Artificial Intelligence (AI) is set to be the defining technology of the future, as applications from self-driving cars to healthcare robots become part of everyday life. Amsterdam is already highly respected for its AI expertise. The new AI hub will concentrate talent to ensure that the city leads the field in creating innovative solutions, products and applications.
The University of Amsterdam (UvA) already has between 400 and 500 students working on AI. The research is at world-class level, but the current accommodation is no longer adequate, says Maarten de Rijke, Professor of Information Retrieval. The planned 11,000 m2 building at the Science Park will not only house students and researchers from the university, but will also act as an open hub for co-creation between the university, research institutes and the private sector.
The UvA will build on its experience with existing partnerships at the Science Park with companies including Bosch and the US tech giant Qualcomm – AI developed at the Science Park by Amsterdam start-up Scyfer is to be integrated into Qualcomm’s chips. The UvA’s approach to AI is also multidisciplinary, says Geert ten Dam, president of the Executive Board. The university is well positioned not only to explore AI’s potential benefits in healthcare, safety and sustainability, but also to consider its legal, ethical and cultural implications.
In April the Executive Board is to discuss the investment needed for the new building. The aim is to start construction in 2019 so the building will be ready for use in 2021.