Panel Discussion

How much semantics goes how long a way?

During the last decade, the semantic Web predominantly witnessed the deployment and growth of linked data to the point one could wonder what the status of schemas and ontologies on the Web is. Inversely, the publication of linked data has renewed the interest in ontology engineering and new strongly adopted schemas have appeared such as Moreover, recent interest in knowledge graphs and AI techniques could also place a new demand on ontologies and on semantics in general. This panel will discuss the importance of semantics two decades after the beginning of the semantic Web.

Four Panelists:

Annika Hinze, Associate Professor, University of Waikato

Annika Hinze is an Associate Professor at the Department of Computer Science at the University of Waikato, New Zealand where she heads the Databases and Information Systems (ISDB) group. Her research interests include complex event processing, semantic text analysis, and location-based systems. She holds a PhD in Computer Science from the Freie Universitaet Berlin, Germany.


Valentina Tamma, Assistant professor, University of Liverpool

Valentina Tamma is an assistant professor at the University of Liverpool, UK. She holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Liverpool. Her research focuses on ontology engineering and in particular, in designing, aligning and evolving ontologies to support autonomous decision making in rational agents and other autonomous systems. More recently, she has been working in the area of ontology engineering for digital health and on an industry led effort to investigate the use of ontologies and semantic technologies for the management of analytical laboratories. She has served as a reviewer for the major AI, multi-agent systems and semantic web conferences and journals, she is an associate editor for the Journal of Web Semantics and was programme co-chair for the Resources track at ISWC 2017.


James Hendler, Director, Institute for Data Exploration and Applications, Rensselaer Polytechnic University (RPI), USA

James Hendler is the Director of the Institute for Data Exploration and Applications and the Tetherless World Professor of Computer, Web and Cognitive Sciences at RPI.  He also heads the RPI-IBM Center for Health Empowerment by Analytics, Learning and Semantics (HEALS) and serves as a Chair of the Board of the UK’s charitable Web Science Trust.  Hendler is also a former president of the Semantic Web Science Association (SWSA) and co-created and chaired the first ISWC conference. Hendler’s research in the Semantic Web area was cited in his selection as Fellow of the AAAI, the BCS, the IEEE, the AAAS and the ACM. Hendler was the first computer scientist ever to serve on the Board of Reviewing editors for Science, was one of the founding EIC’s of the Journal of Web Semantics, and is currently co-editor-in-chief of the new Data Intelligence Journal (a joint publication of the Chinese Academy of Science and the MIT Press). In 2016, Hendler became a member of the US National Academies Board on Research Data and Information and in 2018 became chair of the ACM’s US technology policy committee and was elected a Fellow of the US National Academy of Public Administration.


Jérôme Euzenat, Senior research scientist, Inria

Jérôme Euzenat is senior research scientist at INRIA (Montbonnot, France). He holds a PhD and habilitation in computer science, both from Grenoble 1 University. He has contributed to reasoning maintenance systems, object-based knowledge representation, symbolic temporal granularity, collaborative knowledge base construction, multimedia document adaptation and semantic web technologies. Dr Euzenat all time interests are tied to the relationships holding between various representations of the same situation. Hence, his interest in connecting heterogeneous ontologies. Together with Pavel Shvaiko, he has written Ontology matching, the reference book on this topic. He is now investigating the use of cultural evolution techniques to the evolution of knowledge. Dr Euzenat has set up and leads the INRIA mOeX team common with Univ. Grenoble Alpes which is also part of the Laboratoire d’Informatique de Grenoble (Grenoble computer science lab). It investigates the application of experimental cultural evolution techniques to knowledge evolution. He has been elected ECCAI fellow in 2014.