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    Professor Sir Nigel Shadbolt FREng FBCS

    MG_4487Nigel Shadbolt is an academic and commentator who studies and writes about open data, artificial intelligence, computer and web science. During his 33 year career, he has also worked in philosophy, psychology and linguistics. In 2013 he was knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours “for services to science and engineering”.

    Today, Nigel draws together this multidisciplinary expertise to focus on understanding how the web is evolving and changing society. He is passionate about how humans and computers can solve problems together at web scale:

    Nigel says:

    “Society will change because of three developments -

    • open innovation – allows any one to participate and contribute to the generation of new insights, content and knowledge. It challenges those who have a vested interest in closed data and methods, restricted markets and knowledge;
    • linked data – the next generation will have at their disposal a web of linked data. They will be able to find things much more easily, leading to the rapid emergence of new ideas, products and services, disrupting existing business models;
    • collective intelligence – the web connects people, computers and data to produce systems much more powerful than the component parts. These systems will be essential to solve the challenges humanity faces, from climate change to public health, social inequality to crisis management. We need to understand how to conceive, design and maintain these systems.”

    Current roles

    Nigel is a Professor of Artificial Intelligence at the University of Southampton and is Head of the Web and Internet Science Group within Electronics and Computer Science.

    He is Chairman and Co-Founder of the Open Data Institute (ODI). Launched in December 2012, the ODI focuses on unlocking supply and stimulating demand for open data. It promotes the creation of economic, environment and societal value from open data releases.

    Since 2009, Nigel has acted as an Information Advisor to the UK Government, helping transform public access to Government information, including the widely acclaimed data.gov.uk site.

    In May 2010, he was appointed to the Public Sector Transparency Board responsible for setting open data strategy across the public sector. He Chairs the Local Public Data Panel, seeking to promote and develop open data approaches within local government and the UK midata programme whose goal is to empower consumers through access to their data. In 2013 he was appointed a member of the UK’s Information Economy Council.

    Nigel is a Director of the Web Science Trust and of the Web Foundation which have a common commitment to advance understanding of the web and promote its positive impact on society.

    Nigel is the author of the critically acclaimed The Spy in the Coffee Machine: The End of Privacy as We Know It (with Kieron O’Hara). He is a regular keynote speaker at high profile events, and is available for media comment and articles.