Testimonial Max Welling

What makes ICAI unique?

“ICAI is built on a unique framework to make collaboration between industry, government and academia much more effective than before. We have built on extensive experience with two existing labs with Qualcomm and Bosch, which has taught us what a mutually beneficial relationship between academia and industry should encompass. For instance, we have a unique proposition in terms of IP and knowledge transfer, and we understand the need for companies to stay close to the talent pool. At the same time we want to create unique positions for this talent pool so that they will stay in the Netherlands and contribute to educating the next generation of talent.”

What kind of research within AI are you working on yourself?

“My group works on machine learning problems in general, including causality, reinforcement learning, explainability and deep learning. With my students and postdocs we have looked at a number of fundamental problems, such as principled ways of handling symmetries in deep learning, models that understand the data domain (e.g. images) so well that they can dream up new data, new algorithms that can accelerate MRI image reconstruction, new algorithms to compress deep neural network by a large amount so that they can run on your phone, neural networks that know when their predictions can not be trusted, to name just a few.”

What is the biggest misconception about AI?

“The biggest misconception is that human level AI is around the corner. It is not. But we will see many very useful applications of AI in our everyday lives. AI will also not replace human labor, instead it will change the nature of jobs and create many new opportunities that were unimaginable before.”


Max Welling is professor of machine learning at UvA, founder of Scyfer and currently vice president technologies at Qualcomm.