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MITRE Releases AI-Based Tool to Speed Up FOIA Request Processing

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MITRE has developed an artificial intelligence-based tool designed to assist agency analysts in handling requests to access federal government records under the Freedom of Information Act.

The FOIA Assistant uses AI and natural language processing to minimize the workload of analysts across the 118 agencies subject to the law by speeding up the process of analyzing documents for redaction and release, MITRE said Wednesday.

According to the nonprofit organization, the fully functional prototype is being evaluated in an agency environment and test results will be used to refine the tool for eventual rollout to government users.

FOIA Assistant is built on independent research and the MITRE Public Sector special initiative programs and is powered by multiple machine learning models, such as BERT, an open-source machine learning framework for NLP.

It also uses the open-source software library spaCy to detect personally identifiable information in public documents.