Invited talks

This year at SWAIE we are pleased to announce 2 invited talks.

Speaker: D.J. McCloskey, IBM Watson

Talk Title: Watson Today. Cognitive Computing’s road to Reality.

Abstract: The Jeopardy! gameshow offered a great showcase of the challenges of building a computer system able to read and understand natural language content. While winning at Jeopardy! was a truly ground breaking achievement, the challenges posed by real world applications are of equal if not greater magnitude. Real world data, coming from sources like instant messaging, automatically digitized text (OCR) or even human shorthand notes, is noisy, ungrammatical, misspelled, subjective and often incorrect. To make matters worse, real world users pose questions in widely ranging styles and often with less than perfect understanding of the domain they are asking about. Finally, we humans use many different languages to communicate, so how can we make such a system less tightly bound to a particular language? To “play” in the real world, Watson must cope with all this and respond in less time using fewer resources. In this talk we look at some real world use cases, the challenges posed and dive into how Watson works and how these challenges are being solved.

Bio: D.J. McCloskey is NLP Architect in IBM Watson Group, where he is focussed on solving the challenges of next generation natural language understanding systems in real world applications. Prior to this DJ was the architect of IBM LanguageWare, where he led a worldwide R&D team focused on providing IBM products and solutions a state-of-the-art text and semantic analysis component technology.

DJ has enjoyed many other interesting and varied roles from internationalization architect for Lotus Notes to leading a record management and workflow engagement with the Irish government. For more than 24 years now he has worked in NLP, knowledge management and collaboration and is more motivated than ever by the transformative potential yet to be realized through the synergy at the intersection of these disciplines and the emerging era of cognitive computing.

Speaker: Lorraine Goeuriot.

Talk Title: How can IE and Semantics Improve Medical Practice?

Abstract: Patients and medical professionals are facing medical data on a daily basis: medical reports, medical images, web documents, research articles, etc. Medical data presents a variety of support, characteristics, quality, but it is crucial that its users make the most out of it: the main information out of a medical report, regions of internet in an image, main outcome of a clinical trial or a piece of research. In the case of patients, they receive information written by (and for) medical professionals, which often proves to be difficult to understand.

In this presentation, I will show how information extraction (IE) techniques and semantics can help dealing with this information, and getting the most out of it. I will first introduce the major semantic resources in the medical domain. Then I will describe IE approaches used in the medical domain and their applications with a few examples. Information Retrieval (IR) will be briefly introduced, and I will show how IE and IR can be coupled. Finally, I will present the FP7-EU project Khresmoi and how its prototypes combine knowledge bases with IE and IR to provide users with textual and image smart medical search engines.

Bio: Lorraine Goeuriot is a post-doctoral researcher in medical information processing and retrieval in Dublin City University. She obtained her Master in computer science and PhD in computational linguistics on medical data in the University of Nantes, France. She also worked as a post-doctoral researcher in Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, on medical opinion mining. She is co-chair of the CLEF eHealth 2014 evaluation lab, and has been co-leading the information retrieval task in 2013 and 2014. She also organized in 2014 the first workshop on Medical Information Retrieval (MEDIR’14) in SIGIR. She was publication co-chair for SIGIR 2013 and COLING 2014. She has been involved in two national French research projects and currently in EU project Khresmoi, on medical information access. She is reviewing papers for several medical informatics workshops and journals.

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