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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I Amsterdam = AI Msterdam

For the past couple of months, Startup Amsterdam has been doubling down on projects and initiatives that further develop the conversation about AI and machine learning.

We want to make Amsterdam the centre point for AI.

These words were spoken at an AI-themed event for the Corporate Network – as well as five startups and five initiatives working with AI technology. Read More

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Meet us at #WSAI17

The AI brains are coming to Amsterdam… the first ever “World Summit AI” taking place in Amsterdam. A great place for new inspiration and new connections.

Our team will be there for the full two days! Make sure to find Michiel (CTO) at our booth (right next to the main stage, can’t miss it!) or Jim (CEO) in the panel session on the second day.

Also, check out some exciting news that came out of the event.

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Fraiday 6: AI for Good

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.

Fraiday #06 AI for Good 29-09-2017 photo by Mike Breeuwer 19

On 29 September we gathered at the Startup Village to hear from an all-star at the 6th edition of Fraiday. YouTube celebrity Siraj Raval, Jan Kees Schakel from Sensing Clues and Rutger Hofste from the World Resources Institute took the stage to shine some light on the ways that NGO’s are using Machine Learning to improve the world.

The stacked containers of the Startup Village at the Amsterdam Science Park provided the decor for this Fraiday. As people gathered at the bar in anticipation of the speakers it quickly became clear that Fraiday’s turnout is steadily increasing. 85 AI enthusiasts came to hear how they could make a difference.

Aigency’s CEO Jim Stolze started the evening by introducing the AI for Good initiative. With the help of the SIDN Fund, Aigency started a matchmaking initiative between NGO’s and AI talent. This will enable NGO’s to harness their data and leverage the insights that can be uncovered from this data.

Siraj Raval at Fraiday #06 AI for Good photo by Mike Breeuwer8First up as speaker was Siraj, he started his talk with the ways that you can self educate as AI curious person. Perhaps counter-intuitively, Google should not be your starting point. That role is left for Github. Later he harped on the grand potential that the combination of Blockchain and AI can have for the world. “The infrastructure we’re building right now. Is gonna have a millionfold impact.” In this scenario, cryptocurrencies allow for everyone to get paid directly for the data they provide. Blockchain also prevents one person from gaining absolute power based on the data set that he or she controls. A very important point, because as Siraj said: “Absolute power is still absolute power. Regardless of the wielder of that power.”

Jan Kees Schakel at Fraiday #06 AI for Good 29-09-2017 photo by Mike Breeuwer17Jan Kees Schakel from Sensing Clues introduced an example of AI helping the world. In this case that meant the results of a wildlife hackathon, where AI has been used to protect wildlife from poachers. It turns out that humans are pretty noisy creatures due to the tools that they bring. Sound Intelligence Systems made up an early warning network that gave authorities intelligence of the moves that poachers were making.

Is there any better way to start of your talk than giving away jars of Nutella? It is no surprise that Rutger Hofste made some Fraiday-friends during his intro by doing so. Still, he had quite a serious topic to discuss. Palm oil, one of the ingredients of Nutella, is in fact damaging to the environment due to the enormous plantations that are necessary to produce it. Luckily, now that satellite imagery has been made available by NASA and ESA, AI developers can help map the extent of the damage done and hold those responsible accountable.

After all of this educational content it was time for some drinks and snacks. The Coffee Virus provided some delicious rolls, and someone ordered a couple of pizza’s. It was really cool to see that conversations went on until after closing time. The pictures of the day are on Aigency’s Facebook page. Make sure to take a look!

Next Fraiday, we’ll be exloring the ways that AI can be used in a business context. Want to stay up date? Make sure to Follow, like and subscribe on Twitter, Facebook and Meetup.

> Read full Fraiday 6: AI for Good post


Are you interested in Artificial Intelligence and creating a better world? Come to the next Fraiday on the 29th of September!

How can we use AI for the greater good?

