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Tuesday, June 23rd at 3 pm


Issue: The AI4EU Observatory for the covid-19 crisis

undefinedTeresa Scantamburlo. European Centre for Living Technologies. Teresa Scantamburlo is a post-doctoral fellow at the European Centre for Living Technology (ECLT), Ca’Foscari University (Venice, Italy). Before that she was appointed as a research associate at the University of Bristol. Her main research interests include the ethical assessment of AI applications and the interaction between people and AI systems.

I will introduce how the AI4EU Observatory on Society and AI is contributing to the critical analysis of tech solutions to the covid-19 crisis. In particular, I will sketch out the research process and the collaborative efforts resulted in a working paper available on arxiv

Issue: Covid-19: technical solutions and the response from society

undefined Atia Cortes.Barcelona Supercomputing Center. Atia Cortés is a computer scientist engineer with a MsC and a PhD in Artificial Intelligence. She is a post-doctoral fellow at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center. Before that, she was an assistant professor and a researcher at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, where she was involved in several EU funded projects related to AI solutions for healthcare

I will describe the structure of our working paper published on arxiv. In addition, I will introduce the main research questions that we wanted to answer in this work: -Which are the different technical solutions that are being developed by public and private institutions?
-What are the ethical and legal boundaries to be aligned with European regulations and the concept of Trustworthiness?
-How is the society responding to such initiatives?

Issue:The implications of digital contact tracing solutions in light of EU data protection law

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

undefined Pierre Dewitte. Pierre Dewitte (1993, Brussels) obtained his Bachelor and Master degree of Laws with a specialization in Corporate and Intellectual Property law from the Université Catholique de Louvain in 2016. As part of his Master program, he spent six month in the University of Helsinki where he strengthened his knowledge in European law. In 2017, he completed the advanced Master of Intellectual Property and ICT law at the KU Leuven with a special focus on privacy, data protection and electronic communications law.Pierre joined the KU Leuven Centre for IT & IP in October 2017 where he conducts interdisciplinary research on privacy engineering, smart cities and algorithmic transparency. Among other initiatives, his main research track seeks to bridge the gap between software engineering practices and data protection regulations by creating a common conceptual framework for both disciplines and providing decision and trade-off support for technical and organizational mitigation strategies in the software development life-cycle.

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undefined Daphné Van Der Eycken. Holds a Master in Laws from Ghent University, with a particular focus on IP, IT and European Economic Law (2019, magna cum laude). She is currently working as an academic researcher at KUL CiTiP and pursuing an advanced LL.M. degree from Liège University, with a particular focus on EU Competition and IP Law

General principle governing the processing of personal data and how they influence the design and functioning of a privacy-preserving approach towards contact tracing


Issue: Tracing encounters instead of tracing people

undefinedVille Ollikainen. VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. Mr. Ville Ollikainen received his M.Sc. degree in Technical Physics in 1989 from Helsinki University of Technology with an academic minor and 2.5-year employment in the laboratory of Industrial Psychology. He worked previously at Technical R&D of MTV Finland with the main responsibility for developing broadcast automation, regional advertising systems and interactive teletext services. Mr. Ollikainen has been working at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland as a senior scientist focusing on media integration, the field of his doctorate thesis planned for the near future. In this role, he has since 1999 contiguously participated in projects related to new media technologies, excluding a period of entrepreneurship: he was one of the main inventors behind Envault Corporation Oy, a data security company he was establishing in 2007. His current activities include privacy preserving recommendation systems, privacy-by-design targeted advertising and social networking services, most recently coordinating a European Union’s Horizon 2020 funded project HELIOS (grant #825585), developing a novel peer-to-peer platform for privacy-enabled social media. Closely related to the topics of privacy, Mr. Ollikainen works today in Applied Cryptography research team at VTT.

In order to prevent new outbreaks, it is essential to trace potential carriers of the virus. For this purpose, mobile technologies provide the most prominent solution, since mobile devices are typically present, where viruses are transmitted in human-human encounters. This presentation unveils an approach that keeps users persistently unidentified. Consequently, there is no kind of a registration (no mobile number or other persistent identifier), that could introduce privacy issues. Instead of having focus on tracing people, the approach has a focus on tracing individual encounters.

Issue: The decentralization of Social Media

undefinedBarbara Guidi. University of Pisa. Barbara Guidi is currently an Assistant Professor at the Department of Computer Science of the University of Pisa. She received her B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Computer Science from the University of Pisa, Italy, in 2007 and 2011, respectively. She received her Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from the University of Pisa, in 2015. In 2014, during her Ph.D., she was a visitor at the Heinrich Heine University of Dusseldorf. She was a Co-Chair for the conference EAI GoodTechs 2017, and Co-Chair of several workshops. She has been involved in the TPC of several international conferences and workshops, and has been a reviewer for relevant scientific journals. She received three Best Paper Awards: at the International Conference DCNET 2013, at the workshop LSDVE 2017, and at LSDVE 2018. She is part of the UNIPI Team in the H2020 HELIOS project. Her current research interests include distributed systems, P2P networks, complex networks, Social Network Analysis, Decentralized Online Social Networks, dynamic community detection, and the Blockchain technology.

