CrowdTruth for Digital Hermeneutics:
Crowdsourcing the understanding of events in cultural heritage
Objects, like people, locations, and various other types of named entities, are often easy to detect in language and to present on the semantic web. Without events, however, they lack meaning. This is particularly relevant to cultural heritage institutions, who are currently rethinking access to their collections to allow the public to interpret and contribute to them. Assigning roles to objects in events is a step towards bringing them meaning, but the detection and representation of events is much harder than for objects; they are typically not named and humans, as well as machines, have difficulty identifying them, distinguishing their boundaries, linking and ordering them consistently. Processing the results of both human and machines when dealing with events requires an ability to tolerate and exploit a multitude of perspectives, however many event-centric approaches in NLP have seen these multiple perspectives as disagreement, and attempt to “fix” the problem by over-specifying event semantics for isolated tasks, but this has led to brittleness and lack of coverage. In this talk, I present CrowdTruth, an approach to harnessing the diversity of perspectives on events, and semantic interpretation in general. The research facilitates digital hermeneutics, the understanding of historical events, and improves the access to integrated online history collections.
Lora Aroyo is an associate professor at the Web & Media Group, Department of Computer Science, VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Her research work is focused on semantic technologies for modeling user and context for recommendation systems and personalized access of online multimedia collections, e.g. cultural heritage collections, multimedia archives and interactive TV. She was a scientific coordinator of the NoTube project, dealing with the integration of Web and TV data with the help of semantics, and a number of nationally funded projects, such as CHIP and Agora, dealing with modelling events and event narratives. She has been co-chair of numerous workshops on crowdsourcing, social web and cultural heritage. Lora is actively involved in the Semantic Web community as a program chair for the European and the International Semantic Web Conferences in 2009 and 2011, as conference chair for the ESWC 2010 Conference, and the editorial board of the Semantic Web Journal. She is also actively involved in the Personalization and User modeling community as vice-president of the User Modeling Inc., and the editorial board of the Journal of Human-Computer Studies and the User Modeling and User-Adapted Interaction Journal. In 2012 and 2013 she won IBM Faculty Awards for her work on Crowd Truth: Crowdsourcing for ground truth data collection for adapting IBM Watson system to medical domain.