Recent Keynotes

January 7, 2016

It’s not often that I can have a post about my doing any sort of keynote…depending on how you count, I’ve only done one or maybe two before 2015. Then there were two in 2015!

The first was at OWLED. This year I went heavily (again) for HTML based slide decks, so you can browse my reveal.js slides (with an embedded timeline!). This was, obviously, about the Web Ontology Language past and possible future.

The second was at SWAT4LS and it was a call to take on the challenge of representing all medical knowledge.

Both were very well received. I hope to do a video of the SWAT4LS one as I had several requests to replicate the full experience.

There’s a fair bit of overlap between the two because I am currently fairly obsessed with the problem of representing and sharing evidence.

Both of these, OF COURSE, involved all nighters. The writer’s block thing is tough.

But, I give a pretty good talk! I would do more keynotes (hint hint).

So many keynotes are just horrific. I got to the point where at many conferences, like ISWC, I just don’t go because they are so insultingly terrible I lose it. (Ron Brachman gave an epically awesome on at DL. Marvin Minksy gave an epically awful one at AAAI.)

Keynotes can be great because they give space to do something different. You don’t have to report on a paper. You can explore an wacky idea. Or synthesise some history. This is actually a cool part of dissertations: You have the room and the right to put things down that don’t fit anywhere else. Keynotes should be like that. I don’t want a fluff piece or giant pile of ego boo. I want something interstitial…vicera which pull the research organs into place. It doesn’t have to be profound. It doesn’t have to be controversial. (Though that can be good.) But it should be distinctive and preferably fun!

(See this earlier post about my speaking anxiety.)

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