During the next Fraiday we’ll discuss how Artificial Intelligence can be used for humanitarian causes. Expect many students, startups and NGO’s + a surprise speaker. Warning: you might be accused of being overly “optimistic” after you attend this meetup.

  • Date: 29th Sept 2017
  • Time: 6 pm
  • Location: Venture Studio, Science Park, Amsterdam

Interested? Sign up here!


> Read full #FRAIDAY 29 SEPT: AI FOR GOOD post

Live from Taiwan!

The largest computer fair in Asia: Computex. Not surprisingly AI was an important theme this year! Our COO Eiso Vaandrager represented Aigency in this browsing environment. He occupied a popular booth in the AI-section and took the stage on day #2.

Computex: AI“We spoke with a lot of different interesting parties and presented the AI concept of Aigency. This resulted in conversations with a lot of interesting Taiwanese companies where cooperation is possible. All the big players where there, like IBM Watson, Google, Intel, and NVIDIA. They were all there to see what is happening in the AI area” says Eiso.

Taiwan is a huge producer of electronica and leader in the AI area, therefore it was an interesting place to present Aigency. Another Dutch company called Travis the Translator, was also present. Travis is a bot that speaks 80 different languages.

Moreover, Eiso says he was “definitely impressed by the whole event, and once again overwhelmed how fast all this is going. Even if you are following the AI updates, you are still behind”.

An interesting insight was that the gap between some big companies who are really going for it, and some others who are staying behind is getting bigger and bigger. An opportunity for us is that we can help these companies, because they have no clue where this is going and they will wake up in a new world.

Besides that, it is remarkable that in Asia there is much more willingness to go and experiment and implement with AI versus here in Europe.

In Europe, there is so much discussion. We have to be careful with this, because in Asia they understand the sense of urgency better. Here in Europe we also have to experiment, that is the way you learn and be able to implement things that are working. In the Netherlands when you have a conversation about AI, it is most of the time a shallow conversation about: “we have data”. In Asia however the conversations are far more in depth, about data and privacy for example. They are one step ahead of us.

A last quote from Eiso: “It was a really nice experience in Taiwan, especially since they are totally electronica crazy over there!”


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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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SXSW: AI highlights

This year there was a lot of AI to discover at the SXSW festival in Texas. For example, AI and emotional intelligent machines, AI and food and much more. We talked with Michiel Berger and in this blogpost we will give you some of the AI highlights of this year. We will discuss the possibilities of AI and give some remarkable examples!

First it is important to mention how good AI already is. It is amazing to see what we can already do with AI. At the SXSW conference there were a lot of examples that show this very well. Some examples are: emotional intelligent machines, image recognition from the sky and mayday voice forensics. These three examples will be discussed more in depth to show how good AI is working already.

Emotional intelligent machines

How do machines understand why someone is mad? Or when someone is making a joke? And how will machines respond to this? This is a very interesting thing to think about. On SXSW there was an example which showed that there already is a lot possible to analyze from spoken language. It is possible to detect very precisely how someone is feeling and what their emotions are. Machines can detect whether people agree or disagree, understand or don’t understand. This is done by word and face recognition, face impressions, micro impressions, voice recognition and biometrical measurements. An important question is how will the system respond? How do you expect a machine to respond to you? There are some different options:

  • Option 1: The system doesn’t detect a feeling but only facts. For example: the machine says ‘your heartbeat is high’.
  • Option 2: The system recognizes feelings. For example: the machine says ‘I can tell you are angry’.
  • Option 3: The system responds like a human, it interprets feelings and gives advice. For example: the machine says ‘I can tell you are sad, maybe you should take a walk?’.

It is possible that we as people have the feeling that you first have to get to know the machine. The expectations of the response can differ in time. Maybe people will get used to it that machines can detect and respond to emotions. Brands can use this to make a connection with consumers in a new way. Important to keep in mind here is: ‘Design only what you can understand, don’t manipulate emotions you don’t understand’.
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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