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The good, the bad and the ugly of AI

AI has existed for some time, but we are coming to the tipping point: the popularity increases over time, yet there is tension caused by the negative effects of or fear for AI.

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AI applications are regularly being developed, but the exciting world of opportunities and possibilities includes other issues: privacy, ethics, energy consumption and liability. The discrepancy between what the developers create, what the customer buys, and what the government wants has increased the complexity bias. In this session, we will split the issues in the good, the bad and the ugly.

The good: AI exceeds human intelligence when it gets to areas such as speed of processing, knowledge transfer, decision accuracy and operational modus. However, the human brain still wins on storage size, energy usage and parallel processing and many more points. We need to accept the fact that both forms of intelligence are good, but different.   

The bad: A successful AI project isn’t only about data and technologies, but also processes and people. The bad refers to the typical mistakes made by a company. They can include incorrect training data to match the context, incorrect usage of learning algorithms and unconscious bias.   

The ugly: Some issues aren’t mistakes, but purposeful approaches: fake news, autogenerated speech used to fake video speeches for instance, and more. It is a strong call for 'security by design' and protection for algorithms through legal frameworks, which are currently created.


Geertrui Mieke De Ketelaere is Director AI at imec (IDLab). 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.

Geertrui Mieke De Ketelaere

Mieke is an extraverted nerd, the engineer who balances profit, people and planet within all digitalisation efforts.

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