(l-r): AMIA president Andrea Kalas, Spotlight Award recipient James Hendler, and AMIA conference program chair Nick Gold.

James Hendler, director of the Institute for Data Exploration and Applications (IDEA) and the Tetherless World Professor of Computer, Web and Cognitive Sciences at Rensselaer, has been honored by the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA) with its inaugural AMIA Spotlight Award. He received the award during the organization’s Digital Asset Symposium in New York City on May 5.

The Spotlight Award is given in recognition of significant contributions to the field of media preservation and access at the discretion of the AMIA board. Hendler’s visionary role in creating access to diverse content through semantic technologies and machine learning led the board’s decision to honor his accomplishments.

A highly respected author and expert, Hendler has written over 350 books, technical papers, and articles in the areas of semantic web, artificial intelligence, agent-based computing, and high performance processing. His most recent book is Social Machines: The Coming Collision of Artificial Intelligence, Social Networking, and Humanity.

One of the originators of the Semantic Web, Hendler was the recipient of a 1995 Fulbright Foundation Fellowship, is a former member of the U.S. Air Force Science Advisory Board, and is a fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, the British Computer Society, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

The technologies of the Semantic Web, and particularly the linked data approach that Hendler has advocated in his work with academic, government, and industrial partners, is increasingly being recognized as a way to make it possible for the “metadata” used in archiving of videos to be more widely used and shared. Demonstrations have ranged from better searching in movies and videos for specific scenes and for identifying and linking the characters in video, real or imaginary, to more information about these characters on the Web. In addition, new work at Rensselaer, led by Mei Si, assistant professor of cognitive science, is showing how these technologies can help link many kinds of data together, creating “interactive narratives” so people can dynamically create and explore stories and presentations from archived collections, including Rensselaer’s own library archives.

The Association of Moving Image Archivists is a nonprofit international association dedicated to the preservation and use of moving image media. AMIA supports public and professional education and fosters cooperation and communication among the individuals and organizations concerned with the acquisition, preservation, description, exhibition, and use of moving image materials.