Watson Innovation Course – Invited Lecture by Vanessa Lopez, IBM Ireland

This week, the Watson Innovation course, a collaboration between the Vrije Universiteit, University of Amsterdam and IBM Netherlands, Centre for Advanced Studies (CAS) starts. The course offers a unique opportunity to learn about IBM Watson, cognitive computing and the meaning of such artificial intelligence systems in a real world and big data context. Students from Computer Science and Economics faculties join their complimentary efforts and creativity in cross-disciplinary teams to explore the business and innovation potential of such technologies.


This year, on 16th of November, Vanessa Lopez from IBM Ireland Research will give an invited lecture. Here is an abstract of her invited lecture entitled “Cognitive solutions for Integrated Care”:

Cognitive technologies promise to have significant societal impact in domains where there is a need to transform multidisciplinary information into actionable services. From an industry perspective, the abundance ofdigital information gives an unprecedented opportunity to use data science to improve health and social care delivery.However,healthcare professionals have to quickly cope with large volume of information often scattered among unstructured case notes and health records to construct a care plan that addressessthe needs of the individual. In this talk, we look at the role of cognitive approaches to support care professionals to take better informeddecision,by capturing and interpreting patient-centric informationand learningfrom the actual practice of care professionals to suggest courses of action based on this holistic picture.With most of information still unstructured, we discuss the technologies, lessons learned and challenges behind this societal use case, in regards to knowledge acquisition, to find and combinemeaningful pieces of knowledge acrosssources with evidence for users’ information needs, and to facilitate intuitive human interaction, in which professionalsinteract with the system and the systems reacts and adapts its knowledge to give better suggestions,andfinally on how to validate the value of congitive systems with domain experts.


Vanessa Lopez Bio:

Vanessa Lopez is a researcher at IBM Research Ireland since 2012, where she investigates AI solutions for harnessing urban and web data as knowledge and to support users to query and find insights across data sources in a natural way, through a combination ofLinked Data, NLP and learning technologies for data integration. Her research has been applied to develop applications for smarter cities and Social and Health care to support care professionals to take better informed decisions.

Previous to joining IBM, she was a researcher at KMi (Open University) from 2003, where she investigated Question Answering interfaces for the Web of Data and received a PhD degree. She graduated in 2002 with a degree in computer engineer from the Technical University of Madrid (UPM), where she held an internship at the AI Lab. She has co-authored more than 40 publications in high impact conference and journals.