What makes ICAI unique?
“The intimate relation between universities and companies or governmental organizations leads to unique opportunities for use-inspired research. Our partners have huge amounts of data and challenging questions which push the limits of our state-of-the-art technology. At the same time it asks for innovative functionalities we would not have thought of. By defining a joint research agenda for a lab, all participants have a shared vision and common interests. The fact that every lab has a minimum size of five PhD students and additional senior staff from both the university as well as the external organization creates the required mass to successfully address the challenges.”
What kind of research within AI are you working on yourself?
“In my research group we aim to create methods to access large collections of multimedia data and to give users insights in this data to create value. Rather than focusing on automatic methods only, we strive for interactive synergetic methods which surpass the capabilities of human and machine. Automatic methods provide the basis to work on, visualizations provide users with an understanding of the data and give the means to interact. The system continuously learns from those interactions to provide better and new results.”
What will surprise us the most in AI over the next five years?
“It will first come as a surprise to many that they are already using a lot of AI without realizing it. Search results in Google, recommendations in Bol.com or face recognition in Facebook are all AI based. We will see AI become a part of many many other activities with for example crimes being solved faster, traffic being optimized, travel experience being personalized, and cars becoming more and more autonomous. The second surprise will be that while at the technical and business side many changes will happen for the user, the transition can be smooth and very natural.”
Marcel Worring is professor in data science for business analytics at the Amsterdam Business School and director of the Informatics Institute at UvA.