Keynote speaker: Chris Welty

Chris Welty

Prof. Dr. Chris Welty

Sr. Research Scientist, Google
Short bio: Dr. Chris Welty is a Sr. Research Scientist at Google in New York, and an Endowed Professor of Cognitive Systems at the VU University, Amsterdam. His main area of interest is using structured semantic information to improve semantic processing of unstructured information, such as using freebase to help improve web search. His latest work is on using crowdsourcing to form a new theory of truth based on diversity of perspectives. Before Google, Dr. Welty was a member of the technical leadership team for IBM's Watson - the question answering computer that destroyed the all-time best Jeopardy! champions in a widely televised contest. He appeared on the broadcast, discussing the technology behind Watson, as well as many articles in the popular and scientific press. His proudest moment was being interviewed for StarTrek.com about the project. He is a recipient of the AAAI Feigenbaum Prize for his work. Welty was one of the first to call attention to the new paradigm of Cognitive Computing that is emerging in computation, and previously has played a seminal role in the development of the Semantic Web and Ontologies, and co-developed OntoClean, the first formal methodology for evaluating ontologies. He is on the editorial board of AI Magazine, the Journal of Applied Ontology, the Journal of Web Semantics, and the Semantic Web Journal.

Towards an Embedded Theory of Truth

Abstract: Since the early days of Computer Science and AI, the Tarskian theory of truth being a discrete and binary valued function that maps from symbols to objects in the world has been accepted and rarely questioned. Even in today's deep learning world, measurements of performance are taken against a simple binary division of data into positive and negative examples. But we don't live in a discrete world, and human intelligence is anything but discrete - is Michael Jordan the best basketball player of all time? Is Beethoven's Fifth Symphony "festive"? Is the statement "Google is located-in NY" true? As it turns out, nothing outside of the artificial realm of mathematics can be viewed as discretely true or false. In this talk, I will present a new, spatial, view of semantics that allows for a richer set of possibilities and far more closely aligns with human intelligence and the universe we live in, with examples of how this makes artificial intelligence a bit less ... artificial.

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