Plenary Speakers (to be added)

Toby Walsh

Toby Walsh
Professor, Department of Artificial Intelligence, NICTA and UNSW

Toby Walsh is a leading researcher in Artificial Intelligence. He was recently named in the inaugural Knowledge Nation 100, the one hundred “rock stars” of Australia’s digital revolution. He is a Professor of Artificial Intelligence at the University of New South Wales and leads a research group at Data61, Australia’s Centre of Excellence for ICT Research. He has been elected a fellow of the Australian Academy of Sciences and of the Association for the Advancement of AI for his contributions to AI research. He won a Humboldt research award in 2013. He has previously held research positions in England, Scotland, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland and Sweden. He will shortly be taking up a position as Guest Professor at TU Berlin. Toby Walsh regularly appears in the media talking about the impact of AI and robotics. In 2015, he gave a TEDxBerlin talk on how to stop killer robots.

Title: Will Artificial Intelligence end jobs, war or humanity?

AI is definitely in the zeitgeist. The Chief Economist of the Bank of England just predicted AI will destroy 50% of jobs in the UK. In 2015, thousands of AI researchers signed an Open Letter predicting that AI could transform warfare and lead to an arms race of “killer robots”. And Stephen Hawking and others have predicted that AI could end humanity itself. What should you make of all these predictions. What should we do to ensure a safe and prosperous future for all? Will there be a Technological Singularity in which AI greatly passes human intelligence?

Avinash Balachandran

Avinash Balachandran
Senior Engineer at Uber, USA

Avinash Balachandran, Ph.D. is a Senior Engineer at the Uber Advanced Technologies Center (UATC) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In his position at the UATC, he investigates self-driving technologies with the goal of making transportation safer and more accessible for everyone. Prior to that, Avinash obtained his Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University in New York and his Master’s degree and Ph.D. from Stanford University in California where he worked in the Dynamic Design Lab with Prof. Chris Gerdes. His research there focused on autonomous and highly automated vehicles specifically looking at steer-by-wire systems and their potential for autonomy and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). He also studied the interaction between the driver and highly automated vehicles and created technologies to improve communication and feedback in these connected systems.

Title: Connected Technologies and Their Impact on Vehicle Safety

New vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) technologies enable vehicles to obtain rich information about the world around them. This connects them to other road users and to the infrastructure supporting road travel like traffic signals.
Information from these sources informs the vehicle of threats in the environment and, together with controllers, can be used to improve vehicle safety. In particular shared control regimes allow highly-automated vehicles to augment the driver and maintain a safe and collision-free trajectory. In these situations, communicating the intent of the controller to the driver is crucial in allowing the driver and vehicle to work together successfully. Going beyond highly automated vehicles, connected technologies also lay the framework for fully autonomous vehicles that leverage information about the other road users to make safe decisions. This talk will discuss how connecting road users can improve vehicle safety and will specifically investigate the importance of communicating the intent of systems that use this information to the user to ensure a successful result.
Furthermore, the interaction of connectivity and fully autonomous vehicles will be used to show how vehicle safety can be improved and congestion reduced.

Toru Ishida

Toru Ishida
Professor, Department of Social Informatics, Kyoto University, Japan

Toru Ishida has been a professor of Kyoto University since 1993. He is a fellow of IEEE, a vice president of IEICE, and a member of the Science Council of Japan. He is a co-founder of the Department of Social Informatics, Kyoto University and the Kyoto University Design School.
His research interest lies with Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems and modeling collaboration within human societies. His projects include Community Computing, Digital City Kyoto, Intercultural Collaboration Experiments, and the Language Grid.

Title: Service Design through Intercultural Collaboration

Service has been considered as value co-creation through the cooperation of service providers and customers. This talk, however, focuses on service design in problem fields where complex issues exist among various stakeholders. In other words, we focus on a very early stage of service design with huge ambiguities. A typical case is introducing new services in developing countries. The main issue here is to create new services compatible with existing services through action research that considers a wide variety of regional, national and global stakeholders.
It is often difficult to identify the influence of/to the services to be designed due to the differences in culture, language and business customs. As a result, unexpected interdependencies among services together with stakeholders are often revealed during the process of action research. This talk is based on our four year experiences in agricultural support projects in Southeast Asia.


Simon Castex
Partner at Productize, Belgium

Simon is in charge of projects at Productize. He graduated from ESCP-Europe European School of Management, and Executive training from INSEAD, one of the top business schools in France.With more than 10-years experience in the telecoms and media industry, he is specialized in product strategy, an Internet of Things (IoT) agency dedicated to product development via fast prototyping. They provide strategic advice, technical expertise and prototyping abilities to help Their clients turn concepts into tangible products. Their approach allows faster and cost-efficient delivery of innovation projects, from idea generation to physical product development and market testing, before mass-production.
International innovation manager with 6-years experience in strategy consulting followed by a successful experience in operational management. He has worked in over 5 countries including France, Belgium, UK, US, China, Western Africa. He combine excellent analytical and inter-personal skills with pragmatic approach to solving problems and achieving results.

