Citizen debate :


About the event

thursday 18 march

9:01 : Welcome & Introduction – Nathanael Ackerman
9:05 : Prime Minister Alexander De Croo’s Keynote
9:20 : Lucia Sioli’s Keynote, Director for Digital Industry & Artificial Intelligence @ European Commission
9:35 : Professor Luc Steels’keynote (tbc)
9:50 : AI4BELGIUM achievements and
perspectives by Nathanael Ackerman
10:00 : CONCRETE PROJECTS out of the National Working Group by Nathalie Smuha, Giovanni Briganti, Frederic Pivetta + wrap up by Mieke De Ketelaere
10:15 – Q&A – POLL with the audience

Hurry up & reserve your spot!


Alexander De Croo


Alexandre De Croo

Lucia Sioli

Director for Artificial Intelligence and Digital Industry @European Commission

photo de lucilla Sioli

Luc Steels

Luc Steels is Professor Emeritus in Artificial Intelligence at the Vrije Universiteit Brussels (VUB). After having studied at the M.I.T. AI Laboratory in the 1970s under Marvin Minsky and participated in the first industrial expert systems while working at the measurement company Schlumberger (in the US and France), he founded the VUB AI Lab in 1983, and co-founded the Belgian AI association (BAAI), the European AI association (now called EURAI) and the premier AI journal for Europe (AI Communications). He has participated heavily in EU research programs since 1982, as principal investigator, reviewer and workplan adviser. He is currently involved in the AI4EU project (specifically the work package on Ethical and Legal issues), the FET pro-active project MUHAI on Meaning and Understanding in Human-centric AI and the HumaneAI-net coordination program. Steels has contributed to many areas of AI, from language processing to knowledge-based systems, neural networks, cognitive robotics, AI-enhanced education and AI and art. He is currently a fellow at the Catalan Institute for Research and Advanced Studies in Barcelona.

Nathanael Ackerman

Nathanaël Ackerman is the current lead of the AI4Belgium coalition. He is “AI & Innovation expert” at the Federal Public Service Policy and Support (BoSa). Nathanaël has had a mixed public-private career: from research & teaching AI @ Université Libre de Bruxelles, to entrepreneurship. He was involved in the technology transfer @ULB for several years. In 2012, he was appointed as Director for Innovation and International Relations @Brussels Enterprise Agency (now

He created his own consultancy company and developed several data & ai business units in different companies. More recently, Nathanael has been appointed as Advisor for Innovation and AI (to Secretary of State Axelle Lemaire) for the French Government. He leaded the #France IA  strategic plan. And then co-founded and managed the Hub France Artificielle for 2 years, before coming back to Belgium, his native country, to do quite the same job : contribute to the national AI strategy, and implement it with the ecosystem. Nathanael is both graduated from Polytechnic School of Brussels, and Ecole Centrale Paris.

photo de Nathanaël Ackerman

Nathalie Smuha

Nathalie is a researcher at the KU Leuven Faculty of Law, where she examines legal and ethical questions around Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other technologies. Her research focuses particularly on the impact of AI on human rights and societal values. Nathalie regularly advises international organizations on AI-related policy matters. She is involved in the Council of Europe’s Ad Hoc Committee on Artificial Intelligence (CAHAI) as an independent expert, and a member of the OECD’s Network of Experts on AI (ONE AI).

She also worked at the European Commission (DG Connect) where she coordinated the work of the High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence and contributed to EU policy-making on AI. Nathalie is a qualified attorney at the New York Bar, and previously worked as a lawyer in an international law firm. She holds degrees in Law and Philosophy from the KU Leuven, and an LL.M. from the University of Chicago School of Law.

photo de Nathalie_Smuha

Mieke De Ketelaere

Geertrui Mieke De Ketelaere is Program Director AI at imec. She holds a master degree in civil and industrial engineering and specialised in robotics and artificial intelligence during her studies. Over the last 25 years, she has worked for several multinationals on all aspects of data and analytics (IBM, Microsoft, SAP, SAS, etc). At imec, Mieke De Ketelaere is responsible for the development of the AI strategy and roll-out. From a consulting point of view, she is specialised in defining the AI business canvas, from potential value to predefined risks.

With her understanding of the new digital data streams and her understanding of AI technologies, Mieke De Ketelaere is requested by different business schools as a guest speaker on digitalisation. In her public presentations, Mieke puts the focus on the demystification of the hype around AI and covers non-technical subjects such as data privacy. In 2018, she was nominated “ICT Woman of the Year” in Belgium.

Photo de Mieke De Ketelaer

Frédéric Pivetta

Frédéric Pivetta is the Founder and CEO at Dalberg Data Insights (DDI). Frederic has been active over the last 8 years in the context of data, technology and social impact where he has collaborated with major funders and local stakeholders. The objective is to create economic value and social impact. DDI has a presence across Africa and Europe and is active globally. DDI focuses on designing and setting up data ecosystems through developing tech tools, creating data governance and building communities.

Before that, Frédéric was a co-founder of Real Impact Analytics (now Riaktr), which develops Big Data tools for telecom operators. Frédéric is on the Board of Accountable (fintech) and the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data (Big Data for SDGs, as part of the UN). Frédéric has been working 8 years at McKinsey & Company, where he was senior Engagement Manager. Frederic holds a PhD in Economics from Harvard University and has graduated in Business Economics and in Econometrics from Brussels University (ULB and Solvay Business School).

frederic pivetta

Giovanni Briganti

Giovanni Briganti is a young medical doctor in psychiatry at the Université libre de Bruxelles, PhD from the University of Mons, and researcher in the field of Bayesian artificial intelligence for the investigation of mental disorders at Harvard University. He co-leads the AI4Health working group within the AI4Belgium initiative

Photo de Giovanni Briganti

Hurry up & reserve your spot!


Logo de AI4Belgium
logo de agoria