Social Media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., are used extensively for the purpose of communication, and they represent platforms where people share private information every day. During the first phase of COVID-19, people constricted to a forced quarantine, used them to communicate and to know information about the world. They gave us a simple way to be part of a big small world affected by the virus. However, it is well-known the main problem of Social Media concerning privacy and fake news. For this reason, people are thinking of a new concept of Social Media which takes into account the decentralization of Social Services. Decentralization is today one of the most important concepts, not only for Social Media but also for our health. The COVID tracing apps are decentralized, only to suggest an application. What is the meaning of decentralization, and what is the future of Social Media? Have the current decentralized Social Media a big impact on the web? What are the main available approaches?

Issue: Proximity and trust in hyperlocal social networks

undefinedKevin Koidl. Trinity College Dublin. Kevin Koidl is a Research Fellow at Trinity College Dublin. His research interests are Social Technologies, Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing.

I will discuss the impact of virus on society from a digital perspective focusing on how it has changed our way of communicating. As example I will present the HELIOSPHERE concept that implements a hybrid approach to communication by using state of the art AI and camera technology


Issue: The relation between COVID-19
disinformation and contact tracing

undefinedSymeon (Akis) Papadopoulos. Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH). Dr. Symeon (Akis) Papadopoulos is a Senior Researcher at the Information Technologies Institute (ITI) of the Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH). Symeon has been involved as a Principal Investigator or key member of the CERTH team in a number of pioneering FP7 and H2020 projects, including SocialSensor, REVEAL, InVID, WeVerify and HELIOS. He has co-authored more than 150 peer-reviewed publications, co-edited two books, guest edited two Special Issues and co-organized several workshops and a summer school. Additionally, he is among the founders of a spin-off technology company (Infalia). During the recent years, he has been actively working in the fields of Web and social media mining and information retrieval, and more specifically on the challenge of online disinformation with a focus on the development of tools that help journalists and citizens to verify online media content.

One of the key features of the COVID-19 pandemic is the proliferation of online disinformation at an unprecedented volume and speed. Coupled with the rapid developments in COVID-19 science and medicine and the constant update of our knowledge with new facts, the current infodemic has created a fertile ground where scientific authority is challenged and trust on experts and governments erodes. In this short talk, I will argue that this situation could greatly affect in a negative way the impact of contact tracing apps, which, to a great extent, rely on the public’s trust and wide adoption, in order to be effective. This calls for special attention on the way contact tracing technologies should be communicated and discussed online.

Issue: Dark numbers in the COVID-19 pandemic, testing and manual versus automated contact tracing 

undefinedSteen Rasmussen. University of Southern Denmark & Santa Fe Institute. Professor in Physics and Center Director, University of Southern Denmark. External Research Professor, Santa Fe Institute (SFI), New Mexico, USA. Co-Founder and CTO, Transparent Internet, Spain and Denmark. Co-Founder and CEO, BINC Technologies. IVS. Dr. Rasmussen has worked for more than 30 year developing the science and technology underpinning living and intelligent processes at Universities and Laboratories across Europe and the USA and most recently also in companies. He has received many rewards for his work, starting in 1988 with P. Gorm-Petersens Mindelegat in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen, Margrethe II of Denmark, and most recently in 2018 with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Society for Artificial Life (ISAL). Since 2003 he has led international research initiatives across the US, EU and Denmark, and he has won more than $39M in competitive basic research grants to his home institutions and international research consortia. He is an author of 126 peer-reviewed scientific journal papers; he has written and edited 15 scientific books, proceedings and special journal issues; given 200+ invited talks, 140+ media interviews and he has made 30+ consulting & internal reports. His Erdös number is 2.

Due to insufficient testing capabilities early on in the COVID19 pandemic there is not yet consensus on which fraction of our populations were infected without knowing it although antibody blood tests are now helping us understand. There is not either consensus on the relative population sizes of the asymptomatic and symptomatic infected and which role each of them has in the spread of the pandemic. We provide estimates for the relative symptomatic versus asymptomatic populations in Denmark as well as their relative infectiousness. Our estimates are based on mathematical models and simulations that in turn are based on the most reliable data we have: occupation numbers for hospital and intensive care units as well as death toll. Based on our results we discuss the needed testing capabilities as the country opens up and further discuss under which conditions automated contact tracing, using COVID19 contact tracing apps on smartphones, may or may not be helpful.


Organizer and Moderator: Carmen Mac Williams.Director of the company Grassroots Arts, and partner in the European AI4EU project