SUMAC keynote on Knowledge Graphs for Cultural Heritage and Digital Humanities

I was honored to be invited as a keynote speaker for the 5th edition of the SUMAC 2023 workshop (analySis, Understanding and proMotion of heritAge Contents) held in conjunction with ACM Multimedia in Ottawa, Canada. In the keynote, I sketched how Knowledge Graphs as a technology can be applied to the cultural heritage domain with examples of opportunities for new types of research in the field of digital humanities specifically with respect to analyses and visualisation of such (multi-modal) data.

In the talk, I discussed the promises and challenges of designing, constructing and enriching knowledge graphs for cultural heritage and digital humanities and how such integrated and multimodal data can be browsed, queried or analysed using state of the art machine learning.

I also addressed the issue of polyvocality, where multiple perspectives on (historical) information are to be represented. Especially in contexts such as that of (post-)colonial heritage, representing multiple voices is crucial.

You can find the complete abstract of my talk here and the (compressed) presentation slides itself below.

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Best NIAA project award for VR project

The award for the Best Network Institute Academy Assistant project for this year goes to the project titled “Between Art, Data, and Meaning – How can Virtual Reality expand visitors’ perspectives on cultural objects with colonial background?” This project was carried out by VU students Isabel Franke and Stefania Conte, supervised by Thilo Hartmann and UCDS researchers Claudia Libbi and myself A project report and research paper is forthcoming but you can see the poster below.

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Digital Humanities in Practice 22-23

As part of the VU Digital Humanities and Social Analytics Minor, this year we again had students do a capstone project in January to show off their DH and SA skills and knowledge. The students were matched with researchers and practitioners in the field to tackle a specific challenge in four weeks. We again thank these wonderful external supervisors for their effort. The students’ effort resulted in really impressive projects, showcased in the compilation video below.

In total, nine projects were executed and we list the titles and hosting organisations below.

Reception of Dutch films by critics and film fansUvA-CREATE
Rethinking provenance through networksLeiden University-Humanities
Gender and Facial RecognitionVU Amsterdam-Computer Science
Impact measurement in VRUTwente
Locating Press PhotosNIOD
Exploring Music Collections through data stories, exploratory interfaces and innovative applicationsNetherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
Predicting news headlines tests: What makes users clickVU-Social Science
Semi-Automatic Refinement of Historic OccupationsVU and IISG
1000 bombs and grenadesNetwerk Oorlogsbronnen

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Keynote talk at Semantic AI workshop

Yesterday I had the honour and pleasure to give one of the keynote speeches at the 1st workshop of Semantic AI, co-located with SEMANTiCS2022 in Vienna. I my talk “Knowledge Graphs for impactful Data Science In the Digital Humanities and IOT domain“, I talked about challenges and lessons learned in various projects where 1) Knowledge Graphs 2) Machine Learning and 3) User Contexts interact in interesting ways. The slides for my talk can be found below.

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Co-director of Cultural AI lab

I am happy and proud I to announce that I will join Marieke van Erp and Laura Hollink as co-director of the Cultural AI lab. The lab brings together researchers from various research institutes and heritage organizations to investigate both how AI can be used to address various humanities and heritage challenges but also how we can use methods, theories and insights from the cultural domain to make better, fairer, more inclusive and diverse AI.

I am very excited about this and look forward to the wonderful research collaborations!

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Using the SAREF ontology for interoperability and machine learning in a Smart Home environment

Our abstract “Using the SAREF ontology for interoperability and machine learning in a Smart Home environment” was accepted for a presentation at the ICT Open conference in 6-7 April 2022 in Amsterdam. In the abstract, we outline the current and future research VU and TNO are conducting in the context of the InterConnect project, specifically around the construction of IOT knowledge graphs, machine learning and rule-based applications. We look forward to presenting it in April.

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Knowledge Graphs for Social Good presentation at UDS Ghana

Last week, I was invited to give a guest lecture at the University of Development Studies in Tamale, Ghana. Vrije Universiteit has a very interesting and fruitful collaboration with this great university. In my presentation “Knowledge Graphs for Social Good”, I introduce the principles and practice of knowledge graphs and their role with AI. I also talked about how knowledge graphs can be (and are) used for social impact. Finally, I talk about four challenges we encountered in our own efforts to make knowledge graphs meaningful for rural users in the Global South. 

We expect the recording to be shared, for now, the slides are embedded below and can be downloaded from Google Slides. 

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Linked Data, SPARQL and GraphDB tutorial

For several courses, I made a set of video lectures around Linked Data principles and practice, specifically in the context of Digital Humanities.

This contains videos showing

  1. the principles of Linked Data
  2. The RDF-Turtle syntax
  3. Making RDF using OntoRefine
  5. The hands-on exercises with Dutch Ships and Sailors

Also, this includes a sub-tutorial on using GraphDB, OntoRefine and SPARQL to

  • Download and install GraphDB
  • Get some interesting data in CSV
  • Convert to triples using OntoRefine
  • Find potential links in DBPedia
  • Link your data using SPARQL -> import data
  • Try out interesting SPARQL queries

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SEMANTiCS2021 in Amsterdam

This year, we organized the SEMANTiCS2021 conference in Amsterdam. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 retrictions, we opted for a hybrid conference. And hybrid it was! With 200 onsite and 264 online tickets sold this was as much a mix between online and onsite as it was a mix between industry and academia. The research track consisted of 19 papers, and the industry track was made up of 24 presentations. With four wonderful keynote speakers, a poster session and various special tracks and workshops, this was quite a full programme!

As far as I am concerned, a true success! See my Twitter-generate impression below.

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Knowledge Graphs for the Rural Poor

This Monday, Accenture and the UN organized the Knowledge Graphs for Social Good workshop, part of the Knowledge Graph conference. My submission to this workshop “Knowledge Graphs for the Rural Poor” was about ICT for Development research previously done within the FP7 VOICES in collaboration with students. In the contribution, we argue that there are three challenges to make Knowledge Graphs relevant and accessible for the Rural Poor.

  1. Make KGs usable in low-resource, low-connectivity contexts
  2. Make KGs accessible for users with various (cultural) backgrounds and levels of literacy;
  3. Develop knowledge sharing cases and applications relevant for the rural poor

The paper was based on previous work which can be found in these papers. More information can also be found elsewhere on this blog.

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