Blog

  • The wisdom of the crowds
    When people join forces to search for the truth, they can develop seemingly magical abilities. But in our hyperconnected world, many things go wrong in the collective search for truth. Mathematical models explain why.
  • Who is Anonymous?
    Digital communication is inherently ambiguous, says new media scholar Davide Beraldo. It allows for fluid concepts that connect unlikely groups of people. But it can also do the opposite: segment and polarize communities.
  • Meet our new director: Robert van Rooij
    The ILLC’s new director is convinced: Logic still matters to AI. And theory from philosophy, computer science and linguistics is useful to tackle real-world problems.
  • Inside a reasoner’s head
    Humans have a hard time reasoning according to abstract rules. Still, logic should care about psychology, says Anthi Solaki. She builds logical models that offer space for human imperfections.
  • Five years with Sonja Smets
    The logician Sonja Smets has been the first female director of the ILLC. Now, she is handing over the directorship to Robert van Rooij. Time to look back on five eventful years.
  • When residents design their city
    Participatory budgeting empowers citizens and non-citizens: They can decide what their city’s budget is spent on. But how to make sure everyone is being heard?
  • The science and mystery of listening
    Ashley Burgoyne researches how humans listen to music. Why are some songs catchy while others are not? How does my listening differ from yours? And why is the Spotify algorithm so good?
  • Machines that gaze at landscapes
    What’s on this image? Neural networks are great at recognizing objects – describing whole scenes is much more difficult. Research at the ILLC shows that it might help to let machines look at images like humans do.
  • The madness of the crowds
    People are quick to call others irrational. Logical models reveal that irrational group behavior might be a natural consequence of how information is spread in the digital age.
  • Imagine we could detect fake news – what then?
    Researchers at the ILLC are developing algorithms to detect fake news and those who spread it. But the technical solution is only half the story. Unless applied carefully, automatic fake news detection is problematic.
  • What happens if you grow up without language?
    Since October 13, 2020, Sign Language of the Netherlands is an official language in the Netherlands. A major step in the right direction, says Floris Roelofsen, linguist at the ILLC. But there is still a long way to go.
  • Working on diversity
    Research is more creative and less biased when it is done by scientists that differ in many ways. But how to be inclusive and diverse as a research institute? This is how we approach the problem.
  • A little history of AI at the UvA
    In 1992, the AI teaching programme at the UvA was launched. Nobody had heard of deep learning and AI revolved around logical reasoning. For a look back at the beginnings we talked to Frank Veltman, emeritus professor at the ILLC.
  • Explaining voting outcomes with AI
    Arthur Boixel and Ulle Endriss use AI to explain voting outcomes. How? Just like you would solve a sudoku. This video explains more.
  • Lightening up the black box
    Dieuwke Hupkes reflects on her PhD in the fast-moving field of natural language processing. Artificial neural networks are not only computational tools – they can also teach us something about the human brain.
  • Why no voting system is fair and how AI can help
    How to combine individual points of view to find the best possible compromise? This might seem trivial. But in fact, it’s really hard to answer! This video explains why.
  • Music in our genes
    Newborns perceive rhythm, chimpanzees dance to music and pigeons can distinguish Bach from Stravinsky. The root of human musicality lies in our genes. An interview with music scientist Henkjan Honing.
  • Quantum computing in quarantine
    Berkeley, January to May 2020. The Who’s who in Quantum Computing and cryptography is coming together to discuss cutting-edge research. An interview with quantum expert Chris Schaffner.
  • The pandemic through people’s eyes
    Many claim that the pandemic we are living through is a historical event. But which story will be told about it? Tobias Blanke and Julia Noordegraaf want to take a look at the crisis through the lens of individual experiences.
  • How Corona is changing science
    The flood of information about the COVID-19 pandemic is overwhelming. But which sources are relevant? Researcher Giovanni Colavizza uses artificial intelligence to bring structure into the science related to COVID-19.