Universiteit Leiden

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Our Digital Future

Thursday 14 October 2021
Langegracht 70
2312 NV Leiden


Are you not able to attend? You can follow this event via a livestream on this page.


What does the digital future hold? Or is it better to say the digital present? Artificial intelligence, robotization and gamification: when it comes to digital innovation, Leiden University is a hive of activity. Want to find out more about what is going on? And who is working on this? What can we learn from one another and how can we encourage cross-pollination? Can we see ideas and opportunities for (interdisciplinary) collaboration?

Inspiration afternoon on digitalisation, artificial intelligence and IT

During this inspiration afternoon on digitalisation, artificial intelligence (AI) and the role of IT at Leiden University, staff can attend presentations from ‘trendsetters’ from all disciplines and take part in interactive workshops on the digital future.

Inspirational sessions

The inspirational sessions are in the PLNT building (with live streaming from the sessions of Joost Broekens and Bart Barendregt). After your registration you will receive information about how to sign up for one of the sessions. The language of the session depends on the language choice of the speaker.

Round 1 (15.00 - 15.45)

  • Joost Broekens: Robotics - mens-robot interactie en de inzet van humanoid robots in de praktijk livestream
  • Aris Politopoulos: Building blocks - Minecraft in scientific research and education
  • Jelle van Buuren & Katarina Stankovic: De Digitale Docent

Round 2 (16.15 - 17.00)

  • Bart Barendregt: Digitale Diversiteit - Automatisering, algoritmes en cultuur livestream
  • Eduard Fosch-Villaronga: Interacting with machines - horizons of possibilities and challenges for our current times
  • Jelena Prokic: Artificial Intelligence and the Humanities Research

Jelle van Buuren is Assistant Professor and Director of Education for the master Security and Crisis Management, ISGA/Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs.

Katarina Stankovic is the first point of contact within the faculty of Governance and Global Affairs for teaching staff and teaching support staff for the use of information and communication technology in teaching.

How can teaching staff and digital support staff arrive at a productive collaboration? How do we develop a shared language, to override the confusion of languages that sometimes arises between teachers and support staff? And how can the expectations on both sides become better aligned?

In this inspiration session, Jelle van Buuren and Katarina Stankovic will illustrate a step by step approach, according to the principle of ‘learning by doing, of creating a pragmatic way of working which fully recognises both teaching staff and digital support staff. The aim is to achieve multidisciplinary cooperation, with teaching staff, students, education specialists and digital support staff together shaping the digital future.

This session is in both English and Dutch.

Hoe kunnen docenten en digitale ondersteuners tot een vruchtbare samenwerking komen? Hoe kunnen we een gezamenlijke taal ontwikkelen om de spraakverwarring tussen docenten en ondersteuners die nog weleens optreedt te overstijgen en de wederzijdse verwachtingen beter op elkaar af te stemmen?

In deze inspiratiesessie illustreert Jelle van Buuren volgens het principe van ‘learning by doing’ stapje voor stapje hoe een pragmatische werkwijze tot stand is gekomen waarin zowel docenten als digitale ondersteuners volledig tot hun recht komen. Aan de horizon gloort multidisciplinaire samenwerking waarin docenten, studenten, onderwijskundigen en digitale ondersteuners gezamenlijk de digitale toekomst vormgeven.

Jelena Prokic is Assistant Professor at the Leiden University Centre for Digital Humanities. Her research focus is on the use of computational methods in the study of language, with emphasis on quantitative approaches to language variation and change.

Big data and enhanced computational power are responsible for the recent boom in artificial intelligence, which has enabled its uses in a variety of scientific research fields, as well as in daily life applications. At the same time, humanities research has very modestly embraced the rise of AI technology and its integral components: deep learning and high-performance computing.

During this session Jelena Prokic will address opportunities and limits of artificial intelligence in the humanities: What is humanities research data? Are there disparities between what humans see in data and what the machines see in it? Can new methodologies help in answering questions in the humanities?

To illustrate these challenges, Jelena Prokic will present several research projects that rely on new technologies to answer some of the core questions in the humanities.

