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Leuven University (KUL) pools expertise in new AI institute

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a topic that still raises many questions – not just technological questions, but philosophical, ethical and legal ones as well. To tackle AI as a multidisciplinary subject, the University of Leuven (KUL) is combining its expertise to form the KU Leuven Institute for AI – also known as Leuven.AI.

Leuven University library

Long-standing collaboration

“Various groups and labs at the University of Leuven have been collaborating on the topic of AI for years,” Leuven.AI director and computer scientist Luc De Raedt explains. “Many of these labs are extremely big and have an international focus. Leuven.AI wants to ensure better coordination and more efficient cooperation between them. To be clear: the labs will continue to exist, they won’t be absorbed by the institute, which will simply serve as a basis for more and better interaction.”

Automated predictions

Specifically, Leuven.AI will be working within the context of Flanders’ impulse program on AI. The plan includes a yearly investment of EUR 32 million and is aimed at research, industrial implementation, ethics and training. One of the projects deals with the automation of data science processes. Luc: “Companies, governments and various organizations are sitting on mountains of data, but it's often unclear how they can actually use it. Leuven.AI wants to create models that be used to predict when a machine will break down, energy consumption and more.”

An AI pioneer

Artificial intelligence may be a hot topic right now, but it's been on KU Leuven’s radar for over 30 years. Luc: “We were one of the first in Europe to set up a master’s program in AI back in 1988. Today, around 300 students are enrolled in it. Thanks to this early interest in AI, we now have a strong international reputation when it comes to this domain.”

More info

Reported by
KU Leuven / Leuven University website
25 May 2020

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