The Web Conference 2018 (Lyon, France)

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The Web Conference is one of the most established conferences in the field of research around the web. I had the opportunity to attend this year’s version of it. Below are some of my personal highlights summarized.

The first tutorial I attended was called A Critical Review of Social Data: Biases, Methodological Pitfalls, and Ethical Boundaries. In the past, I discussed biases in data mainly in the context of machine learning with fellow researchers, therefore I was interested to see their take on this topic. The tutorial summarized interesting research in the field, such as the fact that women’s code changes to GitHub are more likely to be accepted unless they are identified as women.

My personal highlight however was the second day of tutorials and workshops. I attended the Wikiworkshop. With particular interest I followed the keynote of Gerhard Weikum.

He talked, among others, about representation of quantities and how many machine learning tools still lack of the understanding of those. Interesting to me particularly, as I have discussed semantifying of quantities in the context of Wikidata and the Web of Data in general. He also emphasized the need of artificial intelligence tools to understand the notion of context and common sense.

I presented the work of Thomas Pellissier Tanon and myself on property label stability in Wikidata in a 90 seconds overview.

Furthermore, we presented the poster on this topic. We sparked many interesting discussion on the topic.

After the days of workshops and tutorials, which brought a lot of new discussions and faces, the main conferences started with a talk by Luciano Floridi, who brought an interesting perspective on the most recent issues around web technologies and artificial intelligence, from a philosophic viewpoint.

Summarizing, the most interesting part of this conference is the variety of topics, that are well prepared and presented. I had the chance to listen to and discuss topics from Darknet Supply chains

to summarizing of user agreements on the web. The most impressive part however is how this research is very closely aligned with topics that are of current interests and concerns for the whole society.