Cees Snoek is an expert on video and image recognition. A huge quantity of visual information, in the form of digital images and videos, is being created in the world today. One major challenge for artificial intelligence is to make all of this content accessible. This challenge is the primary objective of the Intelligent Sensory Information Systems Lab at the UvA, which Cees Snoek will head in his capacity as professor. Together with his group, he will focus on semantic image understanding, image and video search, and interactive image analysis. Snoek is also the head of the QUVA Lab, the joint research lab set up by Qualcomm and the UvA for research on deep learning and computer vision.
In addition to conducting and directing research, Snoek will teach Bachelor's and Master's students about artificial intelligence, focusing particularly on visual search engines and computer vision by learning.
Snoek has been affiliated with the UvA since 2001, where he has been an associate professor in Artificial Intelligence since 2013. He has been combining this role with his work as managing principal engineer at Qualcomm Research Europe since 2014. Snoek was the head of R&D at Euvision Technologies, an UvA spin-off company, from 2011 to 2014. During this time, he worked with fellow UvA professor Arnold Smeulders at the UvA Informatics Institute (Instituut voor Informatica) to lay the foundation of the Euvision applications. Among other things, Euvision developed Impala, the first app in the world to organise photos on smartphones automatically.
At the end of 2017, the American government awarded Snoek a grant of three million dollars to develop artificial intelligence which is capable of recognising, finding and understanding activities and objects in video images with high precision and speed.
In 2012, Snoek won the Dutch Prize for ICT Research, the youngest person ever who has won this prize to date. In the same year, he received a Vidi grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) for his research project entitled STORY: Searching for the Events Told by Video Content. In 2008, NWO had previously awarded him a Veni grant for his project called SEARCHER: Substituting Experts by Amateurs for Concept-Based Video Retrieval.
Snoek has published more than 200 peer-reviewed book chapters, articles in scientific journals and conference papers. He has previously been a guest researcher for the Computer Vision Group at the University of California (Berkeley, US) and the Informedia group at Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, US).