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Alex 'Sandy' Pentland

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), US

Keynote title: Building A Nervous System for Society: The ‘New Deal on Data’ and how to make Health, Financial, Logistics, and Transportation Systems Work

Most of the functions of our society are based on networks designed during the late 1800s, and are modelled after centralized water systems. The rapid spread of ubiquitous networks, and connected sensors such as those contained in smartphones and cars, allow these networks to be reinvented as much more active and reactive control networks - at the scale of the individual, the family, the enterprise, the city and the nation. This will fundamentally transform the economics of health, finance, logistics, and transportation. One key challenge is access to the personal data at scale to enable these systems to function more efficiently. In discussions with key CEOs, regulators, and NGOs at the World Economic Forum we have constructed a `new deal on data' that can allow personal data to emerge as accessible asset class that provides strong protection for individuals. The talk will also cover a range of prototype systems and experiments developed at MIT, outline some of the challenges and growth opportunities, focusing on how this new data ecosystem may end up strongly promoting but also shaping the semantic web.

Alex 'Sandy' Pentland directs MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory and the MIT Media Lab Entrepreneurship Program, and advises the World Economic Forum, Nissan Motor Corporation, and a variety of start-up firms.

Find more information on the speaker and the keynote here.

Gerhard Weikum

Max-Planck-Institute for Informatics (MPI), DE

Keynote Title: For a Few Triples More

The Web of Linked Data contains about 25 billion RDF triples and almost half a billion links across data sources; it is becoming a great asset for semantic applications. Linked Data comprises large general-purpose knowledge bases like DBpedia, Yago, and Freebase, as well as many reference collections in a wide variety of areas, spanning sciences, culture, entertainment, and more. Notwithstanding the great potential of Linked Data, this talk argues that there are significant limitations that need to be overcome for further progress. These limitations regard data scope and, especially, data quality. The talk discuss these issues and approaches to extending and enriching Linked Data, in order to improve its scope, quality, interpretability, cross-linking, and usefulness. 

Gerhard Weikum is a Research Director at the Max-Planck Institute for Informatics (MPII) in Saarbruecken, Germany, where he is leading the department on databases and information systems.

Find more information on the speaker and his keynote here.

Frank van Harmelen

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, NL

Keynote Title: 10 Years of Semantic Web research: Searching for universal patterns

At 10 years of age, there is little doubt that the Semantic Web is an engineering success, with substantial (and growing) take-up in business, government and media. However, as a scientific field, have we discovered any general principles?
Have we uncovered any universal patterns that give us insights into the structure of data, information and knowledge, patterns that are valid beyond the engineering of the Semantic Web in its current form?

If we would build the Semantic Web again, surely some things would end up looking different, but are there things that would end up looking the same, simply because they have to be that way?

Frank van Harmelen is a professor in Knowledge Representation & Reasoning in the AI department (Faculty of Science) at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. After studying mathematics and computer science in Amsterdam, he moved to the Department of AI in Edinburgh, where he was awarded a PhD in 1989 for his research on meta-level reasoning.

Nigel Shadbolt

University of Southampton, UK

Nigel Shadbolt is Deputy Head (Research) of the School of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton. He is a Director of the Web Science Trust, and of the Web Foundation - organisations that seek to advance our understanding of the Web and promote the Web's positive impact on society. In June 2009 together with Sir Tim Berners-Lee he was appointed a Government Information Advisor to help transform public access to Government information - work which resulted in the data.gov.uk site. In May 2010 the Coalition Government appointed him to the Public Sector Transparency Board that oversees public data release. He is also Chair of the Local Public Data Panel within the Department of Communities and Local Government - this seeks to coordinate and promote local open data release. He has researched and published over a wide range of topics; ranging from cognitive psychology to computational neuroscience, Artificial Intelligence to the Semantic Web. He was one of the originators of Web Science - this calls for a systems level approach to the Web that recognises the social and technical factors that shape its development. He has also been heavily involved with the commercial exploitation of research. Recent companies he has helped found include Garlik, Tacit Connexions and Seme4. More details of his research and other activities can be found at http://users.ecs.soton.ac.uk/nrs/