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James Hendler - Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Troy, NY, US

James Hendler

Director, Future of Computing Institute | Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute


Leading researcher in the Semantic Web and artificial intelligence


Areas of Expertise (7)

Artificial Intelligence


Technology Policy

Semantic Web

Machine Learning

Computer Science

Big Data


James Hendler is the Director of the Future of Computing Institute, Tetherless World Professor of Computer, Web and Cognitive Sciences, and Director of the RPI-IBM Artificial Intelligence Research Collaboration.

Hendler is a data scientist with specific interests in open government and scientific data, data science for healthcare, AI and machine learning, semantic data integration and the use of data in government. One of the originators of the Semantic Web, he has authored over 450 books, technical papers, and articles in the areas of Open Data, the Semantic Web, artificial intelligence, and data policy and governance. He is also the former Chief Scientist of the Information Systems Office at the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and was awarded a US Air Force Exceptional Civilian Service Medal in 2002. He is the first computer scientist ever to have served on the Board of Reviewing editors for Science. In 2010, Hendler was selected as an “Internet Web Expert” by the US government and helped in the development and launch of the US data.gov open data website. In 2013, he was appointed as the Open Data Advisor to New York State and in 2015 appointed a member of the US Homeland Security Science and Technology Advisory Committee. In 2016, became a member of the National Academies Board on Research Data and Information, in 2017 a member of the Director’s Advisory Committee of the National Security Directorate of PNNL, and in 2021 became chair of the ACM’s global Technology Policy Council. Hendler is a Fellow of the US National Academy of Public Administration, the AAAI, AAAS, ACM, BCS and IEEE.



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James Hendler: «Hace falta un código ético para que la web crezca como una fuerza del bien» loading image Meeting with President Obama, 2012 loading image loading image loading image


Education (3)

Brown University: Ph.D., Computer Science 1985

Southern Methodist University: M.S., Psychology 1982

Yale University: B.S., Computer Science 1978

Media Appearances (7)

The Roundtable

WAMC  radio


Hendler is a regular guest on WAMC.

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Humans of 2022! Can AI robots be good, evil or have a soul?

Times Union  print


Q: It takes an immense amount of data to teach a robot to lift a box. How much data is needed to teach a robot friendship? Hendler: We don't know. ... An AI that can beat a world champion at chess may be unable to tie shoes. Someone taught the AI chess but not shoelaces. If machine learning can teach an AI with empathy, it would need to give the AI lots of scenarios. If XY happens, the human may react with Z and need this from you.

James Hendler is a professor at RPI

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RPI's Hendler Discusses Cambridge Analytica

WAMC  radio


With word that 50 million Facebook users had their personal information collected during the 2016 presidential campaign by the data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica has brought new and intense scrutiny on Facebook and social media. Posting your friends, likes and dislikes may seem harmless enough, but that seemingly benign information can be mined, studied, analyzed and transformed into political campaign ammunition. For more we spoke Prof. James Hendler, the Director for Data Exploration and applications at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy.

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People of ACM - Jim Hendler

ACM  online


James A. “Jim” Hendler is the Director of the Institute for Data Exploration and Applications and the Tetherless World Professor of Computer, Web and Cognitive Sciences at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). ... Among his honors, he was named an ACM Fellow for contributions to artificial intelligence and the semantic web. In July, Hendler was appointed to a two-year term as Chair of ACM’s US Technology Policy Committee.

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The business of artificial intelligence: a conversation with Professor James Hendler

Federal News Network  


What is artificial intelligence (AI) and how has it evolved? What challenges does AI present to society and government? Join us as we explore these questions and more with Prof. James Hendler, Director of the Institute for Data Exploration and Applications at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and co-author of Social Machines: The Coming Collision of Artificial Intelligence, Social Networking, and Humanity...

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IBM, Rensselaer Polytech launch AI, cognitive computing project

Healthcare IT News  


The challenge lies in the personalized coupling of curated knowledge and individual data, according to James Hendler, director of the Rensselaer Institute for Data Exploration and Applications – IDEA. Hendler, who will serve as director of the HEALS center, is also the Tetherless World Professor of Computer, Web, and Cognitive Sciences at Rensselaer. “IBM’s Watson technology has made major inroads in life sciences and health,” Hendler said in a statement. “Our goal now is to use Watson to help clinicians prevent people from developing chronic conditions by providing them with health information customized for their specific medical, environmental, and work/life situations.”...

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IBM’s Watson goes to school: A Q&A with RPI’s Jim Hendler

Washington Post  print


Jim Hendler, best known as one of the creators of the semantic web, is an artificial intelligence researcher who leads the computer science department at RPI. He responded to a few questions Thursday about the plans for Watson, including the system’s “curriculum,” and the potential implications for the future of unstructured data.

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Articles (5)

Why the Prospect of the IRS Using Facial Recognition Is So Alarming


James Hendler


"To start with, there are a number of general concerns about the accuracy of facial recognition technologies and whether there are discriminatory biases in their accuracy. These have led the Association for Computing Machinery, among other organizations, to call for a moratorium on government use of facial recognition technology."

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As governments adopt artificial intelligence there’s little oversight and lots of danger

The Conversation

James Hendler


Artificial intelligence systems can – if properly used – help make government more effective and responsive, improving the lives of citizens. Improperly used, however, the dystopian visions of George Orwell’s “1984” become more realistic.

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From the Semantic Web to social machines: A research challenge for AI on the World Wide Web

Artificial Intelligence

James Hendler and Tim Berners-Lee


he advent of social computing on the Web has led to a new generation of Web applications that are powerful and world-changing. However, we argue that we are just at the beginning of this age of “social machines” and that their continued evolution and growth requires the cooperation of Web and AI researchers. In this paper, we show how the growing Semantic Web provides necessary support for these technologies, outline the challenges we see in bringing the technology to the next level, and propose some starting places for the research.

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Web science: an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the web

Communications of the ACM

James Hendler, Nigel Shadbolt, Wendy Hall, Tim Berners-Lee, Daniel Weitzner


Despite the Web’s great success as a technology and the significant amount of computing infrastructure on which it is built, it remains, as an entity, surprisingly unstudied. Here, we look at some of the technical and social challenges that must be overcome to model the Web as a whole, keep it growing, and understand its continuing social impact. A systems approach, in the sense of systems biology, is needed if we are to be able to understand and engineer the future Web.

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The semantic web

Scientific American

Tim Berners-Lee, James Hendler, Ora Lassila


(Google Scholar rates this the most cited article in the history of Scientific American) A new form of Web content that is meaningful to computers will unleash a revolution of new possibilities

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