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EUTOPIA WEEK: Robots are our friends  

Crossing artificial intelligence with learning communities may seem like a small step for machines. But it promises to be of huge value in a near future

"Do you speak robots?" The question titles the presentation of the little humanoid who welcomes us on arrival on the guided tour of the artificial intelligence centre installed at Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), the host of this 5th EUTOPIA Week, the alliance of European universities of which the NOVA University Lisbon is a member. It sounds like a small provocation, but the various examples that occupy that room leave no room for doubt: there are several proofs there that there is a way for humans and robots to share the same language - and use that prodigious combination to solve problems in various areas of knowledge.  

"The goal is that artificial intelligence can help people make the best decisions. ", explains Denis Steckelmacher, principal investigator at that centre. "Whether it's adjusting the performance of marine turbines, in case a storm is approaching; or operating machines in manufacturing facilities, reducing the physical effort of workers and increasing their safety," he exemplifies - before concluding that the big challenge of that team is always to research and develop something that brings added value. If it wasn't for the AI Institute for the Common Good.   

Find out more about the program of this EUTOPIA Week, which continues in Brussels until Friday 1st, and the multiple sessions taking place online.