On the 10-13th September Samantha Kanza attended the 14th Semantics Conference in Sunny Vienna on behalf of AI3SD. This conference had the tagline “Where Machine Learning meets Semantics” and draws researchers from both industry and academia with interests in Semantic and AI technologies. It was a four day conference, the annual DBPedia community meeting on the first day; a full day of workshops, and two whirlwind days of conference presentations on the latest research in Semantics. The workshops and meetings were held at Vienna Technical University whilst the main conference was held at the Hilton Waterfront Danube.
There were four very interesting keynotes at Semantics 2018. These were thought provoking talks that looked at how we can move forward to adopting both semantic web and artificial intelligence technologies, and also gave a unique insight into the history of the web and data; both to show how far we’ve come, but also what learnings we should remember from the past. There were also a a wide variety of talk topics ranging from knowledge management, data science, linked data, querying and many more.
This conference also had a strong focus on using Semantics and AI together, with several presentations on different aspects of Semantic AI. These two technologies may once have been seen as opposing techniques, or indeed confused with one another as the same approach; however it seems like the realisation that AI needs Semantics is starting to gather traction. In order to train intelligent systems we need vast amounts of data, but that is easier said than done. Even assuming that finding freely available data is a simple matter (which it rarely is), it is very common for the relevant datasets to be heterogenous and incompatible. Using linked data techniques we can put these datasets into an interoperable, structured, high quality format that will make using machine learning techniques across them much easier. These aspects were highlighted in some of the Semantic AI talks.
This conference is a great opportunity to network with a wide range of industry vendors and academics and find out about the latest developments in Semantics and AI, in addition to having insightful discussions about both the past and present of these technologies.
The full report on this conference written by Dr Samantha Kanza can be downloaded here: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/426145/.