Joost Broekens is Associate Professor of Artificial Intelligence at the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science/Faculty of Science. He studies AI, in particular Affective Computing and the interaction between humans and socially interactive agents.

This session is in Dutch.

Humanoïde robots spelen een steeds grotere rol in onze maatschappij en in ons onderzoek. In deze inspiratiesessie wordt een overzicht gegeven van een aantal onderzoeken, het gebruik van robots in de praktijk en de benodigde technische infrastructuur. Verder kan je zelf wat dingen uitproberen op een humanoïde robot.

Aris Politopoulos is lecturer and researcher in Digital Archeology, Computer Games and the Archaeology of Play at the Faculty of Archeology, and is one of the founders of the VALUE Foundation.

In this session, the potential of creative video games for research and education will be demonstrated, and how both academic and ICT staff can use them fruitfully. Which fascinating opportunities do video games have to offer? And how can video games help shape output in a playful but no less serious way? Focusing on the use of the popular video game Minecraft, what is its potential for conducting archaeological research and heritage outreach? What are the possibilities for other scientific fields?

The session will be divided into two sections: a presentation of the key concepts and ideas behind using video games and Minecraft, and a tour of various built heritage reconstructions in Minecraft that have taken place in public outreach events conducted by the VALUE Foundation in collaboration with Leiden University.

Eduard Fosch-Villaronga is Assistant Professor at eLaw - Center for Law and Digital Technologies at the Faculty of Law where he investigates legal and regulatory aspects of robot and AI technologies, with a special focus on healthcare. He teaches about Human-Computer Interaction, Digital Health, Law, Robots, and AI.

Autonomous cars, surgery and rehabilitation robots, smart home appliances, robot toys, and natural language processors: just a few examples of how machines are increasingly interacting with us in private, professional and public settings. Rehabilitation robots help wheelchair users to walk; therapeutic robots can bridge the distance between older adults and their loved ones; and sex robots could support the realization of the sexual rights of persons with disabilities.

But are engineering solutions the answer to modern problems in the long term? Which opportunities and challenges does technology hold for our human future? What are the possible ulterior consequences of technological fixes for society, such as perpetuating or exacerbating injustice, or the discrimination of vulnerable communities? And what governance mechanisms do we need to adequately frame these technologies?

Bart Barendregt is Professor (by special appointment) in the Anthropology of Digital Diversity at the Leiden Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Sociology, Faculty of Social Science.

This session in in Dutch. Further details will follow.

Beerend Hierck is Assistant Professor in Microbiology en Anatomy and Developmental Biology teacher at the Center for Educational Innovation of the Leiden University Medical Center. His educational research focuses on 3D learning and the role of Augmented Reality (AR).

This session in in Dutch.

Connectivity, gebruik van een interactieve AR-HoloLens-applicatie - wat levert de digitale leeromgeving ons op? Met een demonstratie van de AR-HoloLens.



Doors open – sandwich buffet will be available (PLNT)
Welcome by Erik Geraads (ISSC Operations Team Leader) livestream
Connections without shame in the digital age by Professor Aukje Nauta (Dutch) livestream
Opening by Martijn Ridderbos (Vice-Chairman of the Executive Board), Jan-Willem Brock (Director of Information Management) and Joop van der Born (Director of the ISSC) livestream
The crucial role of IT in the organisation of the future and the mindset required bij Professor Bibi Van den Berg (Dutch) livestream
Break (demo, networking, book sale)
Creativity and intelligence: the role of AI and the human factor.  Professor Holger Hoos (English)
Inspirational sessions round 1
Break (demo, networking, book sale)
Inspirational sessions round 1
Drinks and networking

Target group

This afternoon is for staff who work in support roles in IT, information management and functional management. If you are interested and your job involves digitalisation, automation and data management, you’re welcome to join us! Be inspired and get talking to your colleagues.  

Corona measures

It will not be necessary to have CoronaCheck-app for entry to the symposium. Of course, we do ask everyone to observe the latest coronavirus-campusprotocol. It is important to do the coronacheck beforehand, and respect each other’s boundaries. There is a maximum number of persons permitted in the building, and we will adhere to that.

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