January 18, 2022

Report: “National Archives Wants to Use AI to Improve ‘Unsophisticated Search’ and Create ‘Self-Describing Records’”

From NextGov:

The National Archives and Records Administration—the keepers of all government records—manages millions of digital records. But users have trouble finding the records they’re looking for, and the current manual metadata tagging processes aren’t sufficient.

The agency recently held a virtual informational day outlining its goals for integrating artificial intelligence and machine learning into two ongoing projects: personalizing the catalog search function and automating metadata tagging.


While NARA employees add metadata tags to digital records, “There is a delta between what NARA has been able to describe and the specific information that users want from our records,” the RFI states, asking, “Can AI fill the gap?”


The RFI is seeking feedback on automated solutions that can analyze how users search the digital archives and associate those search terms with the appropriate record.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.