Meet our international keynote speakers

Get inspired by thought leaders! 
Our outstanding keynote speakers take to the stage to share new digital technology trends and the latest research shaping our world..

Aude Billard

Professor, EPFL & Vice President for Publication Activities, IEEE

Wednesday 19 October

Cobots deployment—data in support of the design of new guidelines to minimizing risks

Autonomous mobility devices such as transport, cleaning, and delivery robots, hold a massive economic and social benefit. However, their deployment should not endanger bystanders, particularly vulnerable populations such as children and older adults who are inherently smaller and fragile. I will report on a recent study conducted in my group that compared the risks faced by different pedestrian categories and determined risks through crash testing involving a service robot hitting an adult and a child dummy. I will further discuss how these findings may influence the design of controllers, sensing awareness, and assessment methods for robots and small vehicles standardization, as well as, policymaking and regulations for the speed, design, and usage of these devices in populated areas.

Aude Billard is full professor and head of the LASA laboratory at the School of Engineering at the Swiss Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), and the Director of the Swiss National Theme Innovation Booster Network in Robotics. She has been elected President of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society, after serving in several roles in the administrative and executive committees of the society.  Dr. Billard holds a B.Sc and M.Sc. in Physics from EPFL (1995) and a Ph.D. in Artificial Intelligence (1998) from the University of Edinburgh. Dr. Billard is an IEEE Fellow and was the recipient of the Intel Corporation Teaching award, the Swiss National Science Foundation career award, the Outstanding Young Person in Science and Innovation from the Swiss Chamber of Commerce, the IEEE RAS Distinguished Award and the IEEE-RAS Best Reviewer Award. Her research spans the fields of machine learning and robotics with a particular emphasis on fast and reactive control and on human-robot interaction. This research received best paper awards from IEEE T-RO, RSS, ICRA, IROS, Humanoids and ROMAN and was featured in premier venues (BBC, IEEE Spectrum, Wired).

Ross John Anderson

Professor of Security Engineering at the Department of Computer Science and Technology, University of Cambridge

Wednesday 19 October

Client-side scanning, or Child Protection?

The top item on the digital policy agenda in the European Parliament is the Child Sex Abuse Regulation (CSAR), being proposed by Commissioner Johannson, which will undermine end-to-end encryption by taking power to mandate client-side scanning, not just for illegal images (as Apple proposed last year) but also of text messages, in the name of child safety A similar power is proposed in Britain’s Online Safety Bill. A paper by GCHQ’s Ian Levy and Crispin Robinson also argues in favour. 
In this talk, I will analyse such proposals in detail. Population-scale text scanning cannot be effective for the claimed purposes, as the level of false alarms would swamp the police. It could also not be legal as it would contravene the European courts’ ban on bulk surveillance without warrant or suspicion. And crimes of violence against children mostly occur in the family. They are associated with violent crimes against women and with misogyny in general. Both require an entirely different and local response involving police, social workers, teachers, and family members. And the most effective means of detecting abuse online is by making it easier for users to report it. Policymakers should not pretend that client-side scanning will help protect children; they should decide whether they want to protect children or prefer the mass interception of communications.
Ross Anderson is a Professor of Security Engineering at the universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering and won the Lovelace Medal, Britain’s top award in computing.

Alan Sanfey

Professor and Principal Investigator at the Donders Institute for Brain Cognition and Behavior at Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands

Wednesday 19 October

Understanding social choices: Insights from Decision Neuroscience

Our lives consist of a constant stream of decisions and choices, from the mundane to the highly consequential. The standard approach to studying decision-making has examined choices with clearly defined probabilities and outcomes. However, it is difficult to extend these decision models to situations where one’s outcomes depend on the choices of others and their outcomes on you.

This class of ‘social’ decision-making better approximates many of our real-life choices, and these social interactive scenarios reveal important choice motivations other than simple economic gain that guide our decisions in a systematic fashion. For example, people consistently value prosocial acts more than standard economic models predict, but different people have different reasons for acting altruistically. In this talk, I will outline an experimental approach using functional brain imaging and computational modeling to observe how players decide in real, consequential, and social contexts and will discuss some potential policy implications of this work for future digital societies.

