Expert Group: Big Data and AI Technologies

De-buzz AI, Thierry Bücheler, Oracle
«AI» is discussed as the solution for many problems on almost all levels – from exec boards down to the deepest and darkest hacker hide-outs. But what is it, really?
This short impulse will try to de-buzz AI to a certain extent by using real-world examples across industries, supporting the following theses:
– AI is not really about “intelligence” today
– Only rarely it is about developing algorithms
– And it is also not about bringing together data from different sources technically
So what’s the focus in real-world applications right now? What are some examples where «AI» makes a difference?

Talking to Data: Building Natural Language Interfaces for Databases, Kurt Stockinger, ZHAW
Information systems are the core of modern enterprises and scientific exploration. They are often based on fundamental research developed in the database community. While enterprise data is typically stored in relational databases, data-intensive scientific disciplines such as bioinformatics often store their data in graph databases. To query these databases, end-users need to know the formal query languages SQL or SPARQL as well as the logical structure of the databases. However, even for technology experts it is very challenging to write the right queries to retrieve the desired data. Hence, a large part of the end-users is basically not able to effectively query their databases. In this talk we discuss how to build intelligent information systems that enable end-users to talk to their data similar to humans. The major goal is to combine artificial intelligence with human intelligence for novel ways of data exploration. In particular, we will show how we have built various natural language interfaces for databases using pattern-based and machine learning-based approaches to significantly increase the productivity of scientists and knowledge workers when interacting with data. We demonstrate that our system INODE (Intelligent Open Data Exploration), which we have been building as part of a European Union project with 9 partners across Europe, is uniquely accessible to a wide range of users from large scientific communities to the public. Finally, we elaborate on the lessons learned when developing such a system and discuss how the technology can be enhanced by researchers or knowledge workers for exploring their own databases in natural language.

This Expert Group meeting is part of the Expert Day. Please register here.


Nov 09 2022


13:15 - 14:45


Fernfachhochschule Schweiz (FFHS)
Gleisarena, Zollstrasse 17, 8005 Zurich
data innovation alliance


data innovation alliance
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