Archives for fraiday

Fraiday #9: AI in Canada

Fraiday is the monthly meet-up for professionals who are AI-curious. We have a simple format, involving drinks, lively debate around a theme and a group picture.

The inagural Fraiday event in Canada took place on November 24th at Abe Erb in Kitchener, Ontario. Organized by Aigency’s own Ramy Nassar and Eiso Vaandrager a diverse group of AI-enthusiasts got together to talk about the current state of Artificial Intelligence and the potential impact on business and society.

Interesting stories and observations were shared by representatives from: Read More

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Fraiday #7: AI in Business

Fraiday is the monthly meet-up for professionals who are AI-curious. We have a simple format: involving drinks, a theme, lively debate and a group picture.

Some companies outsource their data work, some do it themselves, and some find a hybrid form of cooperation with a startup. For our AI in Business edition of Fraiday, we looked for someone who could embody several approaches that corporates can have towards AI. We found exactly that in Tijmen Blankevoort from Scyfer, whose story reads like a fairytale, ending in the recent acquisition by Qualcomm.

Tijmen sat down with interviewer Jim Stolze in an “inside the actor’s studio” like setting to tell us something about his background and how he got where he is. There where quite some things that you wouldn’t expect from a CTO at a former tech startup! Did you know for example that Tijmen was a contestant of “beauty & de nerd”, or that he studied Japanese before he started his study of mathematics? Read More

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Fraiday 4: AI & Creativity

Fraiday is the monthly meet-up for professionals who are AI-curious. We have a simple format: involving beers, a theme, lively debate and a group picture.

This location of Fraiday #4 was spectacular in many ways. Our friends at Osudio were kind enough to lend us their office, including the rooftop terrace. And as you can see in this exclusive behind the scenes footage Jim went trough quite some trouble to take the group picture. Now there’s someone who is not afraid to loose his job!

The theme this month was “AI & Creativity” and we invited Erik van der Pluijm to introduce this subject. Erik is the creative director at 30x and the co-author of the best selling book “Design a better business”. Erik did a great job of asking questions (How creative can a machine get? What is the future of value?) and answering some of them. Read More

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Fraiday 3: The future of Work

Fraiday is the monthly meet-up for professionals who are AI-curious. We have a simple format, involving beers, lively debate around a theme and a group picture.


This evening featured a fire side chat with Maarten Lens Fitzgerald, former co-founder of Layer and currently on a mission to augment the workplace. Maarten looked back on his adventure with Layar and drew some nice parallels with the current hype around AI. Also Maarten explained how the future of organizations depends on how they put together their teams.

We hope to see you at our next event?

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Fraiday #2: Race against the Machines

Fraiday is the monthly meet-up for professionals who are AI-curious. We have a simple format, involving beers, lively debate around a theme and a group picture.

Last January our theme was “Artificial Intelligence is no match for Natural Stupidity”. We shared a lot of funny anecdotes about how algoritmes are often considered silver bullets and that -although we’ve seen major progress in the last 5 years- real A.I. is still far, far away.

For the February-edition the theme was “Race against the Machines”. All attendees were divided into groups to discuss the aspects of what it is to be human in a world that is rapidly becoming more and more machine driven. What are things that a machine will never replace? And what kind of tasks should (or could only) be done by algorithms?

Musk vs Page
The teams were then given the ultimate assignment: they should argue why AI will eventually save us (Team Page, named after Larry Page who has been quoted saying that AI will give us better lives and more free time) or will destroy us (Team Musk, named after Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking who warn about the downside of given power to machines).

Our lovely assistant Alexa flipped a coin and started the timer for the first round:

  • Team Musk warned us that AI will create an automated form of humans, this AI will learn from the humans, humans are imperfect so this makes the imperfections larger. Moreover, we cannot control AI, because we can’t understand it, we can’t go back if something goes wrong. Another point was that AI carries no responsibility, they can’t go to jail for example. AI becomes anti human and the bad comes before the good, can we really survive AI?
  • In their response, Team Page promises us that AI will bring us a modern paradise. We have to see it as the dog principle, we had dogs as hunters, but now they are social animals. There will be a good system, like health for every person on the globe, global stability, no problems in financials systems, no funny transactions and eliminate abundance. Paradise!

Some quotes from the second round:

  • In the second round of the debate Team Musk came back with counter arguments as: AI is a black box, we can’t learn from AI, we don’t understand it, the software runs on its own. They also mentioned that they didn’t want to be walking on a lease like a dog of AI. You always have to make mistakes to learn, this is dangerous. Last one-liner: Stay on top of the food chain.
  • Team Page responds and says AI reprograms itself and humans are going to learn from AI. To exist together in this beautiful world, to be a better human. Also there are laws for AI. We are in a bad place right now, so we can only go up! Last one-liner: AI is evolution into enlightenment.

And the winner is
In the end the jury had a really hard time to decide on who the winners were. In their wisdom they concluded that the debate itself was the grand prize. As we (technologists) are often accused of techno-optimism it can be very insightful to put ourselves in the shoes of the non-believers. In the end, we have to work it out together.

See you next month?

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Looking back on the first Fraiday event

‘The buzz was here!’ said Kevin van Blokland, one of the attendees of the first edition of Fraiday. Fraiday is the monthly meetup for professionals who describe themselves as “AI-curious”.

The meeting was on Friday the 13th of January at the cozy cafe of Startup Village Amsterdam. Many people with different backgrounds were present but all with the same interest: Artificial Intelligence. As Eiso Vaandrager said: ‘This meeting is the proof there is interest and need for A.I., together with everybody we want to build the ecosystem’.

The next meeting will be on the 17th of February. The theme will be “Race against the machines”. Together we’ll discuss the aspects of what it is to be human in a world that is rapidly becoming more and more machine driven. What are things that a machine will never replace? And what kind of tasks should (or could only) be done by algorithms?

We hope to see you next month because, like Jim Stolze said: ‘We have only just begun!’

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