Alan Sanfey is a Professor of Decision Neuroscience at Radboud University Nijmegen and Principal Investigator at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition, and Behavior. He received his undergraduate degree in Psychology from University College Dublin and his Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Colorado. Previously he has held positions as Assistant and Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Arizona and as a postdoctoral research fellow at Princeton University.

He heads the Decision Neuroscience group at the Donders Institute, and his research utilizes a novel approach to the study of individual and interactive decision-making by combining the methods of behavioral experiments, functional neuroimaging, and formal economic modeling methods. A further goal of his group is to use the knowledge gleaned from these studies to inform public policy debates. To this end, he has founded and is currently the Director of the Radboud Center for Decision Science. 

Alon Y. Halevy

Director Facebook, AI

Wednesday 19 October

Human Values and Integrity in Social Media Recommendations

Online social networks provide a platform for sharing information and free expression. However, these networks are also used for malicious purposes, such as distributing misinformation and hate speech, selling illegal drugs, and coordinating sex trafficking or child exploitation. Keeping users on these platforms safe from such harm is a major focus for social media companies. In the first part of this talk, I will describe recent progress in addressing this problem, particularly the use of Artificial Intelligence techniques. In the second half of this talk, I will take a broader view of the problem as one of incorporating human values into social media recommendations. Critically, this topic raises challenges that span much beyond pure technical ones. I will share some observations from a study on human values that included experts from the fields of Artificial Intelligence, Human-Computer Interaction, psychology, policy, law, and journalism.

Alon Halevy has been a director at Meta AI (and most recently, Reality Labs Research) since 2019, where he works on Human Value Alignment, the combination of neural and symbolic techniques for data management and responsible personal information management.

Before Facebook, Alon was the CEO of Megagon Labs (2015-2018) and led the Structured Data Research Group at Google Research (2005-2015), where the team developed WebTables and Google Fusion Tables. From 1998 to 2005, he was a professor at the University of Washington, where he founded the database group. Alon is a founder of two startups, Nimble Technology and Transformic Inc. (acquired by Google in 2005). He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford in 1993. Alon co-authored two books: The Infinite Emotions of Coffee and Principles of Data Integration. He is a Fellow of the ACM and a recipient of the PECASE award and Sloan Fellowship. With his co-authors, he received VLDB 10-year best paper awards for the 2008 paper on WebTables and the 1996 paper on the Information Manifold data integration system. In 2021, he received the Edgar F. Codd SIGMOD Innovations Award.

Tuomas Pöysti

Chancellor of Justice of the Government of Finland

Thursday 20 October

Rights by design and default in hybrid architectures – realizing human-centric public service in human-intelligent machine co-work

Progress of humanity is learning to work with different kinds of tools the artificial intelligence (AI) being the latest of transformative general technologies. Future and flourishing of humanity is about to work and live together with increasingly intelligent systems. This speech is about designing for and governing design of hybrid architectures and systems, where humans live and work together with intelligent systems as part of a wider socio-technical system. It is about how this provides possibilities to the human centric public administration and service and not descend into dystopia. Yet the speech is about the practical gaps between dream and daily reality with unrealized promises and people falling behind and about to overcoming this gap by hybrid architectures and proper design and maintenance patterns with proper incen-tives. The speech is also about how the law shall change and will regulate human relationship and interface with intelligent machines and their networks.

Rights by design and default is a demanding but necessary objective for the future of public administration. To achieve this and to ensure that public administration and public service is for everyone, systematic multi-disciplinary work is needed beyond individual technical solutions and beyond bureaucratic short-term efficiencies and conveniences.

Dr Tuomas Pöysti is the Chancellor of Justice of the Government of Finland, the Supreme Guardian of the Law in Finland, concurrently with the Parliamentary Ombudsman. The Chancellor of Justice oversees as an independent constitutional institution the legality of the acts of Government and President of the Republic and shall be in that purpose present with the right and duty to submit observations, ask for explanations and corrections in all Government and presidential sessions, perform prior constitutionality reviews of draft Government proposals for laws and decrees and oversee that courts, public authorities and all charged with public tasks comply with the law and fulfill their duties. Tuomas Pöysti has served as the Chancellor of Justice since 2018.

Tuomas Pöysti has worked for more than 25 years with the intersection of law and digital technologies and governance of data and information and communication technologies and on better regulation of advancing technologies both as a practitioner and academic researcher and has an active portfolio in research and practise.

