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A University of Amsterdam-led consortium which will focus on the development of trustworthy AI-based systems has been informed by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) that NWO will support the proposal with €25 million under the auspices of their Long-Term Programme scheme.

Artificial intelligence has the potential to help bring about sustainable solutions to many of society’s most intractable problems, and in doing so, to create great opportunities for the Netherlands. But to ensure that AI technology is widely adopted and benefits all sections of society, it is essential that the systems that we develop are trustworthy. The ROBUST long-term programme was set up to tackle this challenge.

Essential hallmarks of trustworthy AI

The ROBUST programme, which has a total budget of over €95 million, will build on ICAI, the Innovation Center for Artificial Intelligence. It intends to add 17 labs to ICAI’s current ecosystem of 30 labs, in areas as diverse as health, energy, logistics, and services. The labs that make up ROBUST will be marked by the economic opportunities they create and their contributions to the UN’s sustainable development goals. They will develop AI-algorithms that advance the state of the art in accuracy, reliability, repeatability, resilience and safety – all essential hallmarks of trustworthy AI.

Above all, ROBUST will focus on attracting talent to work on the challenges of trustworthy AI, since talent forms the core of any AI ecosystem. It will also make trustworthy AI research and innovation a shared responsibility between knowledge institutes, industry, governmental organisations, and other societal stakeholders. And it will practice learning-by-doing through use-inspired research, connections with startups and small and mid-size enterprises, and extensive knowledge sharing efforts.

Copyright: J. Steenmeijer
The challenges when developing robust AI are enormous. We think our focus on talent development, learning by doing, and joint knowledge development between knowledge institutions, companies and other social enterprises is the right mix for making fantastic headway in this area. We can't wait to get started! Project leader Maarten de Rijke

ROBUST is a collaboration of 21 knowledge institutes, 23 companies, and 10 societal organisations, supported by the NWO and the AiNed National Growth Fund investment programme.

Project team

The project leader is Prof. Maarten de Rijke of the University of Amsterdam and ICAI. The co-applicants are Prof. Mark van den Brand (Technical University Eindhoven), Prof. Arie van Deursen (Delft University of Technology), Prof. Bram van Ginneken (RadboudUMC), Dr Eva van Rikxoort (Thirona), Prof. Clarisa Sánchez Gutiérrez (University of Amsterdam), and Prof. Nava Tintarev (Maastricht University).

Contact: Esther Smit (University of Amsterdam and ICAI), esmit@icai.ai