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Dies Natalis 2021: Bits for democracy

14 October 2021
The purpose of Artificial Intelligence is to make better decisions. But algorithms that influence our democracy often meet with resistance. What are the latest scientific developments in AI and is the current public debate on this topic sufficiently well-informed? These are the themes of VU Amsterdam’s Dies Natalis 2021.

In celebration of its 141st anniversary, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam will present an honorary doctorate to Marleen Stikker, director and founder of Waag and The Digital City. Stikker is a tireless advocate for a humane and democratic digital society. Mayor of Amsterdam, Femke Halsema, will be present to address Marleen Stikker on receiving her honorary doctorate. 

The Dies Natalis Lecture will be given by Sandjai Bhulai, Professor of Business Analytics at VU Amsterdam and winner of the Huibregtsen Prize 2021. His intelligent systems for example enable NU.nl to discover news items based on analysis of social media. During this year’s Dies Natalis, Bhulai and Stikker will discuss digital freedom, online security and a humane internet with Marleen Huysman, Professor of Knowledge and Organization at VU Amsterdam, Evelyn Austin, director of Bits of Freedom, and students from The Iron Man dream team. 

This year’s event also marks the university’s official farewell to Rector Magnificus Vinod Subramaniam. We may even get to meet his successor! Afterwards, we will celebrate the opening of the New University Building, a place where art, science and culture go hand in hand.  

In short, the rich and varied programme on Thursday, 11 November is one you won’t want to miss. We really hope you can join us for the Dies Natalis 2021! 

Find out more about the programme and the guests here