Can AI make us more human? – Border Sessions

Can AI make us more human?

Drones that deliver parcels. Fridges that order groceries. Automated verdicts in court. Artificial Intelligence is taking humans out of the loop in an attempt to make our world better. In this session we will discuss what “better” actually means.
Why is AI mostly used for efficiency, if technology is supposed to increase our well-being? How about other fundamental needs that make us human? If AI is truly smart, how can we harness it to support and enhance what makes us human?

The session will be hosted by Dr. ir. Melanie Peters, Director of Rathenau Instituut, and Prof. Dr. Adelbert Bronkhorst, Principal Scientist at TNO and Professor of Applied Cognitive Psychology at VU University Amsterdam.


Yori is co-founder and CBDO of Storro, Global Shaper of the Amsterdam Hub, connected to the World Economic Forum, member of the Programmaraad of the Rathenau Instituut, part of the advisory board for the cyber security track of the CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis, SingularityU Rotterdam Chapter ambassador.

Melanie Peters became director of the Rathenau Instituut. Dr. Peters has a broad background in science, industry and the public sector, combined with ample experience of national and international politics and social relations. She studied food technology at Wageningen University, and became a certified toxicologist at Imperial College, London, where she was also awarded a PhD in biochemistry.

Dr. Peters worked as a scientific researcher at the University of Texas at Austin, and led a research team at Shell Research and Technology Centre Amsterdam. She has held various positions combining science, policy, politics and social issues at the Ministry of Agriculture, the Dutch Consumer Association, and as director of Utrecht University’s Studium Generale scientific discussion platform.

Adelbert Bronkhorst is principal investigator at TNO and professor in Cognitive Psychology at VU University Amsterdam. At TNO he investigates the practical implementation of Artificial Intelligence. He is an expert in auditory perception and human factors in technology that influence behavior.


Pieter van Boheemen specialises in science and society interactions. His research focused on understanding social and ethical aspects of synthetic biology, and more recently he investigated the digitalisation of news and implications of blockchain. Pieter completed the Life Science & Technology at the TU Delft and Leiden University.

During his studies he started two companies: one in software and a chain of webshops. After this he worked at Accenture and co-founded biotech startup Amplino. He then focused on social innovation, especially smart cities and biotech. As manager at Waag Society he lead the teams of the Open Wetlab, Open Design Lab and FabLab Amsterdam. These focused on open, fair and inclusive technology in the European FP7, H2020 and Creative Europe programmes. The outcomes will be displayed on international art, design and science musea and festivals.



Thursday 14 June


12:45 - 13:45

Session type



Theater aan het Spui – Galaxy