Title: How IoT unlocks new user experiences. Example of connected buttons 

Pek van Andel

Pek van Andel

Pek van Andel, born in 1944 near Amsterdam, did gymnasium, and obtained a university degree in medical research in Groningen, where he developed an artificial cornea for the ten million cornea blind in the world. This low-cost prosthesis is still daily implanted in Amritsar, Penjab, India, and was honored with the Wubbo Ockels innovation prize in 1994. In that year he published the first ánd last article on serendipity in the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science (ranked first among journals for the philosophy of science, now with an impact factor of 1.738). In 2000 he won the satiric Ig-Nobel Prize for medicine for his iconoclastic MRI-scans of the human love act, the serendipitous outcome of an explorative study, described by Science as ‘Love between the magnets’, published in 1999 as the most read article in the BMJ. The study resulted also in the most popular medical video. His pet sin, collecting and analysing examples of serendipity (mainly in science, technique and art) and articles and books on serendipity started as Spielerei nebenbei and ended as Ernst im Spiel. He investigated serendipity from all points of view and is now regarded as serendipitologist. He wrote several books about sérendipité, in French, with Danièle Bourcier, and about serendipiteit in Dutch, with Wim Brands. He is still giving lectures, courses and master classes on serendipity for university (PhD) students, investigators, professors, and managers and financers of research in respectable companies, like Nestlé and ASML, in English, French or Dutch. He showed his main insights in this TEDxLeuven talk, since March 18, 2015 online.

Master class Introduction

Master class ‘Serendipity at Work’ by Mr. Pek van Andel

ICEC is very pleased and honoured to welcome Mr. Pek van Andel. Mr. van Andel will be giving a master class with the title ‘Serendipity at Work’.

“Serendipity is the gift of making an unsought finding and/or its harvest: an ‘accidental’ discovery, invention or creation in science, technique or art.”
“For years I collected serendipity cases and essays. My archive is to my knowledge now the largest in the world. In the chaos of these enigma-, novelty- and anomaly-triggered serendipities I found an order of forty patterns, which I will enumerate and illustrate with examples. The patterns introduce a new and stimulating perspective on the old subject of serendipity. Knowledge of the serendipity patterns will help in expecting also the unexpected and in finding even the unsought.”
“My thesis is simple. To find something really new you can’t go logically from the old to the new. If you should be able to do so, the result wouldn’t be really new. To discover something really new, you need therefore also an unpredictable element: often a surprising observation followed by a correct explanation (i.e. serendipity). A patentable invention e.g. is described in law as a surprise, that didn’t evolve just logically from the known. A real discovery, invention, creation or thought can never be derived purely logically from the known, nor is it purely stochastic.
It is mostly a combination of an unforeseen observation or thought and logical thinking. Systematic search and serendipity don’t exclude each other, they complement and even reinforce each other. A really new finding is made by design ánd by accident. As Friedrich Dürrenmatt wrote, in 1962: ‘Je planmäßiger die Menschen vorgehen, desto wirksamer trifft sie der Zufall.’”


Danièle Bourcier

Dr. Danièle Bourcier is Director of Research at the Centre d’Études et de Recherches de Science Administrative (CERSA-CNRS, Paris) in the Law, Technology, and Language area. She is associated professor on law and computers (Université de Paris I and Paris 10) and has been research fellow in Sweden, The Netherlands, and Austria. She has published many books and papers in the domains of artificial intelligence, complex systems and linguistics applied to law (lex electronica). She is involved in several European projects on governance, risk and democracy. She is director of research at the Center Marc Bloch (Berlin) to launch a project on comparative e-law in Europe (2005-2006). She is also the Scientific Director of Creative Commons France and of the collection “Droit et Technologies” of the Romillat Éditeur.
Dr. Danièle Bourcier was awarded the CNRS et Ville d’Orléans Special Prizes for her PhD in public law. She also holds and Advanced Degree (DEA) in political sciences and a Degree in Linguistics (Maîtrise).

Karolis Karalevicius

Karolis Karalevicius
Product and Strategy, Seek Fine Art, USA

Karolis based in San Francisco, He is director of strategic partnerships and artist of Seek Fine Art. Seek Fine Art is the first and only location-based search engine app that allows you to immediately connect to the world of art around you. Users can instantly search fine art by gallery, location, artists or art style.
Karolis provided insightful ideas on how to focus on what matters the most at an early stage company. He’s great at operations and strategy.