On Thursday 11 February, around 900 tweakers joined together online for the Tweakers Digital Meet-up AI. They were presented with a full evening program on the latest developments in the field of artificial intelligence. This was so exciting that most of the participants attended the full program. In this article you read about a successful evening!

Tweakers editor-in-chief Wout Funnekotter kicked off the digital meeting, followed by a keynote on deepfakes, by Sezer Karaoglu. The host and keynote speaker immediately grabbed and held the attention of the audience. Especially Karaoglu’s live demonstration with deep fake images of prime minister Mark Rutte appealed to many people. The general conclusion: ‘incredibly interesting, but very scary as well’.


Speakers with a strong message

After the kick-off and first keynote, visitors spread out among the different speakers. They highlighted various aspects of AI and did not shy away from discussion. Critic Tijmen Schep, for example, spoke about the loads of data companies collect and what this means regarding privacy.

As an example, he developed hownormalami.eu, a website showing what an algorithm can find out about you when you just turn on the camera on your smartphone or laptop. Funny details: the website calculates, among other things, how handsome you are on a scale from 1 to 10 and how long you will still be alive. This was a big hit with the visitors, who shared the results in the chat windows.

Photo: hownormalami.eu


Interaction with the community

Accessibility and interaction were the key factors of the meet-up. Visitors could submit their questions to a moderator, via a chat box. He presented the most interesting questions to the speaker. In this way dialogues between speakers and the audience continued. Lively conversations in the chat screens showed the light-hearted, informal atmosphere. Visitors not only discussed AI issues, but also the best winter beers. In between sessions, visitors could be matched for a speed-date, based on their shared interests. For some it seemed a bit too intimate, for others this was a highlight of the evening.


Unique opportunity for partners

The digital meet-up offered partners an excellent chance to get in touch with the community, in an accessible way. They were given the opportunity to give a tech talk or open a digital booth. Chipsoft, Achmea and Delaware seized that opportunity. Their tech talks were awarded a 7.5 by the present tweakers. Thanks to the informal nature of the meet-up, this is a good environment for companies to show what they are doing, in a less corporate context.


Worth repeating

During the last speaker round, reflection was a central theme. Which ethical issues are related to AI? As a humanity, what do we sacrifice for all the possibilities AI offers us? And what can we expect for the future? Cultural sociologist Siri Beerends, for example, sparked the discussion about the workload behind AI. He talked about contractors in third world countries who fill their working days clicking on pictures to train algorithms.
Most of the attendees lingered until the end of the digital meet-up. During the final drink, most of them agreed: next time they will be there again.

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