Pöysti has a Title of docent, Administrative law, and Doctor of Law. Tuomas Pöysti’s honours include the Grand Cross of the Order of the Lion of Finland awarded by the President of the Republic (2020) and Doctor of Philosophy (h.c.) from the University of Lapland (2019).

Nikolaus Forgo

Professor of IT and IP Law, Universität Wien, Head of the Department of Innovation and Digitalisation in Law

Thursday 20 October

What Covid-19 has (not) taught us on how to teach and think (about Data Protection) in Europe

This talk will try to analyse how the pandemic has influenced legal thinking and teaching, particularly in the privacy and data protection domains. The perspective will be academic, with a German-speaking background. Emphasis will be given to data collection, data quality, data sharing and interpretation issues more than 10 years after the presentation of GDPR by the European Commission in January 2012. An outlook on interpreting the developments in light of ongoing debates on the platform(s) and AI regulation will be made.

  • Born in 1968 in Vienna
    Law Studies in Vienna and Paris 
  • 1990 – 2000 University Assistant at the Faculty of Law of the University of Vienna and its IT representative
  • 1998 Founder and ever since the head of the Postgraduate Program for Information- and Media Law at the University of Vienna
  • 2000 – 2017 Professor for IT-Law and Legal Informatics at Leibniz University Hannover 
  • 2007 – 2017 Head of the Institute for Legal Informatics at Leibniz University Hannover
  • 2013 – 2017 Director of the Research Center L3s
  • 2013 – 2017 Data Protection Officer of Leibniz University Hannover
  • 2015 – 2017 Chief Information Officer of Leibniz University Hannover
  • Since March 2017 Member of the Digitalisation Council of Lower Saxony
  • Since October 2017 Professor for IT- and IP Law at the University of Vienna, Department of Innovation and Digitalisation in Law
  • Since July 2018 Expert member of the Data Protection Council of the Republic of Austria

Extensive dogmatic and third-party funded research for European, German and Austrian clients regarding questions of IT law, in particular data protection and data security law. Evaluation and consulting activities, i.a., for the European Commission, the German Research Foundation, the German Ethics Council, and various German and Austrian ministries.

Elza Erkip

Institute Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at New York University Tandon School of Engineering

Thursday 20 October

A Communications Perspective on Digital Privacy

Many of the activities in cyberspace, from social networking to the use of mobile apps, leave digital footprints compromising the users’ privacy.  As digital tracking technologies become more sophisticated and pervasive, there is a need to understand and quantify the users’ privacy risk, that is, what is the likelihood that users in cyberspace can be uniquely identified from their activities?

In this talk, we focus on de-anonymization attacks, where publicly and privately available information about users, represented as connectivity graphs, are leveraged to compromise user identities. We model the de-anonymization attack as a graph matching problem in which we have two correlated stochastic graphs, the first of which has labelled vertices, whereas the second one is unlabeled. The goal is to recover the labels of the second graph by using the correlation structure. We summarize our work on de-anonymization, in which we use tools from communications to derive guarantees and algorithms for de-anonymization attacks, thereby providing a framework for quantifying the privacy risk of users in cyberspace.

Elza Erkip is an Institute Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at New York University Tandon School of Engineering. She received a B.S. degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey, and an M.S. and Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.  Her research interests include information theory, communication theory, and wireless communications.

Dr. Erkip is a member of the Science Academy of Turkey, a Fellow of the IEEE, and a Clarivate Highly Cited Researcher. She received the NSF CAREER award in 2001, the IEEE Communications Society WICE Outstanding Achievement Award in 2016, the IEEE Communications Society Communication Theory Technical Committee (CTTC) Technical Achievement Award in 2018, and the IEEE Communications Society Edwin Howard Armstrong Achievement Award in 2021. She is the 2022 Padovani Lecturer of the IEEE Information Theory Society. Her paper awards include the IEEE Communications Society Stephen O. Rice Paper Prize in 2004,  the IEEE Communications Society Award for Advances in Communication in 2013 and the IEEE Communications Society Best Tutorial Paper Award in 2019. She was a member of the Board of Governors of the IEEE Information Theory Society from 2012-2020, where she was the President in 2018. She was a Distinguished Lecturer at the IEEE Information Theory Society from 2013 to 2014.