BlockSW 2019
Blockchain enabled Semantic Web Workshop

October 27, 2019
Co-located with the 18th International Semantic Web Conference | (ISWC 2019)
Auckland, New Zealand

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Blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) are two emerging technologies with potentials to the semantic web efforts. In recent years, we are witnessing increasing use of blockchain in auditing of financial transactions and building trust among diverse stakeholders without the requirements of establishing a central authority. The application of blockchain in financial sector has seen a huge growth in the past few years and derived its potential in other business sectors. The healthcare industry is one of the largest sectors that can be greatly influenced with adoption of blockchain in a variety of application areas such as interoperability and cybersecurity of health information exchange (HIE), and public health management. On the other hand, AI technologies are contributing to a wide range of decision making processes, from driving a car, to cancer diagnosis, providing legal advices and case analysis. The involvement of AI technology in automated decision making is different in each process, yet the trend is increasingly towards human-independent, algorithmic decision making. Addressing trust in deployed AI solutions is a major challenge as in many cases there is no a verifiable explanation of how the predicted outcomes produced by the algorithms are influenced by the data that the model is trained from, implicating security and verifiability concerns. In the past two years researchers and key industry players paid attention to the overlapping theme of these two emerging fields. There have been multiple conferences and symposiums to bring together AI practitioners, cryptographers and blockchain experts. Blockchain can enables AI solutions in multiple ways by improving data quality that feed AI algorithms. The essence of an AI decision making process is historical data. If blockchain can enhance trust on input data, it will directly impact the quality of the AI model. Blockchain can also make AI more accessible. Current AI solutions are generally built by companies that collect data from individuals and train their models to target the same individuals for monetary advantages solely based on the enterprise objectives. Blockchain based solutions can change this paradigm by empowering the individuals and enabling them to control the AI agents to optimize their personal interests versus the enterprise objectives.

While semantic web community played a major role in developing earlier AI solutions, the community has not yet been actively involved in the new wave of deep learning based AI solutions. A recurring challenge of the current AI solutions is addressing the active presence of adversary when the model is trained or deployed. For example, semantic community can help AI researchers to identify certain semantics of the context that highly impact the quality of the developed algorithms. Another imoortant area that the semantic web community can contribute is AI auditing. Linked Data based audit log has been shown effective to support web-scale transparency and privacy auditing by using publishable logs. Empowered by blockchain, it is possible to build a semantic model for tamper proof audit logs that leverages distributed trust and consensus models for privacy auditing and information accountability. Semantic web community can make an important contribution to the filed of AI by investigating to what extend the semantic web and blockchain technology that are used to develop system level auditing can be applied to the algorithmic level transparency.

BlockSW is an opportunity to bring together established semantic web and security researchers, experts, pracioners, and industry partners to discuss research challenges, innovative solutions and tool developments at the intersection of three relevant and timely fields of semantic web, artificial intelligence and blockchain.