machine intelligence


  • Herman Konings, Trendwatcher

Herman Konings, built in 1964, is a Master in theoretical psychology (Catholic University of Leuven) and managing director of the Antwerp agency for trend analysis and future research Pocket Marketing/nXt. As a trend analyst and consumer psychologist Herman regularly offers advice, holds workshops and gives lectures for companies, societies, governments and higher education about changes in trends and expectations for the future.

Between 2005 and 2015 Herman gave about 2000 lectures and work meetings. He is a genuine storyteller who inspires the spectator on an engaging course about the amazing world of passions and interests, trends and future expectations, and about what is and what will be. He is also the author of various books: Futures (co-authored with Tom Palmaerts and Joeri Van den Bergh), De tafel van 7, Sub Rosa, Latte Macchiato….

Herman is a speaker who challenges his audience time after time with enriching insights and future outlooks, using the right wordings and a scientific foundation to convey his message.

Herman Konings



  • Prof. Ann Nowé, VUB Artificial Intelligence Lab

Prof. Ann Nowé received a M.S. degree from Universiteit Gent, Belgium, in 1987, where she studied mathematics with a minor in computer science, and a Ph.D. degree from Vrije Universiteit Brussels (VUB), Belgium, in collaboration with Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London,  U.K., in 1994.

Currently she is a full professor at the VUB and co-head of the AI/COMO Lab VUB. Her field of expertise is machine learning with a strong focus on learning in multi-agent systems where she studies the coordination of agents using only limited communication. Applications include engineering domains such as telecommunication and mechatronics, but also bioinformatics.

She participated in many national as well as international projects. She was actively involved in several tutorials and workshops at major conferences (AAMAS, ECML, ICML).

She is a board member of ECCAI (the European Society for Artificial Intelligence) and has been the chairman of the BNVKI (BeNeLux association for Artificial Intelligence).

Abstract Smart systems opportunities in an IoT age

In this talk we will walk through the history of Machine Learning. I will illustrate how the field has been influenced by disciplines such as biology, psychology and statistics. While lots of devices and applications are currently called smart already, the recent IoT realisations allow us to move towards real smart applications. I will discuss applications in a domestic and office context as well as smart grid applications which require coordination between the different actors.

Ann Nowé



  • Gerard Smit, CTO and Innovation Leader of IBM Benelux

Gerard Smit is IBM´s Chief Technology Officer and Technical Sales Executive for Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg. He leads the IBM Center for Advanced Studies and University Relations Team. Gerard is awarded as IBM Distinguished Engineer, in recognition and appreciation of outstanding international technical contributions and leadership. He is Open Group Distinguished Chief Architect, Reverse Historian and passionate Technology & Innovation leader. Gerard connects the contextual dots between the industry and Cognitive Computing, AI, Internet of Things, Big Data & Analytics & Front Office Digitization.  Next, he is also member of the ICT Innovation Platform Advisory Council, Council Member of the VNO-NCW Innovation and Technology commission and Member of the Executive Board of The Netherlands Study Centre for Technology Trends (STT). Besides this Gerard Smit enjoys guest lecturing at Universities and (co) writing books, blogs and articles. 

Abstract How IBM “Watson” can inspire your business initiatives and predict some trends to watch out for:

Multiple definitions can be given for “Machine Intelligence”, but for IBM it can be summarized as “Watson”. Since the spectacular victory during the Jeopardy Quiz, IBM Watson has evolved to a leading commercial Cognitive Computing System, driving innovation in several industries such as customer engagement, medicine discovery, oncology advise, health and lifestyle improvements, food preparation, oil drilling, legal support, children education, travel guidance, news exploration, image analysis and much more. Watson combines three key capabilities: natural language recognition, digestion of masses of unstructured information and self-learning algorithms. But when combining these Cognitive capabilities with the Internet of Things, we come to exciting new products, services and business models, such as Smart Drones, Self-Driving Vehicles, Cognitive Robots, Intelligent Skycrapers, Reality Augmenting Wearables and more. Using IBM Reference Cases, the speaker will guide you through this “new era” of the “cognitive assistance”, inspire your business initiatives and predict some trends to watch out for.  

Gerard Smit


  • Bart Vande Ghinste, Azure Product Marketing Manager at Microsoft

Bart Vande Ghinste is a dynamic marketing and business professional with a proven track record of thirteen years of IT industry experience with Microsoft. He has been working mainly with app developers and IT Professionals inspiring and helping them to be successful on the Microsoft platform. 
With a passion for technology and startups, Bart has a personal ambition to help encourage future entrepreneurs into the IT industry and build successful lasting companies through incubation and innovation.

Abstract The Intelligent Cloud: A conscience in a conscious internet

The Intelligent Cloud. What it means and what is the impact on our daily lives as a customer, consumer or company. Tech giants are building data centers larger than life, storing data, doubling every year. How can we turn past data investments into a sustainable future data dividend. AIl and related technologies are out there to help us out, to grow our business. What are the risks and benefits of a soon to become conscious internet and how is Microsoft positioning itself in this new world.




  • Daniel Maslyn, Test Consultant at Sogeti

Daniël Maslynis a passionate and creative software testing professional with over 15 years of experience in real-world situations ranging from hands-on operational testing roles to test management positions. Knowledgeable in a variety of test methods, techniques and testing paradigms. His focus has always been on the quality of the “end user” experience and how pragmatic testing can improve this. He is an up and coming speaker at global conferences and guest lecturer at universities in Belgium on various topics relating to software testing.

