Let’s Make AI for Everyone

Today is ICAI’s fifth anniversary. We started ICAI from the fundamental belief that if AI is going to transform and permeate every single aspect of our society, we should help ensure that we can influence, steer, and own these developments ourselves, here in The Netherlands and in Europe. A core motivation behind ICAI has been to help address the significant concentration of power and data in the hands of a very small number of companies that have almost exclusive access to these technologies outside of any form of democratic control. Giving ourselves the means to develop talent and technology in AI is an issue of industrial and, ultimately, societal sovereignty.

The mission that ICAI has pursued to support open talent and technology development in AI since its launch on April 23, 2018 can best be summarized in three phrases: shared ownership, augmented intelligence, and many voices

Shared ownership” refers to democratizing AI. It refers to the collaborative development of talent and technology in AI, with different types of stakeholders – knowledge institutes, industry, government, civil society – based on shared innovation agendas that the stakeholders determine, work on, and revise themselves. Learning-by-doing is a key ingredient of shared ownership, so that all stakeholders become smarter through their participation in collaborative development. ICAI’s labs are our primary vehicle for putting shared ownership into practice. I am very proud that as of today, when we turn five, 47 labs around the Netherlands have been launched, each with at least five PhD students. Between them, they bring together more than 140 partners from all sectors of Dutch society. 

Augmented intelligence” targets the development of AI systems not as autonomous systems that are meant to replace people but as systems that complement and support people to help them decide and act better. There is no lack of challenges where we can use help: global pandemics, resource scarcity, energy transition, aging populations, collapsing biodiversity, digital divides, climate change, staff shortages in key sectors, growing inequality, food waste, unaffordable healthcare, eroding democratic institutions. Increasingly, ICAI’s labs do not just target technological or economic goals but align their innovation agendas with the UN’s sustainable development goals.

Finally, “many voices” recognizes the diversity of perspectives on the development, roles, and impacts of AI. It also refers to the need to optimize for goals that go beyond accuracy. With the recently launched ROBUST program, ICAI now includes a large number of labs that focus on different aspects of trustworthiness of AI-based systems, such as explainability, reliability, repeatability, resilience, and safety. Rather than relying on end users, or indeed on society, to deal with the consequences of AI technologies that have been optimized for accuracy only, ROBUST emphasizes the range of meaningfully different trade-offs that technology development and deployment may and should make. Above all, the ROBUST program fosters the collective intelligence of diverse and collaborating groups of stakeholders.

ICAI has grown into a nation-wide ecosystem that is organized in a bottom-up fashion, in just five years. With this ecosystem we seek to decentralize and democratize technological power and to make sure that technology is applied for human empowerment, to have broad and genuine benefit.

Maarten de Rijke
Scientific director Innovation Center for Artificial Intelligence

Registration open now! ICAI Day: A Deep Dive into AI

On the 27th of October ICAI organizes the ICAI Day: A Deep Dive into AI. This hybrid event will take place on location in Den Bosch and online. The focus of this ICAI event will be on the technological side of AI. Registration for the event is now open for everybody who is interested. You can register here.

Together with the ELSA Labs community of NLAIC, we organize a lunch event as part of the ICAI day for all the labs. In small table settings we will deep dive into specific area’s and how to work on AI with trustworthiness integrated in the technology. Introductions will come from the Police Lab and ELSA Lab. You must be physically present to attend this part of the programme.

We have speakers from outside and inside the labs who will dive into the latest technologies of AI and show work on Geometric Deep Learning: from Euclid to drug design (Michael Bronstein, Imperial College & Twitter) and graph convolution networks (Xie Weiyi, Radboud MC/Thira Lab). Finally our experts in the labs, from academia and industry, will share insides on lessons learned from the collaborations in the ICAI labs.

The event will take place in two parts:

12:00 – 13:30 Part 1: Lunch table discussions
With introductions of:
Heleen Rutjes (TU Eindhoven, ELSA Labs)
Maurits Bleeker (UvA, Police Lab)
Sarah Ibrahimi (UvA, Police Lab)

Topics of the lunch table discussions:
– Inclusive society with data engineering
– Autonomous systems in mobility
– Robotics & autonomous agents
– Computer vision in healthcare
– Using AI in education and governmental org.
– Online personalization and impact

13:45 – 17:00 Part 2: ICAI plenary event
13:45 – 14:00 Welcome by chair Nathan de Groot and director of ICAI Maarten de Rijke
14:00 – 14:45 Keynote Michael Bronstein Geometric Deep Learning: from Euclid to drug design (Twitter, Imperial College)

14:45 – 15:00 Break

15:00 – 15:30 Lecture Xie Weiyi (Thira Lab) – Graph Attention Networks for airway labeling
15:30 – 15:35 Short videos of different ICAI labs
15:35 – 16:20 Discussion table ICAI labs –Lessons learned in collaboration:
Elvan Kula (ING, AI for Fintech Lab),
Georgios Tsatsaronis (Elsevier, Discovery Lab),
Cees Snoek (UvA, QUVA, AIM & Atlas Lab)
16:20 – 16:30 Closing words

16:30 – 17:30 Drinks

We look forward welcoming you at our event!

Register here

Innovation Center for Artificial Intelligence officially launched

Science and business in the Netherlands are joining forces in the field of artificial intelligence. Today, the Innovation Center for Artificial Intelligence (ICAI) will be officially launched at Amsterdam Science Park. The first lab within ICAI is a partnership with Ahold Delhaize.