thinker, educator & changemaker


I studied artificial systems in the early 90s because such systems seemed to offer endless possibilities, for example assisting radiologists in finding diseases in medical images. In the following two decades I used artificial systems to study neural systems (how does the human brain use physical patterns and biases to get a quick first impression of the natural environment) and social systems (how do humans use stereotypes as a mechanism to cope with the social environment).

I've sought to bridge the gaps between 1) scientific fields, 2) research and education, and 3) science and society since the beginning of my professional career. Exploring in-between spaces and choosing less-traveled roads gives me a lot of pleasure and teaches me a lot. This is why I avoid the academic culture of publish-or-perish, and why I support innovative reward and recognition systems focussing on cooperation rather than competition.

Currently I am Professor of Socially-Intelligent AI, Program Director Msc Data Science & Information Systems, and Scientific Director of the Civic AI Lab. The lab, a collaboration between the Ministry of Interior Affairs, City of Amsterdam, the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam  and the University of Amsterdam develops AI technology to increase equal opportunity in the fields of education, welfare, environment, mobility and health. See below some recent media highlights of my work.