Abstract Robotics Testing:

In this session, we’ll explore the testing challenges for robotics systems. As these systems become more prevalent in our society, the need to check for quality and correct functioning will become more prominent in the future. This session is for anyone who is interested in how high tech, quality and testing can be approached.

Daniel Maslyn



  • Stefan De Schuyter, Country Chief Technologist, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Since 2011, Stefan De Schuyter is very proud to be assigned as Country Chief Technologist for Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) Belgium. Times have never been so exiting when you realize how technology becomes the gene of every economy. Making the New Style of IT matter for our customers in today’s new digital economy is Stefan’s absolute passion. As trusted advisor, Stefan aims to improve the value of IT investments based on HPE’s rich solutions portfolio. Understand what’s important, what’s required to improve the way technology is used to achieve better business outcomes. Leading customers in their transformation journey to a Hybrid IT infrastructure, how to protect their digital assets, empower our customers to become Data-driven and how to enable a new style of mobile productivity. Drive, attitude, motivation and commitment are the foundation in every contribution Stefan undertakes, recognized as valued resource for consultation by business and IT innovators.

Abstract Empower a Data Driven Organization:

In the new Digital Economy we all see a growing adoption of Internet of Things. More and more data is generated everywhere and present new opportunities to capture value and offer new business opportunities. Integrating some very practical Benelux use cases we want to give you a good idea on how Intelligent Data Management and Analytics can provide you a competitive advantage today by powering your existing and next generation applications and services. 




  • Michiel Boreel, CTO Sogeti Group

Michiel Boreel has been working in the IT Industry for over 25 years. He currently holds the role of CTO at Sogeti, contributing to the innovation in the group on international level. Educated as an Industrial Engineer, Michiel started his working career in 1986 as a junior consultant with a management consultancy firm in Amsterdam. After two years of advisory work on large scale restructuring of both public and private firms, he made the transition towards the information technology industry in 1988 by joining one of the companies that are now united in Sogeti.

Performing several assignments in systems programming and security, he learned about the more technical side of the profession. Combining both technical skills and organizational experience, Michiel started advising about the reverse engineering of legacy information systems an d migration estimation methods. Adding commercial responsibilities, he worked for a couple of years as an account manager for clients in the financial and telecom industry.

In 1994 Sogeti asked Michiel to lead a new initiative, Vision, Inspiration, Navigation Trends (VINT), a small research group with the goal of inspiring customers to apply new technology in business processes. Constant theme in all of the VINT research is the question what role IT will play in the future society and how technology can be applied to create meaningful business innovation. Since the start of the institute it has published over 15 books. Some of the latest publications are "Design to Disrupt", "Internet of Things", "The App Effect", "Seize the Cloud" and "Virtual Concept - Real Profit with Digital Manufacturing and Simulation". Many of these books have been translated into English, French, German and Spanish.

Based on his research and books, Michiel Boreel is often asked for his engaging and visionary speeches or in the role of Master of Ceremony at national and international events. Additionally he works with many clients to create in-house innovation workshops where, through a strategic dialogue, emerging technologies are translated into specific business innovation opportunities.

                                      Michiel Boreel        Menno Van Doorn

  • Menno Van Doorn, Director VINT

Menno is Director of the Sogeti Research Institute for the Analysis of New Technology (VINT). He mixes personal life experiences with the findings of the 19 years of research done at the VINT Research Institute. Menno has co-authored many books on the impact of new technology on business and society. These are some of the books and research projects he has worked on: “Making IT-Governance Work”, “Powershift – energy transition”, “Cyber Security Manifesto”, “Big Data” and “Things”.

Menno received the Computable Award “Researcher of the Year” for research done in the field of open innovation and business transformation in October 2007. He is member of the Advisory Board of the Telecom & Management School of Business in Paris and member of the Coordinating Commission of the Social Media Research Centre Somere of the University of Twente (Netherlands). Menno is the host of a 1300+ business innovation community called “Social Strategy Talk” with events that are held in Amsterdam. He was born in Gouda (say cheese) and went to Erasmus University to specialize himself in the field of economic psychology. This formed the base of his human-centric view on new technology.

Abstract "Computer Says No - Life in the Age of Intelligent Decision Machines":

Machine Intelligence - What leading information technology research company Gartner calls “The Next Big Thing,” eminent scientist Stephen Hawking and Tesla’s Elon Musk envision to be “Our Biggest Existential Threat.” Controversy about digital technology tends to heat up whenever the notion of intelligence – or autonomous decision-making – is involved. It may just be a matter of time for autonomous machines to determine the development of our world and what is best for mankind. Already we must face the facts. Only 70+ years after Alan Turing’s World War II Enigma project, computers like IBM’s Watson have started to not only aid us in boring tasks, but even to gradually take over control with superior or at least super-fast artificial intelligence, based on vast structured and unstructured knowledge repositories.

Businesswise, the acquisition, aggregation, and analysis of big and fast data today is following its success in e-Science fields. Socially however, ongoing automation is not a no-brainer at all. The accelerating replacement of jobs by autonomous machines for the sake of productivity has a long history of societal turmoil. Nevertheless, organizations’ ability to compete over the centuries has been dependent of new technologies and infrastructures. Digital intelligence and decision making are no exception. We must help shape this advancing man-machine reality, and the impact of cognitive computing and robotization, instead of trying to fight it!