photo-Grosof-201305Benjamin Grosof’s Biography

Short Biography:

Benjamin Grosof (Principal Director & Research Fellow, Artificial Intelligence (AI), at Accenture) is an industry leader in AI knowledge representation, reasoning, and acquisition. He has pioneered logic-based (a.k.a. semantic) technology and industry standards for rules combined with ontologies, their acquisition from natural language (NL), and their applications in finance, e-commerce, policies (including contracts, regulations, and security), and e-learning. He co-founded the influential standards design body RuleML and has had driving roles in W3C RIF (Rule Interchange Format) and W3C OWL-RL (rule-based ontologies). He led the invention of several fundamental technical advances in knowledge representation including Rulelog (a breakthrough in logic-based AI combined with natural language processing), courteous defeasibility (exception-case rules), restraint bounded rationality (scalability in complex reasoning), and rule-based description-logic ontologies. He has extensive experience in user interaction design, and in combining logical methods with machine learning and probabilistic uncertainty.
Dr. Grosof has experience applying core technology for knowledge, reasoning, and related human-computer interaction (HCI) in a wide variety of applications for data/decision analytics, including: financial services, accounting, and risk management; compliance with policies, legal regulations, and contracts; e-commerce, digital marketing, and customer care; privacy/security and trust management; defense and national intelligence; health care and life science; education and publishing. He is a technical executive for an ambitious initiative to leverage AI for business process automation across Accenture’s $7.5B+ Operations group. Previously, he co-founded and was CTO & CEO of Coherent Knowledge, a software-centric startup that commercialized Rulelog (2013-2017). He led a large research program in advanced AI (artificial intelligence) and rule-based semantic technologies at Vulcan Inc. for Paul G. Allen (2007-2013). He was an IT professor and DARPA PI at MIT Sloan (2000-2007), a senior software scientist at IBM Research (1988-2000), and principal of his own part-time expert consulting firm (2000-2017). His background includes 5 major industry software releases, 2 years in previous software startups, a Stanford PhD (Computer Science, specialty AI), a Harvard BA (Applied Mathematics), 3 patents, and over 60 refereed publications.

More Bio Details:

(Continuing and elaborating from the Short Biography above:)

Two W3C industry standards are based largely on his work: Rule Interchange Format (RIF, 2010) and Web Ontology Language’s rule-based subset (OWL 2 RL Profile, 2009). His notable technical contributions also include fundamental advances in integration of rules with machine learning. He co-founded the International Conference on Rules and Rule Markup Languages for the Semantic Web (which since became the RR and RuleML conferences).  He has interacted extensively with a large variety of companies, at CXO level as well as technically, in the course of his research, entrepreneurship, standards, and consulting activities.

At Vulcan, he conceived and led a large advanced research program in the area of rule-based semantic technologies and AI, within Vulcan’s overall Project Halo. This included:

  • creation of the game-changing SILK knowledge representation (KR) core technology, which enables powerfully expressive yet scalable semantic web rules that are defeasible, higher-order/meta-, omni-directional, and reactive;
  • applying its KR techniques immediately to scientific question-answering, search, and semantic wiki knowledge networking; and
  • exploring its longer-term implications in business and government.

More details on Vulcan era work.

At MIT and IBM, his research involved the creation of applied, as well as core, semantic technologies for web-based e-services and business communication. This included pioneering work in three areas:

  • e-commerce, including business policies for e-contracts, shopping, and advertising, as well as early commercial intelligent agents;
  • information integration in financial services and reporting; and
  • policy-based security/privacy trust authorization.

It also included a variety of other application domains, particularly: e-services engineering, including lifecycle reuse of knowledge and business process management; business and defense intelligence; health care patient records; personalization, including in communications and news; operations management for customer service; and travel. He was prime designer and project leader for the SweetRules open source platform for semantic rules and ontologies on the web (2004), while principal investigator and rules co-lead in the DARPA Agent Markup Language (DAML) program. He was a lead author of the Semantic Web Services Framework (2005). He conceived and led IBM CommonRules (1999) and co-led its application piloting for rule-based XML agent contracting in EECOMS, a $29 Million NIST industry-government consortium project on manufacturing supply chain collaboration.

More details on MIT era work.

Before IBM, he had experience at two software startups in Cambridge, MA. I also interned as a financial analyst in a Wall Street bank stock specialist firm.

For yet more bio, especially details about his IBM projects 1988-2000, for now see his old IBM biography.


I grew up in Manhattan.  Even after all these years living in other places/sub-cultures, I tend to talk too fast, get too excited and emphatic intellectually, and sometimes interrupt when I shouldn’t (apologies in advance; “interruption is a form of love” in the sub-culture I was raised in).

My wife Janine Bloomfield directs Coherent Knowledge’s operations and marketing. She draws upon a strong science and policy background.  She obtained her PhD in Forestry and Environmental Science at Yale University.  Previously, among other positions, she was Senior Scientist on global climate change at Environmental Defense Fund, a leading non-governmental organization.

Janine and I have three wondrous and inspiring children: Isaac Bloomfield Grosof (b. 1995), Eliana Bloomfield Grosof (b. 1997), and Jacob Bloomfield Grosof (b. 2003).

My other interests and experiences include:

  • meditation; dancing, electric blues; radio-DJ’ing.
  • hard science fiction; visual art, incl. making computer art; movies.
  • hiking; frisbee; baseball/softball, running.