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Monday, March 30 • 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Opening Plenary: It’s 2020 … Where is my Flying Car and Cultural Heritage Research Data Ecosystem?

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The Web is the world’s largest information system and is now 30 years old. It has fundamentally shifted almost every aspect of culture with instant, ubiquitous, free access to … advertising. The web’s dad, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, wanted it to grow up to provide instant, ubiquitous, free access to knowledge, but somewhere along the way it was seduced by the glitter and fast life-style of commercialization. This is just one of many factors meaning that, despite it being 2020, we still do not have flying cars, and more importantly we still do not have a connected ecosystem of research quality data about our cultural heritage.

There have been, and continue to be, many initiatives to address the social, technological, financial and policy-based challenges that throw up roadblocks towards achieving this vision. However, it is hard to tell whether we are making progress, or whether we are eternally waiting for the hyperloop that will never come. If we are to ever be able to answer research questions that require a broad, international corpus of cultural data, then we need an ecosystem that can be characterized with 5 “C”s: Collaborative, Consistent, Connected, Correct and Contextualized. Each of these has implications for the sustainability, innovation, usability, timeliness and ethical considerations that must be addressed in a coherent and holistic manner. As with autonomous vehicles, technology (and perhaps even machine “intelligence”) is a necessary but insufficient component.

In this presentation, I will frame and motivate this grand challenge and propose where we can build connections between the academy, the cultural heritage sector, and industry. The discussion will explore the issues, and highlight some of the successful endeavors and more approachable opportunities where, together, progress can be made.


avatar for Robert Sanderson

Robert Sanderson

Semantic Architect, The Getty Trust

Monday March 30, 2020 4:00pm - 5:00pm EDT