subject of AI and large language models and referencing the new “PoolParty Meets ChatGPT” demo question answering application.
SWC’s Chief Growth Officer Gordon Hayden presented on the panel of “Industry Leaders on AI & KM.” In his presentation “AI & KM: Are Knowledge Graphs the Way?,” he explained the benefit of fusing knowledge graphs with LLMs to bring explainable AI solutions with lower costs, increased scalability, and traceability for AI you can trust and for the mitigation of risks. PoolParty Meets ChatGPT was presented as an example of remedying ChatCPT’s limitations by means of a knowledge graph. Gordon then presented use cases from PoolParty customers (Risk management at the IFC, project portfolio management at Green Climate Fund) and from SWC’s offerings: an ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) Knowledge Hub, recommenders and inference engines.
SWC’s Chief Operating Office Helmut Nagy presented in Text Analytics Forum “Intelligent Content: Bringing together Knowledge Graphs and Large Language Models,” in which he started with the issue of trustworthy AI and introduced the idea of “composite AI” which combines machine learning with knowledge graphs to gain insights from data. Helmut explained the importance of intelligent content and structured content and then brought it all together explaining how LLMs help to structure content, and knowledge graphs bring common senses to LLMs. For intelligent content, LLMs can help with summarization and creating questions and answers. Helmut showed demos of PoolParty prototype applications for query generation, summarization, classification, content creation, and taxonomy creation in PoolParty.
In the new conference track Enterprise AI World, I presented “Generative AI, Context, & Knowledge Models,” making the case that generative AI and LLMs combined with a knowledge model (taxonomy/ontology/knowledge graph) in a specific subject domain and content in that domain provides context for better search results. This is particularly applicable within an enterprise. I showed the demo application PoolParty Meets ChatGPT and described the knowledge graph of its subject domain of ESG.
In Taxonomy Boot Camp I presented the Taxonomy 101 introduction to beginners, and I co-presented “Challenges in Creating Taxonomies for Learning & Development” jointly with our PoolParty customer, Amber Simpson of Walmart Academy, which provides over 30,000 learning management system artifacts of training for 2.4 million associates. She discussed the foundation and prerequisites for connecting learning content to taxonomies at Walmart, and I explained the issues particular to taxonomies for learning content and skills.
Finally, in the main KMWorld conference, I spoke on a panel “Communities of Practice for Knowledge Sharing,” with the focus on external communities of practice. While this topic was not directly related to the uses of PoolParty (nor AI), I mentioned that Semantic Web Company plans to launch a PoolParty user community in the coming year and discussed the planning and platform considerations, in addition to the benefits of external communities of practice in general.
Slides from these presentations are available for download on the PoolParty website Resource Library and with the links provided above.