Conférenciers principaux

Deborah McGuinness

Tetherless World Senior Constellation Chair and Professor of Computer, Cognitive and Web Sciences and Professor of Industrial Engineering at RPI

Deborah McGuinness is the Tetherless World Senior Constellation Chair and Professor of Computer, Cognitive, and Web Sciences as well as Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering at RPI. She is also the founding director of the RPI Web Science Research Center. 

Deborah has been recognized for her seminal work in explanation, knowledge engineering, ontologies, provenance, and methodologies for creating deployed applications.  Her applications have touched a wide range of areas including precision health, exposure science, wireless spectrum, material science, as well as wine and food pairings, just to name a few.  She is a fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence,, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, as well as the recipient of the Robert Engelmore Award from AAAI for leadership in Semantic Web research and in bridging Artificial Intelligence (AI) and eScience, significant contributions to deployed AI applications, and extensive service to the AI community.  She is also the recipient of the lifetime achievement award from the Knowledge Graph conference for outstanding contributions to the field of Knowledge Engineering.  

Deborah currently leads a number of large diverse data intensive resource efforts and her team is creating next generation ontology-enabled research infrastructure for work in large interdisciplinary settings. Prior to joining RPI, Deborah was the acting director of the Knowledge Systems, Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and Senior Research Scientist in the Computer Science Department of Stanford University, and previous to that she was at AT&T Bell Laboratories in Artificial Intelligence Research. Deborah also has consulted with numerous large corporations as well as emerging startup companies wishing to plan, develop, deploy, and maintain semantic web and/or AI applications. Deborah has also worked as an expert witness in a number of cases, and has deposition and trial experience.   Some areas of recent work include: data science, next generation health advisors, ontology design and evolution environments, semantically-enabled virtual observatories, semantic integration of scientific data, context-aware mobile applications, search, eCommerce, configuration, and supply chain management. Deborah holds a Bachelor of Math and Computer Science from Duke University, her Master of Computer Science from University of California at Berkeley, and her Ph.D. in Computer Science from Rutgers University.


AI services and tools are advancing at an unprecedented rate. With change and technology disruption comes opportunities as well as threats. In this talk, we will explore the evolving AI landscape and discuss areas of opportunity for ontologies and ontology-enabled applications. We will also discuss some ways that large language models may change the way some aspects of ontology research is done and also explore what may be mutually beneficial synergies between ontology research and large language models.

Michael Gruninger

Professeur de génie industriel
Laboratoire des technologies sémantiques
Université de Toronto, Canada

Michael Gruninger est professeur au département de génie mécanique et industriel de l’Université de Toronto. Au cours des vingt dernières années, il a travaillé dans le domaine de l’ontologie formelle et de ses applications aux problèmes industriels. Il a publié plus de 140 articles évalués par des pairs avec plus de 16 000 citations, y compris un article fondamental sur la méthodologie de conception et d’évaluation des ontologies

Plusieurs des projets de M. Gruninger ont été adoptés comme normes internationales, notamment le langage de spécification de procédé (publié comme norme internationale ISO 18629) et la logique commune (publiée comme norme internationale ISO 24707).

M. Gruninger a été président de l'International Association of Ontology (IAOA) et de ses applications, et il est rédacteur en chef de la revue Applied Ontology. Il a été président de programme et président de conférence pour des conférences internationales, notamment la conférence Formal Ontology and Information Systems (FOIS) , qui est la conférence phare de l’IAOA.


Ontologies reflect our fundamental understanding of the world around us. In practice, however, ontologies are often little more than ad-hoc taxonomies, and the adoption of ontologies is driven more by populism than by ontological analysis. We risk the reduction of applied ontology to irrelevance unless we recognize the role that ontologies can play in the broader fields of knowledge representation and artificial intelligence. Ontologies can give us insight into the software we write, the systems that we build, and even ourselves.

John Heil

Département de philosophie à l’Université de Washington et à l’Université de Durham

John Heil est professeur de philosophie à l’Université de Washington et à l’Université de Durham. Il est listé parmi les 50 philosophes vivants les plus influents. Il travaille principalement sur la métaphysique et la philosophie de l’esprit et il s’intéresse à l’enseignement de la métaphysique, de la logique, de la philosophie de l’esprit et des débuts de la philosophie moderne. Les ouvrages les plus récents de M. Heil comprennent From an Ontological Point of View (Oxford University Press 2006) et The Universe as We Find It (Oxford University Press 2012). Appearance in Reality (Oxford University Press), What is Metaphysics? (Polity Press) et First-Order Logic: A Concise Introduction (Hackett) sont parus en 2021.


The talk offers an account of what constrains metaphysical assertions that revolves around the assumption that metaphysics is continuous with the sciences. This is a two-way street: metaphysics is hollow without the sciences, but the sciences inevitably, even if not always self-consciously, call on metaphysics in the course of connecting theory with reality. My focus here is on the metaphysical side of the street. Credible metaphysics must be compatible with whatever the sciences throw at it. Following C. B. Martin, I see metaphysics as providing placeholders to be filled in by the sciences. Metaphysics can tell us what it is to be a substance or a property is, for instance, but it is up to the sciences to tell us what the substances and properties are. To play this role, metaphysics cannot be pursued piecemeal. Metaphysics, as Martin observed, is a package deal. A comprehensive metaphysical picture is not assembled from lots of little pictures. Nor should a particular metaphysical thesis be embraced solely because it would solve some parochial metaphysical issue. A satisfactory account of causation, for instance, cannot be developed independently of an account of properties and relations, and an account of properties and relations must issue in an account of causation. At the end of the day, metaphysics answers to the gut, not to the cerebral cortex.